Minding Your “Q’s” – Especially your EQ…

emotional quotient

I always keep wondering what “Q” will turn up next — IQ, EQ, MQ, SQ…and so on!

Since emotions often “rule” us, “EQ” – emotional quotient — to me is the stand-out “Q” for success. Someone who has a high degree of emotional intelligence can rise above the rest.

In simple terms, “EQ” (emotional quotient) refers to your ability to monitor your emotions and others’ emotions to facilitate inter-personal behavior. Here’s an example that left an indelible impression on me…

At a training program I attended, the facilitator explained that “EQ” is one of the key differentiating factors between managers and leaders. The trainer shared this war story to make his point.

In a session, one of his trainees (a 50+ year old head honcho-type) argued with him on every point. In exasperation, the trainer told the person, “If you are standing in my shoes, you will understand my point of view!” The man replied that he had been doing exactly that throughout the day. To this, the facilitator testily replied, “Sir, may I remind you that if you are standing in my shoes, you need to first take off your shoes!”

Sometimes, completely unexpected flashes of insight throw one into deep introspection. The senior level “trainee” was stunned by the trainer’s comment. He finally Got It. After the training program was over, the “trainee” told the facilitator he’d wasted a lot of years by refusing to understand others’ feelings. That’s “EQ” for you.

If you want to build your “EQ”, here are some easy to implement steps you might try:

  • Make it a habit to ask co-workers – in our busy professional world — how they are feeling, and be genuinely interested in their answers. Take time to listen to the responses.
  • Try to get to know the “real” person behind the people you work with. Who are the people behind the professional personnas?
    • What motivates them?
    • What discourages them?
    • What are their dreams?
    • What personal obstacles have your co-workers had to overcome to climb the ladder?
  •  Remember colleagues’ birthdays and anniversaries. Make them occasions to remember with small, random acts of kindness.

To succeed professionally, you need to know how to understand, perceive, influence and relate to others’ feelings in an authentic way – you need to be have a good dose “EQ” in your portfolio of “Q’s”  Hope you “feel” good and enlightened!….

About the Author

Gayle Rigione is Ivy Exec’s Chief Community Development Officer. Gayle spent 15 years in diverse relationship management and senior management roles at MasterCard International, Arthur Andersen Strategic Services, and Bankers Trust Company. She earned her MBA from Columbia.