By Daniel Bobinski
You’ve probably heard the terms soft skills, people skills and emotional intelligence (EQ). Whatever you call it, the ability to know your own strengths, weaknesses, preferences and tendencies – and to be able to read these in other people – are vital skills needed for success.
The EQ model (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management) provides a great framework for learning and building on these skills. And with these skills, people become more productive, effective and, yes, profitable. Feel free to read that as being more valuable to one’s organization.
Everything starts with knowing yourself. From there, the progression is straightforward: self-management, work management and relationship management.
Having taught emotional intelligence for nearly 30 years, I contend that emotional intelligence is easier to learn if you don’t make emotions the central focus of your learning. That’s because the three core aspects of our personality (behavioral styles, cognitive styles and motivators) have emotional components to them. Learn about those three aspects, and by default you’re learning EQ along the way.
For instance, if someone has a strong driver personality (DISC type “D” / Colors type red), the affiliated emotion is anger. More specifically, such a person tends to have a short fuse. For the analytical type (DISC type “C” / Colors type blue), the affiliated emotion is fear. More specifically, a person with this core style is afraid of the consequences of making a bad decision.
This is useful information by itself, but note that by studying up on the four behavioral styles, not only are you discovering the emotional components, you’ll also learn the strengths, weaknesses, preferences and tendencies of each style. This can greatly enhance your effectiveness in relationship management – part of the EQ model.
By the way, when it comes to styles, there is no good or bad. Each style has strengths and each has weaknesses. I prefer to think of it as being more effective or less effective in given situations.
As an example, the strong driver personality tends to be more effective in situations that require quick, bold decisions. They are less effective in environments that required a lot of interpersonal patience or attention-to-detail. Conversely, the strong analytic personality tends to be more effective when there’s mounds of data to pour over and accuracy is a must. Such a person tends to be less effective in environments that require reaching out and engaging new people.
I should also point out that no matter their style, most people are capable of adapting to what is required for a given situation. That said, adapting takes a lot of energy and usually causes stress. Put people in situations where they are less effective and you may receive some push back! Having this awareness helps boost your EQ.
Bottom line, the more you understand the different styles, the better you can make good self-management, work management and relationship management decisions.
And so, the answer to our question is, “Yes.” Emotional intelligence can definitely help you be successful.
Daniel Bobinski, M.Ed. teaches teams and individuals how to use Emotional Intelligence, and his videos and blogs on that topic appear regularly at www.eqfactor.net. He’s also a best-selling author and a popular speaker at conferences and retreats. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.