Recently I was talking to a director in a big company and he asked “Why is EQ (emotional intelligence) such a big deal? I’m so sick of people and their emotions. What about intelligence and decision-making?” Well leadership is not only about great thoughts, it is about execution. In other words, people need to follow you and your great thoughts for you to be effective.
Why are emotions important? Because you’re dealing with people. People, like you have emotions. I’m sure that we can all think of instances where we dealt with customer service representatives when we were having a problem. Some went well and others didn’t.
If you think back to those instances where things went well, the representative probably expressed sympathy for your situation and was attentive to your problem.
By contrast, those instances that did not go well the representative probably made you feel that you were wrong. Just thinking about those situations probably makes your blood boil just to think of them.
In the first instance, the representative showed emotional intelligence or EQ. He or she made you feel heard and didn’t make you feel wrong. When someone’s trying to get you to see their point of view and get you to help them, aren’t you more likely to help if you’re approached by someone who honors you and your values and doesn’t make you feel wrong?
Have you done your best work for bosses who believed in you and gotten you excited about the work or have you done your best work for bosses who just ordered you around?
So my two reasons why EQ is a big deal are:
- People are more likely to follow others who are sensitive to them as people. Even if you don’t personally care about people’s feelings, acting as if you do will make you a more effective persuader.
- You will find more pleasure in your interactions with others and find that you are less stressed when people are more willing to follow your lead.
And yes, intelligence and decision-making are important, but they’ll just get you in the door. If you want for people to follow you, recognizing them as people will make you more effective.
QUESTION: What do you say to people who don’t think EQ is important?======================================================================
Leadership/Career Coach Kris Ishibashi works with leaders to bring together their skills, their authentic selves, and their intentions to inspire their organizations to superior performance. Click here to set up a complimentary consultation.