Emotional Intelligence – A Driver of Capability?

eqandci2Spring-boarding from our previous post, which focused on team capability and its impact on Continuous Improvement, today’s question references the role of Emotional Intelligence (E.Q.), and its impact on employee capability.

Emotional intelligence is the phrase used to describe the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways.

Examples include:

  • To relieve stress
  • Communicate effectively
  • Empathize with others
  • Overcome challenges
  • Defuse conflict

There are several competencies associated with E.Q., which are often grouped into four major components:

  1. Self-awareness — You recognize your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior; know your strengths & weaknesses; have self-confidence.
  2. Self-management — You’re able to control impulsive feelings and behaviors; manage your emotions in healthy ways; take initiative; follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.
  3. Social awareness — You can understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and recognize the power dynamics in a group or organization.
  4. Relationship management — You know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and manage conflict.

Research shows that organizations led by people with high emotional intelligence tend to have climates in which information sharing, trust, healthy risk-taking, and learning flourish. These teams tend to exhibit a greater level of overall capability as well.

Low levels of emotional intelligence create climates rife with fear and anxiety. Fearful employees may produce a lot in the short term, but over the long run, quality and productivity suffer.

Leaders must be attuned to their own moods and their effect on the emotions of others because emotions are predispositions to actions.

Now that we’ve established the ways in which E.Q. can enhance productivity, our next few posts will focus on how to recognize organizational E.Q., and how to drive it to higher levels.