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August 8, 2014

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

            Over the past few decades thoughts on leadership have changed drastically. In the past, individuals may have been given leadership roles based on seniority or knowledge of technical skills. However, as a younger generation has been slowly introduced into the workforce, expectations of leaders have changed. While previous generations may have chosen one career to stick with for decades, the newest generation tends to shop around for a career where they feel more fulfilled as an individual.

There have been many changes in our society that have been completely undeniable. Technology and social media have made a huge impact on the way the next generation does business. In fact, you can even get customer service support through Twitter now, which would have been unbelievable even twenty years ago! (Can you imagine trying to explain your service issues to someone in 140 characters or less?)

Along with the changes in technology and the job market, the expectations of leaders in our culture have also changed. For past generations it might have been acceptable for leaders to be more autocratic, allowing no space for individual creativity or innovation. Now it seems that the most effective leaders are people who have mastered the art of thinking of others first, and have learned to leverage the strengths of their team members.

It seems that one of the greatest predictors of success in leadership has become Emotional Intelligence (EI). This is a topic that might sound familiar, but hasn’t always been a focus for leaders in years past. Building Champions, a leadership coaching company founded by Daniel Harkavy, has posted an overview explaining EI and how it is measured, which is known as Emotional Quotient (EQ). You can find that video on their YouTube Channel by following this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx8r4fZxVFo.

In this video, Leadership Coach Bob Noack defines EI as the capacity to perceive, assess, and manage the emotions of self, and of others. The significance of EQ as mentioned by this video, is that unlike personality tests or IQ, EQ can actually grow and change over time. Throughout this video, Coach Bob discusses the five dimensions that are measured in EQ, and they are as follows:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Self-regulation
  3. Motivation
  4. Empathy
  5. Social Skills

As you may have noticed, the first three dimensions of EQ are Intrapersonal, meaning that they relate to how a person processes internal emotions and day-to-day events. The last two are measuring Intrapersonal Skills, which gauge how a leader interacts with others. Next week, I will summarize the five dimensions of EQ here on the blog.

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