Recently welcoming my 2nd child into the world, my wife and I have been preoccupied. Although for a worthy cause, months of self denial and sleep deprivation takes a toll. It also is an amazing takes a toll. It also is an amazing magnification of unfavorable behaviors. We just took a trip together for our first overnight away from the kids for some needed time away. My wife by far deserved the rest more than me, but it was enchanting for each of us none the less. After an amazing weekend, on the morning we left I managed to miscalculate my emotions which triggered an argument. I didn’t understand how this escalated until I considered my motivation. I had lost my self awareness and empathy. My emotional intelligence and leadership was lacking.
Emotional Intelligence and Leadership
The term, emotional intelligence, was first introduced in 1990 by two psychology professors; John D Mayer and Peter Salovey. Emotional intelligence, also commonly refereed to as EQ, is easily defined as the ability to understand your emotions while being empathetic of others. Daniel Goleman outlines 5 components of emotional intelligence.
- Social Skills
As a leader, the behaviors and skills you consider pertinent to success are, in fact, just table stakes. Differentiation comes from developing skills that produce indirect benefit to your goals.
Does it produce?
“Early in your career — whether it’s in banking, law, consulting or accounting — you will discover that all of your colleagues are as smart and hard working as you. You’ll learn that the key to being successful must be something else.” What is James Runde getting at? Without emotional intelligence, you’ll find staggering delays in promotion and recognition. It’s easy to disregard the soft skills and keep your focus on the metrics that matter. Unfortunately, that’s flawed logic. As your greatest asset, your team has feelings, situation, production and satisfaction all drive performance. Only with a keen awareness of the components of emotional intelligence can you truly drive sustained performance. Research conducted by KRW International, “…found that CEOs whose employees gave them high marks for character had an average return on assets of 9.35% over a two-year period. That’s nearly five times as much as what those with low character ratings had; their ROA averaged only 1.93%.” The truth of the matter is emotional intelligence is not a soft skill. It’s a driving force.
You are in denial
Unless you are actively working on emotional intelligence, you are in denial of your own character deficits. That may seem harsh, but, like a turtle on it’s back, it’s impossible to move forward without a little help. Help can be found in all types of places but I’ve found that the best place to look is:
Each of these groups are going to have a different perspective on your gaps. Unfortunately, this isn’t a short term fix. It’s going to take time to establish yourself with each of these groups and get valuable information. A staggering truth that I don’t think many people agree with me on is that things are made not born. This principle applies here. No one is born with great emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence and leadership is forged through time and adversity.
Steps you can take today to forge your Emotional Intelligence and Leadership
1) Find a mentor
2) Design the plan
3) Consider yourself… later
4) Be here now
1) Find a mentor – This one is easier than it seems. Find someone you really admire and aspire to be like. Ask if you can buy them a coffee. When you grab coffee, ask if they would mind if you set up time on a regular basis to meet and see how that goes. Once you have one mentor, find 2 more and repeat.
2) Design the plan – Create your Crafted Design for your life. This will help direct your pursuit of emotional intelligence and focus you. When you have a design for purpose and direction, you will understand how forging this skill is crucial.
3) Consider yourself… later – This one is tricky because it takes the focus off you and your ambitions. Here’s the thing, the more you focus on others, the happier and more fulfilled you will be. Period. It’s not about considering other people better than you or more important that you, its about just considering them first.
4) Be here now – This is an application from #1 as one of my mentors taught me this. Be here now means be present. It means put your damn phone away and listen to the person across from you. Don’t get caught drifting off when you are around other humans, BE HERE NOW!
5) Reflection – Keep a journal, document what you are learning, talk about it, understand it. The path to self-actualisation is reflection
Now go forth and find thy self!