How managers use emotional intelligence

If you’re wondering how managers use emotional intelligence, I suppose it depends on how effective those managers want to be. If they want to be top performers, they need to use it well.

All joking aside, there is a strong correlation between how managers use emotional intelligence and their performance ratings. Research in over 200 companies worldwide shows that in middle management positions, 2/3 of the difference between average performers and top performers is emotional intelligence. The news seems to be everywhere, such as this article in Inc. magazine about the best managers using EQ.

The question remains: How do they use it?

The EQ model provides a great foundational framework. It all starts with self-awareness. Managers need to know their strengths, their weaknesses, their personal goals and motivations, and also their behavioral and cognitive styles. The next step is self-management, which is capitalizing on their strengths and knowing where they need help — as well as when to back off. To quote a famous Clint Eastwood movie, a man’s got to know his limitations.

How managers use emotional intelligenceThe second level starts with social awareness – that is, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of everyone one your team. This is a core responsibility of management that is rarely emphasized in management schools. But know that understanding your people doesn’t happen by osmosis. A manager must become a student and strive to learn about the people on his or her team.

As I’ve observed in my 30 years of working with teams and team leaders, those who become students of their people are the most effective managers. Why? Because when they’re aware of each team members strengths, weaknesses, motivators, and their behavioral and cognitive styles, they know how each person performs best.

With that knowledge they can make better assignments and they get problems solved easier. It’s part of the relationship management quadrant of the EQ model.  All of this makes them more productive, effective, and profitable.

Yes – this is how managers use Emotional Intelligence.

Can you see its value?

Isn’t this what we expect from managers? Create productive, effective, and profitable workplaces?

And so, considering how managers use emotional intelligence to create engaged and effective teams, I strongly recommend all managers learn it.

Let me say this, too: If you’re a manager, you’re never too old or too young to learn EQ. The other day I read that you can’t learn EQ after your 40’s. My eyeballs kind of popped out when I read that! I’ve had lots of clients in their 50’s and 60’s who’ve learned EQ and put it to work right away with excellent results.

In closing, let me add that learning EQ is not difficult. I’ve been teaching it for nearly 30 years to a wide variety of people in many industries, and if you want to learn it, you can.

PS. No matter what your age, if you would like to give your EQ a boost, let me recommend my latest book, which I am giving away for free for a limited time – it’s titled 10 Steps for Improving Your Emotional Intelligence, and you get it free by clicking the image below:

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Higher EQ leads to high functioning teams

High functioning teams are more likely to occur when people have strong emotional intelligence. This is not “new” news. When I wrote Creating Passion-Driven Teams ten years ago, I made two important points in the chapter about emotional intelligence:

  1. Studies show that top performers are more likely than average performers to have high emotional intelligence
  2. Emotional intelligence is learnable

I also pointed out that a growing mountain of evidence shows when employees have higher levels of EQ it leads to high functioning teams. And so, it was no surprise to me when I read an article in Psychology Today (titled 10 reasons why teams need emotional intelligence) citing research that found “teams with greater average emotional intelligence have higher team functioning than [did] groups with lower emotional intelligence.”

It’s like there’s a theme going on here.

Some questions for you

As I reflect on this, I feel compelled to ask several questions.

• Are you on a team?
• If so, how is it performing?
• Could performance be better?

After nearly 30 years of EQ coaching as well as almost two decades of teaching emotional intelligence to teams, I’ve received many comments from clients on how emotional intelligence has made a difference for them. Comments like “my teams are more productive” and “I’m a more effective leader” are quite common.

In my book, I point out that one way to improve your EQ and help develop  high functioning teams is to become an expert about the people on your team. Regarding your teammates, ask yourself:

• What are their behavioral tendencies?
• What are the different ways they perceive, process, and make decisions?
• What motivates them?

Following the EQ model, first you should first know these three things about yourself. But when you can answer these questions about your teammates, you have an excellent EQ foundation, which leads to higher performance. Therefore, I urge you: memorize the above list of questions, and learn the answers regarding everybody on your team.

Still, if you want your team to soar, it can’t be just you learning these things. Yes, someone needs to start, and that person might be you. But let me encourage you to also be the spark plug that get other people interested in learning these things. After all, who doesn’t like being on a high-performing team? You can be the spark plug that puts your team in high gear.

The bottom line:

It’s one thing to have a bunch of smart people on your team. It’s something totally different to understand each person’s strengths, blind spots, and preferences, and keep those things in mind. It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with conflict or being creative, if you work with people in ways that appeal to them, team performance is likely to be much higher.

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