Coaching Corner: Emotional Intelligence

“Anyone can become angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way – this is not easy.”

At the beginning of this year, I received a certification in Reuven Bar-On’s EQi Emotional Intelligence Assessments. As a coach, I have used the individual and 360° assessment tools with my clients as a way to accelerate the identification of emotional competencies that create success, and those that have the potential to become derailers. The individual self-assessment tool is a quick way to jump start in-depth discussions, and create personal learning plans to move toward greater success and satisfaction in one’s work and personal life. The 360° feedback tool’s purpose is to deepen an individual’s insight based on the perception of their friends, family members, colleagues, and/or a boss’s view of their emotional competencies. The desired outcome is always to deepen self-awareness and create action plans that lead to enhanced personal well-being.

While there has been extensive research on Emotional Intelligence over the past twenty-five years, many are still unclear about what EQi is, and what makes it relevant in today’s world. Some might ask, “What is Emotional Intelligence and how does it differ from the intelligence measurement we are most familiar with, IQ?” The answer lies in understanding the difference between cognitive and non-cognitive capabilities. An IQ test measures an individual’s intellectual, analytical, logical, and rational capacities and places an emphasis on verbal, spatial, visual, and mathematical abilities. The average individual will score about 100 on an IQ test. While a high IQ can be a predictor of success, it is not the only predictor. We likely all know of brilliant, highly intelligent individuals that struggled to have the level of success one might expect. Inversely, we can recall friends or colleagues of average intelligence that found enormous business and/or personal success. “It is important to understand that emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence, it is not the triumph of the heart over the head-it is the unique intersection of both (Caruso).”

“Emotional Intelligence (EQi) is the ability to perceive emotions; to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought; to understand emotions and emotional knowledge; and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth (Salovey and Mayer).” It is the ability to understand what is going on for us emotionally and to read what is going on with others. Emotional Intelligence has been described as street smarts, or an instinctual awareness of what is needed in the moment. We know that great leaders inspire us. In Daniel Goleman’s book, Primal Leadership, he says, “Great leadership works through emotions. No matter what leaders set out to do-whether it’s creating strategy, or mobilizing teams to action-their success depends on how they do it. Even if they get everything else just right, if leaders fail in this primal task of driving emotions in the right direction, nothing they do will work as well as it could or should.”

So, if you suspect you have an opportunity to become a more intuitive leader that inspires others by using emotion as well as intellect, consider completing the Emotional Intelligence Assessment and scheduling a debriefing/coaching session. You will find the assessment on the X2ponents website under our Resource Library.