Written by: Andrea Hunt, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
In recent years, we have learned that intelligence and IQ alone don't always equate to great skills as a leader. While being smart certainly helps you learn quickly and get ahead, it takes more than that to win people over, earn their respect, and form connections in the office and in business.
Today, the ability to recognize and manage our own emotions and understand the emotions of others is extremely important for leaders. This might sound straightforward but shockingly one study showed that only around 36% of the population is emotionally intelligent. Read on to learn how EQ is a skill set that plays an important role in both personal and professional success...
What is emotional intelligence (EQ)?
The term "emotional intelligence" refers to five key components: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.
The first is self-awareness, which refers to recognizing our own emotions and understanding their impact on how we think and behave. According to Tasha Eurich, only 10-15% of the population is 'self-aware,' which means that many people in the business world therefore aren't.
Secondly, self-regulation refers to our ability to control and redirect our emotions in order to make informed decisions instead of reacting impulsively. This has obvious benefits as impulsive actions without considering consequences can be disastrous, especially in collaborations.
Thirdly, motivation refers to the drive to achieve our personal and professional goals. We all know that having intentions is important, but being able to stay motivated and improve to understand our blocks, time-wasters, self-sabotage, etc, is crucial to success.
The fourth is empathy, which refers to our ability to understand and relate to the emotions of other people around us. Empathy creates trust and understanding in a business or collegiate relationship.
The fifth is our ability to have social skills, so that we can effectively communicate, build strong relationships, and resolve conflicts. For example, non-violent communication is an excellent way to communicate with empathy and improve interpersonal skills.
Overall, having or developing emotional intelligence equips us with the tools necessary to navigate challenging situations, foster positive work environments, and be more effective leaders in the business world.
Consequences of not being an emotionally intelligent leader
Unfortunately for companies, not having leaders with high EQ can affect employee morale and business performance. In fact, one Yale study showed that a staggering 70% of employees with low EQ leaders tended to feel negative about the workplace.
So, what are some common behaviors associated with low EQ that can negatively affect business?
Poor Communication: Unfortunately, a leader with low EQ may struggle to communicate effectively with their team members because they might order without considering others and providing a space for open communication. This can lead to unclear directions, confusion and anxiety about speaking up, and imbalanced workload.
Emotional Deregulation: Unsurprisingly, a leader with low EQ and ability to emotionally regulate can be volatile, degrading, blaming, and even punishing. There’s a saying that people who feel appreciated will always do more than expected and the opposite is certainly true as well. This can lead to misunderstandings, miscommunications, and a breakdown in trust.
Conflict and Tension: Importantly, a leader with low EQ may struggle to manage conflicts between team members or departments effectively. Not being able to acknowledge other people’s feelings might ignore the underlying emotional issues when problems arise. This can lead to tension within the team and a resentful work environment where people don’t feel respected and heard.
High Turnover: Consequently, a leader with low EQ may struggle to create a positive and supportive work environment where employees feel valued and encouraged to grow and develop their skills. Unmotivated teams are not cohesive and are more resistant to extra work. This can lead to apathy, ‘quiet quitting,’ stress, dissatisfaction, and burnout.
Benefits of being an emotionally intelligent leader
Being an emotionally intelligent leader is beneficial for teams and overall success in the business world to create an environment of support and employee satisfaction. A leader who takes others into account and sees their strengths and weaknesses and helps them evolve professionally with consideration is a positive motivator for the team. It’s absolutely no surprise that a ‘happy team’ performs 20% better than one that isn’t!
Communication: Emotional intelligence allows us to have a better understanding of others' emotions and therefore tailor our communication style accordingly. In this way, we improve our communication to avoid misunderstandings and connect with our team members on a deeper level, creating trust and maintaining a positive work environment where people feel valued and heard.
Better Decision-Making: Emotional intelligence allows us to consider both rational and emotional aspects when making decisions. This balanced approach helps us better understand the impact or consequences not only on us but the rest of the team as a whole.
Better Interpersonal Relationships: Emotional intelligence allows us to empathize with and understand our team members' feelings and perspectives. This leads to stronger relationships, increased collaboration, and improved conflict-resolution skills. Emotionally intelligent leaders are adept at managing challenging situations, providing feedback, and having tough conversations while maintaining trust within the team.
Better Employee Engagement: Emotional intelligence allows us to support our teams and motivate them. When employees feel understood and supported, they are much more likely to be motivated and committed to both their work and the company. This kind of work environment attracts and retains company talent, reduces employee turnover, and fosters a culture of open communication and collaboration.
How a transformational coach can help you improve your EQ
Working with a transformational coach can be an invaluable way to improve your emotional intelligence (EQ). A coach can provide guidance, support, and an independent perspective as you develop more self-awareness. By gently questioning your blind spots, coaching helps you regulate your emotions and stress levels, increase your motivation with clear intentions and accountability, practice empathy, and strengthen communication skills.
Transformational coaches have the experience and expertise necessary to help you identify areas that need improvement, create tangible goals for growth, and track progress along the way. Additionally, they can help you develop healthy emotional resilience and better coping skills when dealing with stress, anxiety, or difficult emotions.
Overall, transformational coaching is a powerful way to improve emotional intelligence so that you can make better decisions, build strong relationships, foster positive work environments, and become a more effective leader in the business world.
How EFT tapping is helpful for your emotional intelligence
The Emotional Freedom Technique is a powerful mind-body tool for improving emotional intelligence. EFT Tapping combines gentle tapping on acupuncture points to help release emotional blocks and regulate the nervous system. It has been used by therapists, coaches and individuals alike to reduce stress, anxiety, fear, and to increase self-awareness and emotional regulation.
EFT Tapping can be particularly useful for improving emotional intelligence and help you better understand emotions, articulate them clearly, and identify which thoughts or beliefs may be causing those feelings.
By tapping on the various energy points while focusing on the emotion at hand, you can move through these emotions more quickly, allowing you to gain more clarity and insight into your emotions. This process helps you become better equipped to regulate your emotions, prepare yourself to navigate difficult conversations or situations, and respond in a better way.
In conclusion, supportive leadership behaviors that reflect Emotional Intelligence (EQ) such as active listening, providing constructive feedback, recognizing and rewarding achievements, promoting collaboration, and fostering a positive work culture greatly enhance employee engagement. These behaviors create a supportive and engaging work environment, leading to increased motivation, productivity, and overall business success. Transformational coaching and EFT tapping could be the key to unlocking your high EQ.
Andrea Hunt, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Andrea Hunt is an online transformational life coach & EFT Practitioner for expats and digital nomads. A US expat who's lived in 7 different countries, Andrea helps those who boldly took the road less traveled to thrive abroad with confidence. She understands the challenges of planning a move abroad, integrating into a new culture, finding new friends and social circles, rebuilding life after a job loss or breakup while living in another country. She helps you empower your mindset and erase your limiting beliefs to thrive.