While IQ-Intelligent Quotient measures cognitive ability, EQ-Emotional Quotient measures the emotional capabilities of individuals. Climbing the ladder of success in any career can be a happy and fulfilling experience, and equally, it can be sad and frustrating. whichever it is, emotions come into play.
Many organisations have become more conscious of, and have taken serious, who is employed, in terms of other capabilities apart from technical competence. Candidates are now further subjected to extensive battery of tests to rate emotional competence.
Development of people skills and relationships is a build up of communication and networks. The dynamics of the networks in the work environment has a lot of impact on achievement. Researches in the USA have shown that managers with better people skills, for instance in communication, responsiveness, guidance and coaching, get better performance from the people they manage.
Before Daniel Goleman, who is the major proponent of the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EI), in a book in 1995, Jack Mayer and Peter Salovey in 1989 had discussed EI in an article whose content can be summarised as follows:
identify emotional traits,
understand how emotion works, and
Goleman of course widened the scope of the subject matter and expressed the concept in terms of competences, which are broadly put as:
- personal competencies - from self awareness to self regulation and
- social competences- basically social skills.
To internalise the content of EI, I approached it through an acronym A.G.E. Apart from the fact that it reminds me that one need this skill more as one grows older in the work life, it sums up EI coincisely.
A - Articulation of the understanding of self. This is self awareness regarding prefences and motivations. This exercise will definitely require a SWOT analysis of self. Investigation would include status on
- self control and self management,
- adaptability- flexibility in handling change, and
- initiative - reaction to opportunity.
G -Gregariousness. Emotional content of others are identified, reviewed, understood in context. Get to know others, knowing that this is not just about being nice or friendly.
Identify their distinguishing traits and archive them for reference.
How well you can understand the cues received from others in your immediate or extended networks promotes bonding.Verbal and non verbal cues are what can be mostly noted here and considerations of their literal and implied meanings can be impactful.
At this stage relationships to others are carried out guided by what is learned to be thier emotional traits and reactions to circumstances or situations.
E - Expression is to give a voice to one's memory and direct or guide action as required. Expressing oneself is basically communicating and communication is a two way system, if it is to be effective. The aftermath of what is learned from self and others is exhibited behaviorally in the day to day relationships with them.
These reflections can be seen in the level of influence emotionally intelligent people have on others, reaction to instructions given by them, respect shown to them and considerations in actions taken towards them.
Relevance of EI to workplace.
The awareness of one's and others' emotions can only be necessary in a work situation for reasons of managing people well and for motivation.
Managers equipped with EI are very understanding, seen to be well adjusted, well comported and are easy role models. An EI compliant manager's plan of work will stem from a review of strengths and weakness of colleagues.
Team work dynamics will thrive very well.
Negotiation and conflict resolution skills are sharpened as EI level rises.
Professionals with good leadership skills are rated high in EI. Good leaders are so referred to because they are primarily influencers.The ability to influence others can only come from understanding dispositions of the significant others involved. Leaders with good EI are often described as sensitive.
Researches have shown linkages between EI and improved job performances, and EI and improved team work.
Just as individuals have varying levels of intelligence, the same it is with EI. It has also been agreed by several scholars that EI can be learned through well monitored training by professionals.
It is noteworthy that EQ cannot replace IQ, but having noted that, an employee with a good blend of both, that synergy -core technical competence and emotional intelligence - will give birth to a creation for resounding achievement and trail blazing success.