EQ is the abbreviation for “emotional quotient,” which is a measure of one’s emotional and social intelligence. Our level of EQ has a huge impact on how we communicate, manage our emotions and maintain great relationships.
Leaders need EQ more than ever as the workplace “new normal” evolves, with expectations that they inspire and motivate others to succeed. Fulfilling such expectations can be particularly challenging for leaders who may continue to have limited face-to-face interactions with their team members.
Like any set of skills, leaders must practice using their EQ to remain confident about their ability to apply it at work. EQ strengths like Empathy, Positive Outlook, Managing Conflict, etc. can become weaker during times of pandemic-induced zoom fatigue, burnout, and uncertainty about the future.
Some leaders have shared with me that limited interaction with others during the pandemic took a toll on their interpersonal communication abilities, and they don’t feel as sharp as they once did when it comes to using their EQ skills. If you’ve been feeling like you’re not on top of your EQ game lately, here are 7 indicators that your EQ could use a tune-up:
1. You are easily stressed out. Are you aware of the things that constantly stress you? If so, are you doing anything to eliminate or minimize the impact of those stressors? People with high EQ are better equipped to tolerate stress because they recognize when they get triggered; then, they can manage their emotions and control how they respond vs react automatically.
2. You’re not open to feedback from anyone. Do you think you’ve mastered everything and that there is nothing you can improve on? Do you believe you’ve stopped growing or that you cannot learn anything new?It’s hard to see things in ourselves sometimes that others easily see. People with high EQ are open to feedback, eager to learn and improve because they know they do not have all the answers and they never want to stop growing, learning and improving.
3. You cannot move on from your mistakes. Are you feeling stuck about an error at work that happened during the pandemic? People with high EQ don’t dwell on mistakes, but rather use those experiences to learn and get better. In other words, they integrate what they learned, and move on knowing they’re unlikely to repeat the same mistake again.
4. You interrupt others more often than you realize. Did being more socially isolated dull your ability to actively listen to others? Do you find yourself tuning out when someone is talking, because you’re more focused on what YOU want to say? Are you apologizing more often for interrupting?People with high EQ are able to watch themselves and manage their impulses to interrupt because they know it can make others feel devalued. They are patient and truly interested in what others have to say.
5. You ignore your negative feelings. Are you exhausted from trying too hard to always be positive? People with high EQ don’t pretend that they never have negative emotions. Instead, they acknowledge when they feel negatively due to fear, sadness or disappointment, but they don’t marinate in those feelings to the point that they can’t function. They recognize them and take intentional action to shift to a more positive state ONLY after they think about why they are experiencing such lower energy feelings.
6. You blame others for your feelings. It’s easier to blame other people for making you feel angry or frustrated; however, the truth is NO ONE can make you feel anything. People with high EQ understand that and accept that they are 100% in charge of their emotional state no matter the circumstances. They adopt more of a “this is happening FOR me” attitude vs “this is happening TO me.”
7. You’re not interested in other people. Has being socially isolated and more independent diminished your genuine interest in others? Some of this may be a temporary natural response to having to adapt to less human interactions; however, people with high EQ know it’s critically important to the quality of relationships that they intentionally express interest in others.
Imagine having a conversation with someone, but only talking about yourself.It’s much harder to lead people if they think you don’t care enough to get to know them. Managing relationships, a core EQ skill, becomes easier when you invest time in getting to know team members, customers and colleagues. People with high EQ demonstrate their interest in others by initiating conversations and asking questions that provide those opportunities.
Why does EQ matter, especially if you are a leader?
You cannot be as successful as possible without EQ. Consider focusing on your EQ if you find yourself:
•Losing control of your emotions…no one will want to work with you.
•Acting impulsively without being concerned about the impacts on others.
•Seeking to win at any costs when managing a conflict – you can damage relationships for a very long time.
•Not being open to constructive feedback – you stop learning and growing as a person.
•Avoiding conflicts and letting them escalate into big problems when you could have solved an issue sooner by using your EQ conflict management strengths.
Leaders with high EQ get more opportunities for promotions, higher compensation, and real collaboration from their teams who want to help them succeed!
Organizations will always seek out extraordinary leaders with high EQ who can inspire and motivate others to achieve big goals. Investing time and resources into developing your EQ strengths will distinguish you as a more effective leader and help you who stand out from others.
A survey by CareerBuilder found that 71% of employers indicated that they valued EQ over IQ because employees with high EQ were more likely to stay calm under pressure, resolve conflict effectively and respond to co-workers with empathy.
What about You?
Does your EQ need a tune up? The good news is if you focus time and attention on developing your EQ, you can make great progress in a fairly short period of time.
I work with clients every week teaching them how to be more self-aware, socially aware, in control of their emotions and managing their relationships.
The best way to build your confidence is to practice such skills in real situations, and get immediate feedback from someone like myself who is trained to teach EQ.
If you’d like to know more about how I help leaders achieve higher levels of success, connect with me by clicking here. Together, we can figure out if I can help you in your leadership journey.
All the best,
Jennell Evans, MA, CMMI
Leadership | Emotional Intelligence | Mindfulness
Advisor & Speaker