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The Top 4 Things Leaders Should Know About Emotional Intelligence

Even if you think you've got EQ covered, make sure you grasp these key concepts

Source | | Wanda Thibodeaux

If there’s one soft skill companies are looking for in both leaders and teams, it’s emotional intelligence or emotional quotient. That’s largely because EQ can dramatically influence our ability to interact effectively with others and thus has a direct influence on the wellbeing and productivity of the entire group. So unsurprisingly, your grasp of EQ should go deeper than what you hear at the water cooler.

To break down what’s most important or not well-known about EQ, I turned to Kerry Goyette, Certified Professional Behavior Analyst and Certified Forensic Interviewer. Goyette is also the author of The Non-Obvious Guide to Emotional Intelligence and has established an evidence-based approach that develops emotional intelligence in the workplace.

Here are the top things any leader should know about EQ:

1. EQ, decision-making and adaptation go hand in hand.

People sometimes believe that EQ is simply a high ability to accurately recognize what others are feeling. But Goyette explains that, from a neuroscience perspective, EQ is the intelligent use of emotion to make better decisions and more effectively adapt to our environment–that is, it’s a process of properly applying the recognition of feelings to then select context-appropriate responses that benefit you, others or both.

What’s more, Goyette says, you should ditch the myth that EQ is simply a “nice to have” trait or something to work on “when you have time.” Because most everyday decisions are made in the emotional centers of the brain, and because your ability to socially connect and bring out the best in others determines how good of a leader you’ll be, you shouldn’t wait to develop emotional intelligence. You need EQ right now to reach your full potential.

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