Leadership Strength - The Emotional Quotient vs. Intelligence Quotient?

Few would argue high IQs can have significant life-long value. But have you ever met the person known to have a high IQ but little to no “people” skills? It’s difficult to describe these types of individuals other than they simply appear as “socially awkward”, by virtue of their IQ, these gifted people often find themselves as a leader of a company – usually as a result of something they invented or a company they launched. On the other hand, you most likely have also crossed paths with the individual who seems to have the “it” factor when it comes to “people” skills. These individuals are usually people magnets, they appear to be natural leaders. There’s no rule to this gifted person respective to IQ, but there’s certainly something going on that most people simply can’t define. However, there may be an explanation worth exploring. Let’s start with a definition of Emotional Quotient, frequently referred to as EQ or Emotional Quotient Indexing(EQI) (aka- Emotional Intelligence(EI)) – a method which is quickly being adopted to reduce the risk of a newly hired candidate in a critical position.

EQ is defined as an individual’s awareness that emotions can drive our behavior and impact people (positively and negatively), and learning how to manage those emotions – both our own and others – especially when we are under pressure.

Any leadership position will almost always require employee and peer management – either directly or indirectly. The individual with a high EQ can connect and pivot almost intuitively, regardless of how sensitive a situation may appear. The more highly charged the situation, the more adaptive the high EQ person will engage. Why? They have a conscious awareness, or an empathy, of how a situation is emotionally affecting a person or even a group of people. It’s through this “connection”, they’re able to appropriately react and respond to each unique interaction.

In a recent University of Florida study, having “emotional intelligence increases a professional’s chances of being more accepted by teams and considered for future leadership positions.” Many experts also believe a person’s EQ may be more important than their IQ, and may be a better predictor of future success. There are 5 leadership styles associated with EQ, and sometimes, the best leaders are those that can incorporate many styles as the situation warrants:

  1. Visionary- A leader capable of inspiring people by focusing on long-term goals. To be effective, they must be able to listen to the values held by the individual employees within the group, and can explain the overall goals of the organization in a way that wins over their support.
  2. Coaching- Or, leadership by delegation. A task is given out to the employee with the expectation that they will be responsible for its completion to the benefit of the company’s success. Coaching leaders have strong listening skills, often applied in one-on-one settings with employees, to help establish not only a rapport and trust, but also to use this skill set to help employees work out for themselves how their performance is essential, and where they can improve.
  3. Affiliative- This is the style of leadership that creates a warm, people-focused working environment. An affiliative leader also uses their listening power to discover employees' emotional needs, and strives to honor and accommodate those needs in the workplace.
  4. Democratic- Leadership that gets input and commitments from everyone in the group. When a stalemate is reached on how to proceed, these leaders garner fresh ideas by listening to everyone's opinions and information, and moves forward on the consensus ideas.
  5. Pacesetting- Leadership that sets ambitious and sometimes lofty goals, and continually monitors progress toward the completion of those goals. They know how and when to congratulate and applaud the extra effort – triggering immediate appreciation by those in charge of the aggressive tasks.

Most people will lean toward one or two of the traits above, the individual that has honed their EQ skill sets will be able to shift between leadership styles based on the current needs of the business, the team, and the individual. The best part of EQ, unlike IQ, it can be a learned behavior with a little bit of coaching and a willingness to be open to introspective feedback. It’s not easy, but it’s achievable, and worth the effort.

The best candidates for hiring a business coach are your successful business owners and sales people. They have the drive to achieve more, but know that with a business coach, they can do so quicker than trying on their own. Want to learn more about the value of leadership coaching? Let’s schedule time to connectJack Belford, FocalPoint


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