How Important is Emotional Intelligence Anyway?
I had the opportunity to see John Mackey (Co-CEO of Whole Foods) speak about his new book, Conscious Capitalism, a few weeks ago. I was inspired by much of what he had to say, but particularly impressed by his multiple references to the importance of emotional intelligence (EI) in an organization. A few days later, I read a great Harvard Business Review blog highlighting Governor John Hickenlooper’s thoughts on leadership which also mentioned emotional intelligence attributes as fundamental to success. These two leaders have achieved great financial prosperity in their businesses, yet attribute most of their success not to great strategy or financial acumen, but to components of EI. As I reflect on my own successes and failures, I can attribute most of them to either the strong use of or issues in my own EI.
Several Components: EI is made up of several components as shown in this figure. The great thing about it is that each component is a set of behaviors and behaviors can be changed!
Most people, teams and organizations excel in some of these and need improvement in others.
Improving EI: When working on EI, it is important to work on only 2-3 components at a time. Awareness of self and others is really the key to strong emotional intelligence. Many individuals and teams are tempted to jump to working on relationship management right away, but without awareness it is very hard to manage ourselves and our relationships in the most effective manner.
Great leaders know that emotional intelligence is truly the key to business and life success. They also know how hard we have to work to improve our own and our organization’s EI.
InSight provides individual and team coaching on emotional intelligence, skill building workshops and speaking engagements for organizations. We’d love to help you and your organization!
“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”
– Daniel Goleman