Emotional Intelligence is the ability to recognize, control and express your feelings, identify and appraise the emotions of the people around you. It measures one’s social and emotional competence and the interaction with others, the response to stress and pressure in our personal and work life.
Understanding the difference between EI and IQ
The IQ represents one person’s reasoning or logical competence and it is inborn ability. While the EQ refers to one’s ability to identify and understand his feelings and of those that surround him.
The IQ is an indicator of the academic competency, how well we might do in school or university, while the EQ indicates the success in our lives and careers. The emotional intelligence can be improved, refined and acquired whenever we desire, while the IQ is determined by genetics and cannot be changed by any method at any stage of our lives.
The importance of EI in everyday life
Higher level of EI helps to deal with uncertainty and troublesome situations as we manage our emotions more successfully. With more developed EI we are more self-aware, able to empathize with others and communicate effectively, overcome challenges and act more rational. With the ability to objectively evaluate an occurring situation in our lives and understand what causes the emotions that are triggered, we are one step closer to making good decisions. People with higher EI are more secure, fearless, compassionate and less judgmental.
EI is essential when it comes to understanding ourselves and others, the connections we make and managing those relationships. Many authors will say that it is the way to fulfilled life.
The effect of the Emotional Intelligence in the workplace
Studies have shown that people with higher EI are more likely to succeed in their careers and lives in general. They are usually holders or higher positions in one organization, such as managers, directors, successful entrepreneurs etc. and highly paid. Studies have proven that the EI plays a significant role in how the employees interact with each other, the way they manage stress and conflicts, the overall job performance and job satisfaction. In fact, most of the decisions we make in the workplace are driven by our emotions and how we feel at that moment, although we believe they are rationalized. Learning how to handle and control the emotions will help in positive decision-making process.
Emotional Intelligence has been ranked sixth out of 10 skills in the World Economic Forum’s list that employees should possess in order to succeed in their workplace. Therefore, large number of organizations across the world replace IQ tests with EI’s assessment in their hiring process as more and more employers value the importance of the EI level as indicator for leadership potential. It has become a factor in shaping organizational structure and developing leaders.
The importance of Emotional Intelligence for Leaders
The research supporting the importance of Emotional Intelligence dates back over 30 years, and while it was made popular in the late 1990’s, arguably it is even more important today that we are developing “emotionally intelligent leaders” to retain and develop the talent that will lead innovation and business growth. So how is Emotional Intelligence linked to leadership? In addition to the research supporting this report, fifteen years of research has shown that leaders tend to score higher in Emotional Intelligence than the general population. Also, many professionals find it easier to focus on improving a few specific skills that underlie broader leadership competencies, making the EQ-I 2.0 subscales the perfect building blocks to reaching your leadership potential.
Emotional intelligence is an important characteristic for anyone at any level in the organization, but it is especially important to for those who have a leadership position. The EI has influence in how the leader communicates and manages the team. A more successful leader is the one that understands how his emotion and actions affect the people around him, one that controls his emotions in any situation and reacts in a calm way.
Leaders with higher EI create safe and comfortable working environments where employees feel free to voice their opinion, believe and trust the leader and the organization itself. They make careful and informed decisions as they are able to clearly comprehend the situation evolving and react appropriately.
Where leaders with less developed EI don’t handle stressful situation well, which creates aggravating and tense atmosphere in which the employees do not feel safe to express their opinion in order to avoid any further conflicts. In some instances, they are not able to realizes the presence of a conflict in the organization.
The level of EI is connected to the leadership capabilities, to one’s competence to manage and lead, but also probably most relevant – to inspire the team. The best leaders are not individuals with high IQ but excellent motivators, self-aware of their strength and weaknesses, that emphasize humility and empathy rather than arrogance and egotism.
The EI is not a skill that can be learned or perfected with taking one course or session, but a process that requires time and patience to learn about yourself, understand your feelings and help others do the same.
How do we measure and improve our EI?
The EQ-i 2.0 is the world’s leading psychometric assessment tool which measures Emotional Intelligence and how it can impact individuals, leaders, teams and the workplace. It is the first scientifically validated measure for emotional intelligence combined with research from premier organizations. Created by Multi-Health Systems Inc (MHS), a leading publisher of scientifically validated assessments for more than 30 years which products are sold in more than 75 countries around the world.
Based on more than 20 years of research worldwide, the EQ-I 2.0 examines an individual’s social and emotional strength and weaknesses. Respondents self-report on their life and workplace performance in 15 key areas of emotional skill that have been proven to contribute to proficiency in complex business activities such as conflict resolution and planning.
The EI assessments are inexpensive, simple and very effective way to impact leadership development by coaching, job rotations and assignments. Implementing the assessment as part of the leadership coaching will bring the organization higher performance. The coaching can be focused to the individuals within the team which will impact the organization performance or for leadership development. The MHS assessments can help during hiring and developing staff and improve the organization’s performance.