In the mid–1990’s Daniel Goleman introduced the term ‘Emotional Intelligence’ into the leadership world. He said it was twice as important as traditional leadership skills. The greater the leadership responsibilities, the greater the importance of emotional intelligence. It’s what distinguishes the average performer from the outstanding performer. Since then research continues to back up what Goleman said. The best measure of an effective leader is their EQ not their IQ. EQ or EIQ is our emotional intelligence quotient. It’s a measure of; self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.
Self-Awareness is being willing to look inside and get real with who we are. It’s understanding our strengths and our weaknesses and not being afraid to admit to the later. We ALL have weaknesses, but often we’re unaware of them. Asking questions like; what hurts me, what makes me mad, when am I anxious, where do I gain peace and joy? Taking an honest look at how we respond the way we do in certain situations. Seeking a Word from the Lord for our own self, allows us to grow in our self-awareness. The Lord will sift our souls and gently reveal areas we need to grow in and He will walk with us through that growth. Self-awareness requires humility!
Self-Regulation is the ability to control our emotions, directing them towards positive outcomes. It is being willing to look behind our emotions at the root cause and doing something about it. An example is when we get angry, choosing to stop before we act on it and ask why? Why am I angry right now? Anger is a secondary emotion, our shield we wield when we are frustrated, fearful and most often hurt. Willingness to educate ourselves on what is going on behind our anger or other emotions, gives us the ability to choose a healthy course of action. We also grow in self-regulation when we spend time with the Lord, learning to fine tune our ability to hear the Holy Spirit. As we choose to follow His guidance we grow in wisdom, which also matures our emotions.
Motivation is the desire to move toward health, the desire to be teachable and learn new ways to think and behave. Motivated leaders want to lead to the best of their ability, so they’re willing to not only take an honest look in the mirror but to seek guidance for changing the areas they don’t like. It may be through coaching, counseling, mentoring; whatever leads them to more healthy results in their mind and heart.
The last two areas of emotional intelligence has to do with our treatment of others. I will pick up with that in the next blog. Just keep in mind that unless a person is strong in the internal areas of emotional intelligence; self-awareness, self-regulation and motivation, they will not be strong in the next two areas of empathy and social skills. However, Emotional Intelligence can be learned. If motivated to grow, it’s an area we all can improve in which leads to more satisfaction in life.
If you’re interested in taking another step in measuring your Emotional Intelligence, I recommend Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Bradberry & Greaves.