Leaders today have to do more with less. They need to streamline information and processes in the face of increased communication and outsourced talent.
To navigate this kind of environment successfully, you have to work more and through with others. As a leader, you have to make people want to work with you. Understanding people, recognizing their wants and needs and capitalizing on that information effectively requires Emotional Intelligence, no matter where in the world you are. The necessity of human connection is universal.
When I first started to work in Asia, after having spent + 20 years in Europe and the US I felt unsure about how Asian leaders would relate to EQ. I started by doing a series of lectures on EQ to companies, management organizations and universities in Singapore. While the concept of Emotional Intelligence was new to most people, there was a curiosity and an interest that impressed me.
But doing debriefs on the EQi to Asian leaders was the real eye opener! It was a humbling and very emotional experience finding that these leaders shared so many of the same concerns as I had met with US and European leaders.
It is all about people no matter where you are and we all share similar concerns about being accepted, being successful and having good relations with people around us. What varies though from country to country is the awareness of Emotional Intelligence in business settings. The message that it pays to be emotionally intelligent is something we constantly work on communicating – every day! We need to make companies see the direct connection between EI and profit more and more to get the buy-in from executives.
It’s important to remember that there is no relationship between IQ and EQ. IQ is still very fundamental in terms of problem solving, to understanding how to logically address a dilemma. But once you reach that IQ peak and you are an effective problem-solver, it’s all EQ from there. In the workplace, IQ gets you in the door, and EQ gets you promoted. Training and experience and education are important factors, but the biggest impact on success is how leaders interact with other people; their employees and staff and their clients and customers.
One of the strongest attributes of EQ is that it can be developed through quality training and development. Good EQ development is very scientifically-based and grounded in psychological and psychotherapeutic principles that have been proven to work. As practitioners, we work every day to demonstrate how EI works in a business setting and show how these skills are definable and concrete.
An EQ report functions like a blueprint for success – not only for the individual leader, but the organizational culture too. It is scientifically robust and identifies the strengths and weaknesses that a leader brings to the table. Assessments make EQ more real and more applicable for leaders and show that it’s more than soft and fuzzy feelings.