By Daniel Bobinski
Research involving 200 companies worldwide has revealed that in middle management and technical positions, two-thirds of the difference between average performers and top performers is emotional intelligence. An amazing statistic, right?
The benefits of practicing EQ are also outlined in an article published by “Harvard Business Review,” titled, “Can you really improve your emotional intelligence?” In the opening paragraph, they ask, “Who wouldn’t want a higher level of emotional intelligence? Studies have shown that a high emotional quotient (or EQ) boosts career success, entrepreneurial potential, leadership talent, health, relationship satisfaction, humor, and happiness.”
You’d think that everyone would want those benefits, but it’s not always the case. In fact, when technically competent people with average or below-average interpersonal skills get promoted because of their technical skills, EQ might not even be on their radar.
Why? Because in many such cases, people think they received their promotion because of how they have been treating people, and not in spite of it. I’ve seen it more than once. Technical experts with poor interpersonal skills get promoted a few times, but then the promotions stop. When that happens, those people often believe others on their team are not working hard anymore, or maybe even that others are trying to sabotage them.
As evidenced by abundant research, if people want to get promotions – or start getting promotions again – it helps if they brush up on emotional intelligence and put it in to practice. As the famous motivational speaker Zig Ziglar often said, 80 percent of promotions happen because of good people skills, and only 20 percent because of good technical skills.
The first step in improving one’s emotional intelligence is developing a desire to do so. Somehow people need to realize that others have different behavioral styles, and different cognitive styles, too. They also need to realize that not everyone is motivated by the same things that motivate them. They further need to realize that valuing, adapting to and capitalizing on the strengths associated with those different styles is what makes a team effective.
There’s also the need to understand that practicing emotional intelligence is a choice. The bottom line here is that people must want to develop their emotional intelligence. If that desire is not apparent, sometimes a heart-to-heart talk may be warranted.
With that in mind, if you think you want to beef up your EQ (and yes, EQ is learnable), why not seek out someone you trust and strike up a conversation about it?
If you’re already familiar with EQ and know someone who isn’t (but needs to be), might I suggest finding a way to bring it up? If you do, I suggest talking about EQ’s benefits, such as EQ improving one’s career, enhancing leadership skills and improving relationships – all of which increases our sense of purpose and gives us a fuller life.
You can also point out that EQ is a huge part of being a top performer, but that to learn EQ, they must first want to learn it.
Daniel Bobinski, M.Ed. is a certified behavioral analyst, a best-selling author and a popular speaker at conferences and retreats. He loves working with teams and individuals to help them achieve workplace excellence. Reach Daniel through his website, www.MyWorkplaceExcellence.com, or (208) 375-7606.