How would you rate your emotional intelligence lately?
It’s a relevant question for a few reasons. First, as the research Daniel Goleman brought forward two decades ago demonstrated, EQ (emotional intelligence) is a far greater predictor of leadership effectiveness than IQ.
Second—and this is the fun part—emotional intelligence can be learned. It’s not genetic, and pretty much anyone can get better at it.
Your emotional intelligence (or lack thereof) is already affecting far more than you think at work and at home. It explains:
-Why you have conflict and when you have conflict.
-Why people like working with you or don’t.
-Why you never seem to get the promotion you’re hoping for—or why you do.
-Why there’s so much drama in your life, or why things actually go quite smoothly.
So how emotionally savvy are you?
I personally had a lot of growing to do in emotional intelligence over the years in leadership, and I’m still working on it.
Here are five EI hacks that can immediately improve your leadership. They’ve certainly helped improve mine.
1. Become a student of how you impact others
Ever wonder what happens when you walk into a room?
It’s a strange question in some respects because you’ve never been in a room that you’re not in.
You impact the climate of every room you’re in. In fact, as a leader, you almost always change the climate. But is it for the better or worse?
Do people tense up when you walk in? Do they clam up? Are they glad to see you? Afraid of you? Thrilled that you’re there?
Is your spouse glad to see you, or does he or she worry you’ll just have one more thing to complain about when you get home?
Many people have no idea how to honestly answer that question.
What makes it even more complicated is the fact that insecure leaders are usually too afraid to get answers to that question. And if you’re an angry or defensive leader, I promise you your team is afraid to give you an answer to that question.