Friday, February 15, 2013

How High is Your EIQ?


In a recent Family Business Advisor session, the concept of Emotional Intelligence was raised.  Traditionally, a person’s intelligence is measured using an Intelligence Quotient (IQ) Test.  The IQ test is a measure of a person’s general intelligence, but it does nothing to measure a person’s ability to succeed as a leader.  Your Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EIQ) may be a better way to measure how well you will do as a leader.
The concept of Emotional Intelligence (EI) was mainstreamed by Daniel Goleman in his book “Emotional Intelligence – Why it Can Matter More than IQ”.  In his groundbreaking book, Goleman defines EI as The ability to perceive and understand personal feelings and those of others. Emotional intelligence means recognizing emotions and acting on them in a reflective and rational manner. It involves self-awareness, empathy, and self-restraint. Goleman posits that there are five main constructs that make up Emotional Intelligence:

1)   Self Awareness
2)   Self Regulation
3)   Social Skill
4)   Empathy
5)   Motivation
Goleman stated that these five traits are not innate talents, but are learned capabilities that must be worked on often.  According to Goleman, you can raise your emotional intelligence with a little bit of effort, which is good news considering how important EI actually is when it comes to leadership. In the workplace, EI can greatly enhance interpersonal communication and people skills.  If you are a leader with a high EIQ, you will have a very strong chance of successfully leading your team.
A good place to start with EI is to work on your own self-awareness. It is important to think about things from other people’s perspectives, reflect on your actions and interactions with others, and get feedback from people on low EI behaviors.  Of course it is also good to have a baseline. There are several online EIQ tests that are free and easy to take like: http://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/2091. Don’t worry if you score too low, EI can be improved with a little bit of work and some honest feedback.

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