64: Learn to Lead: Ten Essential Skills Every New Leader Must Master: Emotional Intelligence

Our new series is based on input from my listeners and my own journey of leadership.  I am not going to tell you ahead of time what all the letters stand for, that is up to you to gather as you listen!

First, some great listener feedback:

Now remember that as people are sending in feedback on this series and what qualities leaders need to master, I am sending out coupon codes for my audio books. Here are two great ones:

Chris in Germany:  Just got this yesterday!
“Hans, A new leader must know who they are, AND who they aren’t. They must understand themselves in order to lead others. Without this, the new leader will make the same mistake over and over again.”

And this from Joe:
“In answer to the question, conscientiousness is the skill every budding leader must master before being able to lead effectively. The ability to know one’s self, as well as what others are perceiving about us, is paramount to understanding if and when to move forward with a proposed plan or how to go about engaging with the varying personalities that compose a team.”

Both of these great pieces are perfect segue into our topic today: Emotional Intelligence.

Today we are going to cover the “E” in leadership.  It stands for EQ, or Emotional Intelligence.  It is also known by EI or EQ.  I am going to use EQ.

I had one of my listeners recently say this to me about my podcast. “It’s not really just about leadership, it’s about being a healthy person.” I loved that feedback. Really that’s what emotional intelligence is all about, it’s about being a healthy person as a healthy leader. Thank you Jordan in Lyle, IL.

Emotional Intelligence counts for twice as much as IQ and technical skills combined. According to research, performance success is one-third IQ and two-thirds EQ.

Emotional Intelligence is known as one of the “soft skills” of work and leadership, which include things like being able to connect with people, to look them in the eye when speaking, or to be able to walk into a crowded room and connect with others without shying away into the corner. Traditionally when being evaluated for a job managers tend to look for hard skills such as experience performing a task, where you went to school, etc.

“I confess, during my years as a CEO, I was not in touch with my EQ like I should have been and it got me in some rough waters.  I have three degrees including a doctorate, but that is mostly head knowledge.  I struggled with personal relationships with my team.  It has a lot to do with my personality.  I realize now how important it is for all of us leaders to get the feedback we need from our peers to find our blind spots.  That is the road toward emotional intelligence.” (EQ).

In this episode, I have two examples of leaders we had to let go because of EQ issues. The both had an abundance of IQ,  but were missing EQ.

What do you do about it?

  1. Teach your team about EQ.  Study it together.
  2. Perform Team evaluations. But be careful!
  3. Exercise confrontation and a developmental plan.
  4. Release of people when there is not major improvement

In determining fitness for hiring, or incompetency once hired, many employers focus on the so-called hard skills, including indicators such as aggressiveness, follow-through, speed, being fast and persistent.  While these are important issues in hiring, training, and equipping employees, they are by no means the only or even the most important factors. Incorporation of so-called soft skills may be of equal importance in determining the types of people to seek to represent an organization. These skills are defined as creativity, listening skills, team skills, being open to criticism, and being team players  as well as areas of “Personal Competence” (self-awareness, self-management) and “Social Competence” (Social Awareness, Relationship Management)  and constitute an individual’s emotional intelligence (EQ).  It is possible that “people can improve their EQ and make lasting gains that have a profoundly positive impact upon their lives.

EI or EQ is a key part of soft-skills, which are vital to personnel in any organization. People’s shortcomings or deficiencies often relate to the soft-skills arena, rather than something they are trying to accomplish with their hard skills. Leaders and workers would be well-served to follow the example of Christ in His knowledge of himself and others. We need to exhibit knowledge of finesse, subtlety, appreciation of our own blind spots, dynamics in a room, and profound awareness of ourselves and others. When trying to accomplish a goal, being aware of people, process, and product, and not just the final product, is of vital importance. Getting to a final goal, while ignoring processes or running over people in the course of seeking an objective, does not produce the best result.

That is why soft skills are so important and why their use is mandatory. Research on soft skills, and especially EI, comes primarily from the secular world with few writings coming from or applying to the Christian world.  At the very least, Christian organizations should be on a par with secular organizations in this arena. Christ is our example.

EQ skills must be developed in leaders and, in fact, all workers.  The 21st-century will be a century in which companies focus on soft skills such as EI. This will give them the upper hand in all of these arenas.

Dr. Mick Ukleja has a great EQ quiz on his site. Take his quiz for free on his website and check out his EQi model: http://leadershiptraq.com

Books on EQ
1. Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box – The Arbinger Institute
2. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 – Bradberry, Travis and Jean Greaves
3. Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality – De Mello, Anthony
4. Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence – Goleman, Daniel, Annie McKee, and Richard E Boyatzis
5. Immunity to Change: How to Overcome it and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization – Kegan, Robert and Lisa Laskow Lahey
6. The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal – Loeher, Jim and Tony Schwartz

Emotional Intelligence is made up of 5 skill sets: (From Leadeshiptrasq.com)

  1. Self-perception,
  2. Self-expression,
  3. Interpersonal dimension
  4. Decision-making
  5. Ability to manage stress

Developing these skill sets will affect how you manage your behavior, navigate social complexities and make personal decisions that will achieve positive results.

Four action points:

  1. Take EQ quiz at leadershiptraq.com
  2. Read a good book on EQ – check out the six on my podcast notes page at HF.COM
  3. Perform team evaluations – Since Emotional Intelligence includes reality testing, it would be helpful to seek validation from your peers, co-workers, friends and family members. How do others see you? Feedback from others is essential for personal growth.
  4. Listen to Podcast Episodes 31 and Episode 42 with Henry Deneen who did his dissertation at Denver Seminary on EI.

Conclusion:

The E in leadership is for Emotional Intelligence.  Next week’s podcast is brought to you by the letter “A”.  Sounds a bit like Sesame Street!!!   The “A” in Leadership stands for Accessibility and Vulnerability.

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