“There’s a hard-wired case for making sure people can manage emotions, and emotional intelligence means being intelligent about emotions. That, I would argue, is as hard a skill as knowing how to write software.”
– Daniel Goleman, author of Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence
Lack of emotional intelligence (EQ) can derail an executive faster than any other workplace issue. Classic emotional failings in a leader, such as poor interpersonal skills, being overly authoritarian and aggressive, and inability to handle conflict elicit fear in followers, rather than engendering respect and devotion.
In a team environment, emotional intelligence becomes even more important. Team members with high EQ are good at influencing people and building consensus. They are believable and trusting, and teammates enjoy their company.
Emotionally intelligent employees tend to be better able to: remain calm under pressure, take leadership roles when warranted, provide better customer service, offer motivational support to colleagues, accept criticism as a learning tool, and admit to mistakes, offering constructive solutions. According to one study, only 10% of terminations are due to technical deficiencies, whereas 90% of employees lose their jobs as a result of attitude and behavioral problems – or difficulties with relationships in the workplace.
Leading Edge uses The Simmons EQ Profile, a tool that screens potential hires and candidates for promotion for 13 characteristics of emotional intelligence. Although no one source should serve as the determining factor in such decisions, it is important to know whether the candidates being considered are actually capable of doing the job you’re asking them to do.
In coaching engagements, the Simmons Profile is helpful in determining the reasons why a particular employee is struggling, and the results are used to identify specific areas that need to be strengthened.