Emotional Intelligence in a Changing World

How does EQ fit today?

Charles Darwin was the first to identify the value of emotions as a critical element in the life. Sweaty palms for nervousness a churning stomach for anxiety and other signals. This moved to something called “social intelligence” in the 1920’s identified by F.L Thorndike. In 1990John Mayer and Peter Salovey di the research that led to “Emotional Intelligence.”

The world got onboard in 1995 when Daniel Goleman published his book “Emotional Intelligence.”

At the core of the book is the following statement:

“We are being judged by a new yardstick. It’s not how smart you are but how you are smart. The technical skills or the business expertise that so often propelled people to the top are not the abilities that make you effective in inspiring people, in guiding people, in coaching people, in developing people, in motivating people.”

In an International Study of 515 senior executives delivered interesting results. An individual’s emotional intelligence was proven to be a better indicator of success than having strong technical skills, previous experience and the standard “IQ (Intelligence Quotient).” Dr. J.P. Pawliw-Fry, who works with Olympic athletes as well executives refers to a study of sixty of the top US entrepreneurs that states – “Fifty-nine of the sixty went with their gut feeling first and then backed it up with rational reason when they made important decisions. The gut feeling is real. I t helps people make better decisions.”

Why am I focused on EI this week you ask?

Emotional intelligence can be developed. It can be learned. It is not like your native IQ. It ties back into emotions. As people we can control our emotions. Tough but it can be done. We can choose to express or repress our emotions. This also affects our health. The good old Type A personality has been shown to have increased risk of heart damages.

So now let’s return to the recent theme in this blog – change and technology. Change creates anxiety and employees need to have a good leader to help them overcome their fears related to this change. Without strong Emotional Intelligence leaders will be confronted with resistance to change and even anger at change in the work place. Don’t forget that it is the change agent – the individual who is bringing the change – who is the guilty party in this path of development and change. They are viewed with animosity generally. It is only through strong and effective leadership can this emotional feeling be overcome.

One of the life issues hat I have dealt with in my personal and professional life is exemplified by the question “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” This best viewed with the decision we made to go into business for ourselves when I was 33 years old. I had a comfortable position and had interesting and challenging work and I worked with talented people in a great Company. Yet it didn’t match what I felt were my skills. I was too impatient, needed more speed in process change and faster growth and development opportunities for my co-workers. But that was a large change. From the comfort and security of a regular income to being completely on your own with the skills and work ethic. I am so grateful that we have the courage to overcome our fears.

How about you?

Are you looking at a process, or a method, or a form or a screen that should be changed? What are you doing to make it change and get better? If the answer is nothing then I want you to ask yourself the same question “what is it that you are afraid of?” The answer can be very revealing and if you can overcome your fear imagine the possibilities. You can make your job, your department, your company and the world around you a better place.

The times have changed and they are still changing and the rate of change is accelerating. What are you waiting for?

The time is now.