Key Learning Outcomes

  • Define ā€œemotional intelligenceā€ as the level of awareness of your own and other peopleā€™s emotions.
  • Understand that emotional intelligence is a key skill requirement for those in leadership roles, and is equally important in large and small businesses where you need to lead by example and develop your teamā€™s emotional intelligence skills.
  • Learn about the key dimensions of emotional intelligence as defined by psychologist, Daniel Goleman.
  • Identify how you can of improve your level of emotional intelligence.

Article

We have all worked with someone who seems to rub everyone up the wrong way, or someone who always seems to say the wrong thing at the wrong time, but fails to recognise it. Usually these types of people lack what is known as ā€œemotional intelligenceā€ or EQ. EQ has nothing to do with how smart you are or how well you can technically do a job; EQ is about how aware you are of your own and other peopleā€™s emotions, and understanding how the way that you deal with emotions can affect others.

There have been many academic studies on EQ over the past few decades but the best-known work is by psychologist, Daniel Goleman. He outlines a framework for the stages of EQ and outlines how we can work to improve our level of EQ. Many large organisations now look to a high level of EQ as an essential skill when hiring for positions where interpersonal skills are required, such as leadership roles. In small businesses we often work in close-knit groups and the impact of one or two people can have significant ramifications through the entire organisation. It is important as a leader to work on your own EQ skills so you lead through example, and to understand how you can work with your team to improve their EQ skills.[wlm_ismember]

Dimensions of EQ

Self-awareness

People with a high level of EQ tend to be very self-aware. They understand the meaning of their own emotions and do not let them get out of control. People with a high level of self-awareness are able to look inwards and acknowledge their own strengths and weaknesses and use this as a basis for self-improvement.

Self-management

Self-management is the ability to not just understand our emotions but the ability to manage them. People with a high level of self-management keep their impulses in check and they do not make rash or careless decisions based on emotion. People with a high level of EQ are able to use their positive emotions to motivate others and likewise are able to suppress negative emotions when necessary.

Social awareness

Social awareness is the ability to perceive and understand othersā€™ emotions. Having empathy is essential to having a high level of EQ. It is the ability to recognise and understand the feelings of others even when they are not obvious, that enables you to understand how someone might feel in a certain situation. This is an essential skill when managing a team as you need to be aware of how groups or even the entire company might be feeling.

Relationship management

In this dimension of EQ you are managing other peopleā€™s emotions. It may be dealing with someone who is troubled by an issue outside of work, or motivating a group to perform a difficult task or helping a new member of the team to feel welcome. As a small business owner this is an essential skill when dealing with employees who are under pressure or with a customer complaint or conflict.

Hierarchy of the dimensions

Goleman ranks the four dimensions in a hierarchy with self-awareness at the lowest level. This makes sense, as without self-awareness you cannot move onto the other higher dimensions such as self-management. Relationship management is at the highest level as it relies on the other three dimensions. To be aware of and manage other peopleā€™s emotions, you need to be aware of and in control of your own emotions.

Improve your EQ

Like almost anything with a little time and effort we can work to improve our EQ. The most important step is to be aware of how emotions can create havoc in a small business if they are not managed well.

As a business leader it is essential to work on developing a high level of EQ. This will allow you to not only manage those around you more effectively but also assist those around you to build on their levels of EQ. The benefits of having a high level of EQ are felt far beyond the workplace. People with high levels of EQ tend to have happier and more harmonious personal lives as well.[/wlm_ismember]

[wlm_nonmember]Would you like to see the whole article?

OneDollarOffer

Would you like to start driving positive changes in your business? Would you like to see increased productivity and profitability? Of course you would!

As part of our commitment to being a low cost yet highly effective service to help owners and managers of small to medium sized business, we are now offering the first month of your membership for just $1! This means you will get full access to all of the learning articles, tools and tips that our website has to offer and with a commitment to upload at least another 150 learning articles through 2015 there is also plenty more learning on the way. On top of this you will also receive our weekly newsletter to keep you updated on new learning for the week and much, much more!

You can cancel at any time, however,Ā if you see the value in what we’re offering (and we’re sure you will!) your membership will automatically continue after your trial at the low cost of just $19.95 per month. So what are you waiting for? For just $1 you areĀ getting full access to all of our content for 30 days risk-free, so come on and join our community today![/wlm_nonmember]

 

Success is giving it your Absolute Best!