EQ. Emotional quotient. Emotional intelligence. Call it what you like. Everyone says it like the new “phrase du jour” but how many people have it? How many people talk about it but don’t really practice it? How many of us, especially those who are stewards of our company’s biggest asset - people (aka managers) - actually know what it is and how to get it?
Emotional intelligence is not just the phrase that pays. It is, in my humble opinion, essential to being the best version of a people manager you can be. You can look up the definition of EQ and slice it every way to Sunday, but for me, it is all about connection. The way a manager connects to an employee and uncovers how they communicate, how they learn, what motivates them, why one thing is more important over something else. It is the way we create trust through authenticity and transparency. It is a trusted connection that is not to be eschewed and it isn’t a buzzword that will drift away as soon as the next new, shiny concept comes along.
Several studies have supported what we have all heard - that people leave managers, not companies. Yet so many managers that I have worked with spend very little time on building their EQ skills and finding ways to connect to employees beyond the projects, tasks, goals, results and to-do’s that drive the day-to-day operations in a business. Driving results is job #1, right? Results don’t happen unless people make them happen. You can have the best strategies and tactics in the world, but if you don’t spend the requisite time engaging and inspiring your employees in ways that are meaningful to them and drive real connection to the impact their having – well, strategies mean nothing.
I believe in coaching – helping people discern the issues at hand; leading them to discover the right answer, and guiding them toward visioning a solution. It’s an inclusive, empathetic way to manage – focused more on reflection rather than direction. Embracing a coaching mentality – pick whatever model you like – (I like the STRIDE model, personally – Strengths, Target, Reality, Ideas, Decision, Evaluation) – can help any manager become more inclusive, build more empathy, unlock motivations and build the critical social skills (think: influence, communication, leadership, change agency, conflict resolution, partnership, contracting) necessary to be not only a well-liked manager, but an effective one, too.
There was an article on Psychcentral.com about EQ. It cited that success is based in small part on your IQ and in larger amounts on your emotional capabilities. With those kinds of numbers, what do we have to lose in building a little emotional muscle? We have everything to gain – and so do your employees.
If you're curious about how to build EQ within your leaders and their teams, reach out. We have learning programs specifically designed toward EQ and trust.