I was interviewed for a leadership program on the subject of emotional intelligence this week. I call it your secret weapon because it is said to account for 80% of your success. You might be surprised to learn that intellect, though important too, actually only accounts for 20%. It is your ability to handle yourself which is what makes the biggest difference and this is what emotional intelligence is about. And the good news is that it helps you in your work and in your personal life too.
The downside of it is that you need to have it to know whether you have it!
There are four main elements to emotional intelligence (or EQ as it is also known):
We are all made up of strengths and weaknesses, undiscovered potential and blind spots. Your best strategy for success is to exploit your strengths, uncover hidden skills (we all have them), open your eyes to your blind spots (we all have those too) and start working on these – and your weaknesses – to make sure they do not become your derailers.
Your biggest enemy in addressing any limitations is denial. If you want to have success, your best friend is your willingness to be open to discovering weaknesses and to work on them.
As the title of this article suggests – you are only as strong as your weakest link. Doing whatever it takes to mitigate against these is good insurance for the future and it will give you a sense of progress and achievement too. It may mean working on yourself (it’s much easier with the support of a good coach) or hiring in talent to make up for any shortfall. All the best teams, according to the principles of Belbin Team Roles require a variety of attributes to achieve success.
Belbin has nine team roles from Shaper (takes the business forward, creating strategy) to Completer Finisher (who puts the strategy into action). One cannot exist fruitfully without the others, otherwise the team is out of balance. Whether you are working on your own or with a team, the same principle applies.
In the 5 Pillars of Success, I look at the dimensions which help to make you successful:
Do you have a clarity of purpose, of mission and of values? Do you have a clear strategy with clear steps to take you there? Can you see clearly enough to prioritise well and delegate effectively to your team or brief your suppliers effectively?
Do you have the skills you need to make you successful? Influencing? Time management? Leadership? Delegating? Presenting? Emotional intelligence? Business skills? Conflict management? What skill do you wish you had more of? What skill do you overplay so that it becomes a problem? Perfectionism? Drive? It’s just as important to see when a strength becomes a weakness as it is to recognise your blind spots.
Are you positive, motivated and solution oriented? Do you possess the personality factors for success? Have you been on my Personality for Success seminar yet? This gives you a great self-assessment tool, or you can book yourself a psychometric profile.
4. Stress Resilience
Are you calm and resourceful under pressure? Do you respond thoughtfully to situations rather than react impulsively, building up more problems for yourself down the line? Do you allow the small things to become big things? Do you take the stresses at work home with you and the stress at home to work with you?
Do you have too much work at the end of your energy? Does your lifestyle or pace impact your health? Do you have adrenal energy or core energy? It is only core energy which is sustainable but few people have this. Are you firing on all cylinders? If you aren’t, nor is your business.
And what weaknesses are there in your business? Do you have the skills, processes and systems in place to run the business effectively and profitably? Do you have a good quality team, performing well and working well together? Are you able to acquire and retain customers who pay well and are happy with your service or product? And are you able to meet your financial targets and obligations?
Remember that no one person can know it all, do it all and be it all. Perfection is not a human condition but it is a destination, one you can travel on your journey of self-development and business improvement.
What one area could you improve which would have the biggest impact for you? If you focus on one thing at a time then you will not risk dropping any of the many balls you are juggling and it is easier to integrate the change.
Why not book an assessment to see where you can best focus your efforts to create the best value? Call me on 0845 130 0854 to discuss your options.
In this A-Z of Business series, we have reached the letter Q. Now, I could have talked about quotas, quoting or questions if I was being a purist. But, if I look at the balance of what’s been written and what’s missing, I think that EQ (Emotional Intelligence) is far more important. Anything which omits this key area of business success is lacking. So I decided to break my own rule and hope that’s OK with you?
In case you haven’t come across this before you may be wondering why it’s called EQ when it refers to Emotional Intelligence (EI)? The Q refers to “quotient” which is the amount of a specific quality or characteristic, in this case, emotional intelligence. But, what does it mean? It is the capacity for self-insight, for understanding and managing your emotions and having empathy for others’. In this way you can better manage your relationships and your stress levels.
It is such an important skill that it is thought to be more important than IQ in helping to get you promoted, in creating sales and in building collaborative effort. Research suggests that it accounts for around 90% of managerial success as opposed to IQ which only accounts for 20%. Not that IQ is not important. Of course, it is. But you need both. The ability to put your knowledge, your expertise, your skills into effect in the most constructive way possible is said to be the difference which creates the successful business person whether you work for yourself of for an organisation.
So, ask yourself:
How well do you respond to setbacks?
How well do you understand people’s different motivations and behaviours?
Do you have a balanced view of your own strengths and weaknesses?
To what extent are you able to control your responses in situations which challenge you?
Are you good at building collaborative relationships?
Could you be described as someone who is level-headed, positive and flexible?
Do you inspire trust?
Do you manage conflict well (rather than avoid it)?
Are you self-motivated?
How good are you at bouncing back when things go wrong?
Emotional intelligence is one of those concepts where you need a lot of it to know you have it. So if your EQ isn’t as high as you think it is, it will almost certainly be inhibiting your progress. To be sure what your level of EQ is, why not book an assessment? It’s well worth it and can put you on track for success like nothing else. Call me on 0845 130 0854.