Brilliant minds do not necessarily make brilliant managers and the difference is often due to person’s emotional intelligence, the bit that dictates the way we deal with other people and understand our own emotions.
Gay Barton, general manager of recruitment company Drake International, says that emotional intelligence – commonly known as emotional quotient or EQ – is the factor that provides some people with charismatic leadership qualities.
The good news is that, unlike the IQ we are born with, EQ can be developed and learned.
Drake has compiled white paper on emotional intelligence and developed ways of measuring it. Companies can, says Barton, use it to help screen candidates interviewed for senior positions, or as part of their executive and staff training programmes.
“We’ve known for long time that brilliant minds do not always mean that those who have them are brilliant managers,” says Barton. “There is trend in management towards greater emphasis on what were once seen as the soft skills – self awareness, relationship management, communication and social awareness. These are now recognised as part of the skill set required for someone to be an effective business or team leader.”
Research shows that EQ is the common element influencing the different ways in which people develop in their lives, jobs, social skills, the way they hand-le frustration, control their emotions and get along with other people.
EQ is important for business leaders. “If they don’t read the mood of their staff or team correctly they can create sense of frustration and fail to get the best out of people,” says Barton.
“Australia’s Business Review Weekly magazine recently reported that survey of top law and accounting firms found that the partners they were looking for were those who could manage teams, motivate people and communicate, because these people were attractive to clients and motivated staff to work more effectively.” The survey suggested there was no longer place for the high-billing, technically proficient partner with no people skills.
Drake’s white paper identifies key EQ components as self awareness, self management, social awareness and relationship management – all areas where people can have their performance evaluated and improved.
Why EQ is important
EQ enables people to deal with just about anything life dishes out with balance and maturity. Emotionally intelligent people:
* Have deep-rooted sense of self, which also helps them to understand other people.
* Keep things in proportion, which helps them retain focus and understanding of what’s important in life.
* Retain positive viewpoint almost all of the time and can be relied on to put an ‘opportunity’ spin on anything that happens.
* Are known to have their own definition of ‘success’ in life and so are successful in whatever they choose to do.
* Are likely to have high work performance and personal productivity level and consequently enjoy greater job satisfaction.
Test your EQ
Take the Drake Emotional Intelligence quiz, by answering simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to the 21 questions below, all of which are based on the four components of emotional intelligence.
The EQ Test YES/NO
1.Can you motivate yourself, most of the time?
2.Do you get dispirited or even angry in the face of frustrations, or can you usually overcome them after your initial reaction?
3.Can you still think reasonably clearly even if you are frustrated or upset in some way?
4.Do you believe you usually can control your moods?
5.Can you delay gratification? Do you have to have everything now even if it would be better if you waited?
6.Are you always aware of other people’s feelings?
7.Do you regularly scan your environment – organisational (external) and industry (internal)?
8.Do you feel you know your strengths and weaknesses fairly well?
9.Do you generally feel hopeful of positive outcome and try to create positive environment?
10.Are you juggler? Can you handle many things at once and be adaptable to – and optimistic about – changes and challenges?
11.Do you have sense of efficacy – that you have what it takes to control your own destiny?
12.Do you have good relationship with work colleagues (not just your team)?
13.Do you rate your social and family life positively?
14.Do you relate well to support staff/suppliers/contractors?
15.Do you feel positive about your work performance?
16.Are you confident that you can cope with whatever life throws at you?
17.Are you content with your current skills?
18.Would you rate your relationship with your team as good?
19.Do you communicate well with the other members in your team?
20.Do you give good feedback to support staff or other people who report to you?
21.Do you feel you inspire your own team to produce results?
Your Score: If you answered YES to the majority of the above questions, you rate pretty highly on the EQ scale. It’s important to note that this is only guide, and Drake recommends undertaking professional psychometric behaviour assessment to get true and accurate insight into your EQ levels.