Lately, there has been a lot of press about the importance of emotional intelligence for successful entrepreneurs and leaders.
- Recent reports indicate that applicants to Yale’s School of Management will be tested on their emotional intelligence.
- An entrepreneur and investor with a Harvard MBA published an article in Forbes magazine about the importance of getting an “emotional education” in addition to a traditional education.
- Daniel Goleman, author of the groundbreaking book Emotional Intelligence, posted an article on LinkedIn with 9 different questions to help you evaluate your own emotional intelligence.
So what is emotional intelligence and why should leaders cultivate this skill?
Emotional Intelligence (know as “EQ”, as opposed to “IQ”) is the ability to recognize and control your emotions and then pick up on the emotions of those with whom you are interacting in order to influence and work effectively with them. It’s the ability to express the appropriate emotions at the appropriate time.
This psychological model was introduced in 1990 by Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer and popularized by science writer Daniel Goleman in his groundbreaking work, Emotional Intelligence (1995). Emotional Intelligence has been called ” a revolutionary, paradigm-shattering idea” (Harvard Business Review) since it is strongly correlated with success.
Having high EQ is the way to get buy-in from the people with whom you are dealing and get them to listen, be engaged and inspired to follow your lead. Research has shown that having high EQ is a better indicator of success than having a high IQ. That is why it is such an important leadership skill The great thing about EQ is that it is a skill set that you can develop to make you a more effective leader. Let’s take a closer look.
EQ involves four underlying sets of skills, two having to do with your own emotions and two having to do with the emotions of those around you: