Many people—and most business leaders—don’t pay much attention to their emotions.
If they do, it’s in a negative sense as they try to take all emotion out of what they do. But, there is a problem with that approach: You can’t do it!
Because emotions are an integral part of who we are, and they greatly affect everything we do. Whether we know it or not. And even if we don’t want them to.
Therefore, it’s to our benefit to recognize the importance of managing our emotions effectively. And, if we do, research shows we will perform better at our job. And make more money!
The Breakthrough of Emotional Intelligence
In recent years, the concept of emotional intelligence (EQ) has taken the leadership world by storm. Derived from surveys of hundreds of thousands of people, it is touted as the #1 predictor of professional success and personal excellence.
What is EQ?
In their best-selling book Emotional Intelligence 2.0, doctors Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves say, “Emotional intelligence is your ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships.”
People around the world have applauded this increased focus on emotions.
Steven Covey pointed out that, “Research shows convincingly that EQ is more important than IQ.” Ken Blanchard “strongly recommends it,” and other sources from Newsweek to the Dalai Lama acclaim its value. Clearly, EQ is an important new tool, perhaps even a performance breakthrough.
According to research, emotional intelligence accounts for 58% of job performance. Over 90% of top performers have high EQ, and they make $29,000 more per year than counterparts. Plus, people can improve their EQ and make gains that have a profoundly positive impact on their lives.
EQ is an important phenomenon. And it is forcing people to pay attention to their emotions.
Managing Our Emotions Requires Self-Awareness
EQ came about after exhaustive study as scientists realized there must be another variable that explained success above and beyond one’s IQ. Emotional intelligence is that critical factor.
Good decisions require more than factual knowledge. They are made using self-knowledge and emotional mastery. In fact, 83% of people who measure high in self-awareness are top performers.
In spite of the wide-spread attention emotional intelligence has received, a global deficit in understanding and managing our emotions remains. For example, only 36 percent of the people tested were able to accurately identify their emotions as they happen.
Among executives, those with the highest EQ scores are the best performers. In fact, EQ is more important to job performance than any other leadership skill.
But, as business people rise beyond middle management, there is a steep downward trend in EQ scores. CEOs on average have the lowest EQ scores in the workplace! Once they reach the top, they actually spend less time interacting with and learning from people on their teams.
It seems clear that emotional intelligence is a skill set that can be learned—and unlearned!
Taking a Step Beyond Emotional Intelligence
Clearly, we must work at managing our emotions. But, there is an additional psychological concept we need to understand that can take us a step beyond EQ: Emotional Well-Being.
Emotional Well-Being takes into account the fact—yes, fact—that each of us is significantly affected by negative circumstances, personal issues, and compulsive behavior.
Simply put, we are all addicted to something.
But, we can acquire the life skills to persevere, remain productive, and prosper and enjoy life in spite of those situations. In effect, there is a “vaccine” we can take to better protect us from negative issues and habits we all encounter.
There are positive steps (from the book STEPS: A Daily Journey to a Better Life) we can take to develop the serenity and resilience to manage our emotions, good and bad, and handle life effectively. Learning these life improvement S-T-E-P-S can help us deal with issues in our lives, move beyond negative situations in our past, and avoid problems we could face in the future.
Understanding and managing our emotions is clearly important, and the research on emotional intelligence proves that to be true. But, it is also critical to accept that we each have personal issues we need to recognize and understand.
Then, take the STEPS necessary to deal with them.
Question: Do you now appreciate the importance of managing your emotions?
Action: Use the web links in blue to learn more about positive STEPS you can take.