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  • Writer's pictureGregory Wade

6 Steps for Boosting Your Emotional Intelligence

Why is it important to understand your Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient (EQ)? In today's workplace, your EQ is more important than your IQ. The soft-skills you hold and exercise help differentiate you from those mired with commoditized transactional skills.

The Washington Post reported that in 2018 more CEOs were forced out of their positions due to ethical reasons than for financial performance. Many of these issues pertained to scandals, to improper conduct, bribery, fraud, insider trading, environmental disasters, and sexual misconduct. Now, while the report doesn't clearly identify that a low level of Emotional Intelligence was at core of these issues, I firmly believe that it is a key driver behind the decisions that were made or not made by these CEOs resulting in this misconduct and these unethical positions.

Highlighting and understanding these individuals and why they behave the way they did is important in terms of being able to ascertain the key characteristics in Emotional Intelligence and striving to behave and operate in a very different way.

What are the four components of Emotional Intelligence?

The first is self-awareness. Understanding and recognizing what you think, why you think the way you do, and then why you behave in the fashion that you do.

The second is self-management. Understanding your impulses, why you react and why you respond in certain ways in certain situations, whether it's a conflict situation, a positive situation or simply leading an organization.

The next is social awareness and this is the underpinning of Emotional Intelligence with a key characteristic of empathy, the ability to be able to put yourself in another person's perspective, in another person's situation, appreciate where they're coming from and be able to respond in a much more holistic and a much more well-rounded fashion.

The fourth component of Emotional Intelligence is relationship management. The importance and the focus in on conflict resolution, and now be able to focus individuals on a common objective and being able to accomplish incredible tasks and those objectives. Those leaders who strive to maintain a high level of Emotional Intelligence recognize that the organization, the team and the company is less about them and more about the team and more about the team success.

There's also a greater connection to the things that matter to the business, like your customers.

Leaders of high Emotional Intelligence also recognize and see improve communications up and down the organization. The team understands what you stand for and they understand what direction you want to take the organization. And then finally, one of the most important components and benefits is that those leaders with a high EI are able to inspire, motivate, and critically provide a balanced approach to the business, ensuring that you are on a stable ground in terms of your direction. And people really do rally around individuals and leaders with the ability to drive stability, but at the same time growth, inspiration and enthusiasm.

Want to boost your Emotional Intelligence?

Focus on these 6 steps and you will recognize the difference in yourself.

The first is reflect on your own emotions. Be self-aware, recognize within yourself what you stand for, what drives you, what challenges you, and then ultimately recognize that how you behave impacts and influences everyone around you.

The second is to ask others for perspective. Now, this might be a little bit difficult because you're looking for objectivity, but I can tell you that that is one of the most important steps, because those around you are able to identify your quirks, your challenges, they're being able to identify as well to give you impetus for self-improvement, for growth and for understanding.

The third is to be observant. Now, many of you have heard me also suggest it's very important to check your ego at the door. Recognize again that the boardroom, your team, the organization or the company, it's not about you, it's about the team, it's about your customer, it's about your combined success. I would layer into that the all important aspect of empathy, the ability to put yourself at other people's shoes, to be able to understand the challenges that they're facing, what they're encountering in life, what inspires them, what motivates them, so that you can be better able to respond and support them in kind.

The fourth component involves the "pause", and this is a key component of listening and that is taking the time to think before you speak. Don't just react. Think about what you're going to share, what observations you're going to hold, and what you're going to contribute to the conversation and to the team around you.

The fifth is ... don't entertain gossip. This takes you down a rat's nest that you don't need to go down. The fact is you're a leader, you don't need to entertain gossip and get engaged in negative conversation and negative discussion about your team and the people within your organization.

And the last, sixth component, is curiosity. Be genuinely curious about individuals on your team, be curious about their lives, be curious about the organization, what their job is all about, and what they're looking to be able to accomplish. By asking great questions, you'll be in a much better position to understand those around you again, and to be able to guide them accordingly as you're looking to be able to accomplish your objectives together.

On your journey to boosting your Emotional Quotient, which components do you most connect with and what components do you see yourself working on? Comment below and don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel:

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