I’ve known a lot of people with high IQs, but horrible emotional intelligence IQs (EQ) at work, and worse in their personal life. (Legitimacy claim here – I have a cousin who was a big wig in the International Mensa organization, but no, I’m not in Mensa.)
In light of the Steve Jobs biopic and the Time Magazine article on Mindfulness, a related topic, there’s been a lot of talk about this emotional intelligence IQ at work, particularly Jobs apparent lack of emotional intelligence – or low EQ. I think we try to view Steve Jobs as a manager where we should realize he was a visionary leader. Thus, ‘being kind’ or ‘being mean’ is moot. Being exacting and demanding is how we should describe his leadership. Important note here, we are describing Jobs’ leadership – not necessarily his management.
Management, on the other hand, demands a certain degree of emotional intelligence. In your organization, you want your managers to have some degree of emotional intelligence for employee development, retention and advancement (yes, of said manager and their subordinates). Managers with higher emotional intelligence can reduce stress and create more communicative environments resulting in obvious benefits to employees and the company bottom line.
Luckily, emotional intelligence can be taught. Anyone who Googles EQ in Amazon or elsewhere will come back with a compendium of new books on the topic. I will not promote any one book here, but I will summarize that methods to increase your soft emotional quotient usually start with self-reflection. Self-reflection can be an ugly, scary thing. But, once you identify some of your skills and/or weaknesses, you can manage yourself, still not an easy task, but the first step in improving your emotional intelligence skills!
Once you start managing yourself, you should (ok – ‘may’, ‘might’, ’hopefully’, fill in a word) become more socially, situationally aware at work. This is how your office now becomes a target rich environment. It is in this new array of social awareness, where relationship management improvements can occur.
Why don’t you start with a free Emotional Intelligence test online?