NCET explores business and technology
By Kevin Ciccotti
Emotional Intelligence has become a hot topic in the business world over the last decade. With the advent of more research on the subject providing evidence that EQ matters, we’re beginning to understand the profound impact that emotions have on long-term success in all areas of life.
There is confusion about what EQ means. Here’s the best definition I’ve found: It is the capacity to recognize our own feelings and those of others, to manage our emotions, and to interact effectively with others.
Research has shown that EQ is actually a stronger indicator of long-term success in any given profession than IQ. (Source: The EQ Edge, Emotional Intelligence and Your Success by Steven Stein, Ph.D. and Howard Book, Ph.D.)
And unlike IQ, which is fixed and cannot measurably change after a certain period, EQ can be improved throughout your lifetime. If that’s the case, then why aren’t we paying more attention to developing our EQ skills – commonly referred to as “soft skills”?
Let me give you three reasons why you should be doing exactly that.
- Developing EQ improves your resilience. How often do you encounter difficulties or challenges? Well, if you’re part of the human race, it’s pretty much a daily thing. You face challenges – large and small – on a consistent basis. And sometimes you can blow those issues completely out of proportion. Working on your EQ skills helps you to become more optimistic and resilient in the face of inevitable challenges.
- Developing EQ improves your decision-making skills. You’re making decisions throughout each day, and the quality of those decisions is directly impacted by the quality of your emotions. Will you make a different decision if you’re feeling angry versus feeling determined? What about if you’re feeling optimistic versus feeling disgusted? You bet you will! The quality of your decisions in the short-term are 100% impacted by your emotional state. Want to improve your decision-making ability? Improve your ability to monitor and manage your emotions.
- Developing EQ improves your ability to connect with others. One of the most important leadership skills we can develop is empathy. That is, the ability to recognize, understand, and appreciate how other people
feel. Most people think of empathy as a fixed competency; you either have it or you don’t. But that’s simply not true. We all have the capacity for empathy. It’s just that we don’t always exercise that muscle. Without empathy it’s almost impossible to develop and maintain connections with those on your team. And when it’s present, it creates the opportunity to deepen relationships and build trust.
Want to become a better leader? Work on developing your emotional intelligence. And here’s the best part – becoming more emotionally intelligent will also dramatically improve your personal life.
Kevin Ciccotti, Certified Professional Coach, is President of Human Factor Formula, Inc. and NCET’s VP of Membership, Biz Café. NCET is a member-supported nonprofit that produces networking events to help people explore business and use technology.