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In recent weeks, the team of Contagious Companies has had so much fun working with a multitude of leadership clients. And interestingly, whether providing coaching, training, or online leadership learning, emotional intelligence has been the predominant theme of most conversations. Why, you might ask? Simply stated, emotional intelligence impacts all facets of leadership. It has the potential to change communication, improve engagement, alter methods for motivation, and pretty remarkably increase the value of a leader’s coaching efforts. However, what is so often the case and the focus of much of our training, is not just the knowledge of EQ, but how to actually use this information. Leaders’ must ensure their knowing is showing for that new knowledge to make any difference. Does yours? Here are three ways to ensure it does.
It may first have value to clarify exactly what’s being talked about when the words Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, is used. Defined on the great Google, EQ is “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.” Yet, as many a leader may attest, having the capacity to understand such control and expression is far different than actually using the skill. As a leader, your knowing shows if you are actively seeking to understand what other’s need and the way in which they hear or interpret things. Your knowing is showing if you are practicing in interactions that require the greatest amount of awareness, empathy, and understanding. Where it pays to get most clear is in believing and embracing the idea that the concept of emotional intelligence and having a clear understanding of what it is, is an intellectual exercise. Using the concepts in action is an emotional exercise. One might argue that in order for your knowing in this area to continue showing, one might have to actually care about how they come across and how they connect with others.
Apply it Personally
One of the more fun ways to share with a leader the key attributes of their personality is by applying it personally. Who wouldn’t pay much closer attention when one talks through how this knowledge and action could affect one’s home life, children or family. Anecdotally, there are some fun statistics that say a very high percentage of the time, a family of four will occupy one of each naturally in a standard four quadrant model for personalities. Would you find it more relevant, more compelling to practice if you knew the application (or showing your knowing) of emotional intelligence skills and understanding could finally assuage parental guilt and clarify why you get along great with one child and are convinced the other one is adopted? Impacting one’s personal life can create powerful motivation to them then using the knowledge, capacity, awareness, and understanding to then practice with their work team and in the workplace.
Maintain Grace and Graciousness
The subject line of this Monday Moment, “Does Your Knowing Show”, might lead one to believe the focus is on how to avoid being cocky or arrogant. There is an element of that to be considered. Many of our clients have admitted to knowing people who think they act one way and actually behave in quite another. Connect the two together and you could easily work with someone who is unaware, even in light of your own clarity around their behavior, and it seems not matter what is done, getting through is not an option. Maintain your position of grace and graciousness. In other words, keep your flippin’ composure. People come to this knowledge at a time in their lives when it’s most needed usually and it could be that right now is the time in which you need the most practice in this area. It doesn’t mean the other is lacking, it simply means they’re not at the same place in this particular area of awareness and understanding. Not only does the definition of emotional intelligence mention empathy, the application of these concepts in ways that cause your knowing to show most effectively, requires it.
Emotional intelligence impacts all facets of leadership. It can serve as a foundation for all that is and all that it means to be a better leader. If you’ve not read up on this material since 1985 when it became main stream and most popular, perhaps it’s time to reexamine just how much of your knowing is used and shows.
I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Have great week, an even better Monday, and of course, stay contagious!