IQ and EQ - The Power of Emotional Intelligence
By Joanne Bond
Human intelligence is often discussed in terms of IQ (intelligence quotient) points, the ability to reason logically, think critically, and solve problems. But is that the whole picture, or just the tip of the iceberg? Is success ensured with a high IQ, or is there something else entrepreneurs need? Executive leadership coach Joanne Bond agrees with the research, supported by her own experience, that emotional intelligence is a critical part of the equation, and a greater indicator for success than IQ alone. Here, in the first of a three-part series, Joanne shares her thoughts on the power of emotional intelligence.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is "a set of emotional and social skills that influence the way we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges, and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way." (Stein & Book, 2006)
In other words, emotional intelligence is based on emotional self-awareness, knowing yourself inside and out–strengths and weaknesses–and the effect of emotions on you and your relationships, understanding what stresses you, and what makes you happy. Emotionally intelligent people are able to self-manage their behaviors and navigate challenges with the best outcome in mind for themselves and their relationships, despite emotions that may be at play.
Emotions contain data about the feelings you have and the reasons you feel the way you do. Emotional intelligence allows you to use this information to choose your best actions. However, it’s not always easy because emotions can also trigger impulsive responses.
Emotional Triggers Narrow Your Ability
Emotions can get the better of us in difficult situations. If you are stressed about a situation, you have two problems: one is the original problem and the other is the emotion. It is much more difficult to manage a situation when your emotions have been triggered. An emotional response to a difficult situation is often based on established habits, and may not lead to the best outcome.
For example, a customer might be dissatisfied with a product or service you have provided. As an entrepreneur, you care deeply about the offering you have created. It might be easy to feel defensive or even angry that this customer didn’t fully appreciate your product or service. You might place blame for this negative experience on the customer alone. You might refund the money, possibly send a negative comment, and move on with your business. However, if you look more closely at your feelings you might recognize that you actually feel disappointed, confused, and maybe even fearful that your product or service was not liked by your customer. Maybe instead of reacting in anger you take a step back and start asking different questions: Is this the right customer? If so, why is my offering not solving his/her problem? How can I improve my product or service to better meet customer needs? Or should I be looking at a different target market? These are all productive questions on your road to entrepreneurship and may allow you to change direction to be more successful.
Shift Behavior and Show Up as Your Best Self
We can’t control our feelings, and our feelings are important. They contain lots of information about our inner selves. This information can lead to beneficial actions. In other words, when you become aware of your emotions, you can change your behavior. You have the power to influence outcomes with your emotional intelligence and behavior.
With greater emotional intelligence, you can become aware of your triggers and your true feelings in order to choose a different behavior. To do this, you must be able to sharpen your awareness of your emotions and resist acting on impulse. This assures you maximize your chances of replacing emotional reactions, judgments, and assumptions of others with understanding, empathy, and communication, which connect you with others. The ultimate goal is to be your best self as often as possible and to make good decisions with the best possible outcome for you and for your relationships.
While people often think of IQ as the singular measurement of intelligence, EQ, or emotional intelligence, is the piece that allows us to communicate with understanding and empathy, overcoming emotional responses when challenges arise. Emotional intelligence stems from self-awareness, the ability to identify and name our emotions, and manage our behavior to show up as our best selves whenever possible. Strong emotional intelligence allows us to choose our best behavior rather than relying on habitual or emotional responses to stress triggers. IQ and EQ are complementary intelligence systems we can use for better communications in life and business. It’s the combination of IQ and EQ that drives successful interactions.
Up next, we will feature Emotional Intelligence and Your Customers in part two of this three-part series on the power of emotional intelligence for entrepreneurs from executive leadership coach Joanne Bond. We will end the series with EQ and Your Well-Being in the third feature.
About Joanne Bond:
Joanne’s mission is to coach you to become your next, best self by helping you gain the valuable insights you need to choose your most effective actions. Together, we focus on building emotional intelligence through: clear self-awareness; effective self-management, especially under stress; mutually satisfying relationships for championing your business; and fortifying your resiliency through the entrepreneurial journey. Using powerful tools and applying sound theory with a healthy dose of humor, Joanne creates an energizing and compelling coaching process. After all, it's all about YOU! For more information visit https://www.joannebondcoaching.com/ .