Terry Thompson, Surrey, BC, CYBF Mentor, tthompson15@verizon.net

The term emotional intelligence (often referred to as EQ), is being used more often these days. I would recommend any manager or supervisor read the book Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman. EQ is now more science than theory, as outlined in the research results within this book. For me, the three key conclusions in the book, as they relate to becoming a great manager, are:

  1. People who work for managers with a high EQ are 30 percent more productive;
  2. Greater than 80 percent of a manager’s effectiveness is due to EQ, with less than 15 percent due to IQ.
  3. A person can improve their EQ by identifying their EQ weaknesses and consciously working on their behaviour in these areas. There are credible sources of measuring a person’s EQ (I can provide the name of one should you wish to measure your, or a subordinate’s, EQ). These sources will often also provide guidance as to how a person can improve his/her EQ.

EQ involves a number of personality traits including empathy, confidence, self-awareness, drive, etc., and any detailed discussion is well beyond the scope of these articles. However, I believe that the following traits are critical to the effectiveness of any employee and can be assessed (and discussed with the subordinate), just by properly looking for and observing these traits at work:

  1. Is the person coachable? By coachable, I mean that they welcome constructive criticism and guidance in order to develop themselves and then actually use this guidance to improve (i.e. they actually change behaviour). You don’t have to “walk on eggshells” when discussing areas that need correcting or improving – instead you are totally comfortable in broaching these items with them.
  2. Is the person able to handle change and other stresses on an even-keeled basis, taking these items in stride?  This is a particularly important trait for managers. Life never goes exactly as planned – people who understand this and adjust smoothly to the unexpected are valuable.
  3. Does the person have a passion for great customer service (for both internal and external customers)?
  4. Does the person put the team first rather than strictly individual accomplishments? Many managers make the mistake of keeping an employee who may be very good at their job but has a negative personality that often causes unrest and division within the team or between teams.
  5. Is the person self-reliant?  For example, they are comfortable in getting the job done where they have the capability to do so without needing excessive hand-holding, but will ask for help when they genuinely need it.

It probably also makes sense to assess your own EQ in the above areas. This can be done via self-evaluation and obtaining feedback from your boss, subordinates and peers.

Should you have any questions or feedback regarding the content of this article please email me at tthompson15@verizon.net ©

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