It’s not all about you!
We have all made bad decisions in our lives, but have you ever wondered what drove you to making those decisions and how they made you and others feel? If we analysed these decisions it could be that they were driven due to us not using, or understanding, our emotional intelligence.
There have also been many times in my life where I have felt demotivated and not understood by those managing me. Maybe if they had been more aware of their emotional intelligence, the results that I produced would have been significantly higher.
Therefore, it is not hard to understand that emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in an effective and positive way. If someone has high levels of emotional intelligence they can communicate better, reduce their anxiety and stress, defuse conflicts, improve relationships, empathise with others, and effectively overcome life’s challenges. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do this in our busy lives?
I, for one, make important decisions based on an element of reflection and not just the current circumstances I find myself in. However, there isn’t always the opportunity to take too much time to reflect, therefore we have to understand how the decisions we make, and the actions we subsequently take, will significantly affect others. Equally, developing good emotional intelligence can greatly increase our level of success (IQ + EQ (Emotional Intelligence) = Success!).
But how and why is this concept important for managers and leaders?
Firstly, emotional intelligence is directly linked to performance. Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence author, psychologist, and science journalist is quoted as saying “one third of performance is technical competence, whilst the other two thirds is emotional intelligence.”
This is further backed up by a 2002 Harvard Business School study:
Out of 20,000+ employees over a 3-year period, of those who fail:
- 26% fail because they can’t learn from feedback
- 23% fail because they cannot understand and manage emotions
- 11% fail because they lack key technical skills
Getting closer to our staff could be the real key to differentiate our schools and to achieve long-term success. But we must remember some of the most important aspects of emotional intelligence for leaders to make effective decisions are aspects such as the ability to listen and communicate well (remember we were given two ears and one mouth for a reason!), being self-aware and confident but employing self-control, but above all, having the ability to accept change and be totally committed.
Goleman also states that managers who do not develop emotional intelligence have difficulty in building good relationships with peers, subordinates, superiors and clients and I think we can all agree with this.
In simplistic terms, emotional intelligence can be broken down into 5 key areas: Self Awareness, Motivation, Empathy, Social Skills and Self-Regulation.
Self-awareness is the skill of being aware of and understanding our emotions.
Motivation includes our personal drive to improve and achieve, as well as being able to positively drive others.
Empathy is an awareness of the needs and feelings of others both individually and in groups, and being able to see things from their point of view.
Social Skills are how we handle relationships with others.
Having learned to be aware of our emotions, the skill of self-regulation relates to managing them appropriately and proportionately.
I started by saying that we have all made bad decisions in our lives, and moving forward we need to ensure these decisions are minimised and that we can motivate as well as be motivated. Understanding ourselves and our emotions as well as those around us will lead to a more harmonious, efficient and productive organisation, so get in touch with yourself and assess your own emotional intelligence. There are plenty of tests on the internet, you may be surprised!
By Russell Dalton - May 2017