Back in the day, everyone used to talk about professionalism. Whether you were aspiring to run a small business or lead a successful team, you were always advised to be professional. Half the time, nobody knew exactly what professionalism meant, but in 1995 a new book was about to make everything crystal clear.
The book “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ” by Daniel Goleman quickly became one of my favorite mentoring guides. It convinced me that emotional intelligence and professionalism are one and the same. Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, is the unseen magic that can transform a mediocre project into something special. It’s essential for motivating a team of diverse individuals to maximize business potential, productivity and profit.
What is EQ?
This is a question I always ask at the start of each new EQ mentoring session. I’m often surprised by how many managers are unaware of the term. There are five elements to EQ:
Everyone, yourself included, has unique skills. When working your EQ, it’s essential to be aware of your abilities. However, it’s also vital, to be honest about your limitations. Reconciling the two extremes is what impacts the effectiveness of your team.
A Shared Goal
From my experience, motivational work with trainee managers usually begins with understanding the concept of a team. In many ways, a team represents a conflict of ideals. Team members are usually chosen for their individualism, resourcefulness and determination. Yet these ambitious traits must be put aside if the team is to develop and succeed.
The principles of EQ must be fundamental to each team member’s outlook. Everyone must understand that the shared goal must become more important than any individual. By adopting EQ’s guidelines, your team should become a coordinated unit, helping each other to overcome their deficiencies and the challenges of a project. According to research by the Hay Group, efficient teamwork improves productivity by 43%.
However, for the manager of a successful EQ driven team, ambition can still make an appearance. A Harvard Business Review article by none other than Daniel Goleman highlighted that 90% of managerial promotions occur because of EQ.
Importance of Self-Control
A recent group of new clients made me realise how many years EQ has been around. Most of them are Generation Z, born in 1997, yet EQ has been around since the early nineties. One of its leading principles is the importance of self-control. It’s what previous generations would have considered a major component of professionalism.
Self-control is essential when you’re working in a team. It’s not just your tasks that are valuable. Everyone is contributing to ensure the project is successful. Displays of irritation, short temper and a desire to be first in the queue must be put to one side.
Remember that in the long-run, self-control within a team brings rewards. Research carried out by TalentSmartEQ discovered that with a high EQ rating you could be bringing more benefits to your company if your team is successful.
Leadership and Conflict Resolution
I have experienced that when teams effectively develop their EQ skills it helps them to achieve greater success within a team. Dealing with high-stress levels when working under pressure is particularly crucial.
Without EQ mentoring, personality clashes can become damaging to your project. It can even lead to accusations between members of incompetence or stupidity. However, a scientific study published by ScienceDirect highlighted that project success relies on 80% EQ skills and just 20% intellect.
Leading a team according to EQ rather than intellectual guidelines boosts productivity and helps achieve success against any other team. Inspirational managers lead by example. They keep their cool when all around them are becoming fractious. The ability to strictly command self-control helps with mediating between team members who are suffering bruised egos. They must be reminded that disputes are not part of the EQ ethic.
In fact, according to a report by PollackPeaceBuilding, American employees waste 2.8 hours every week on disputes with colleagues. It means your project loses a complete day of productive work every single month. EQ training teaches you how to ignore distracting behavior and direct your energy toward the project itself.
Communication and Empathy
Every effective manager should combine discipline with empathy. You need to be strict but fair when dealing with disputes or poor work results. However, most importantly, you need to be approachable. Being able to communicate with your team members can avert many unforeseen issues. According to the American Psychological Association, 25% of employees don’t trust their managers.
This attitude or atmosphere can spell disaster for your team. Display empathy and encourage everyone to be honest about any difficulties they have with your project. With EQ skills, you can help resolve issues quickly and successfully. Sometimes, a task just needs additional explanation to proceed efficiently. EQ motivational training helps put your leadership qualities in perspective.
You need to be seen as an honorary member of the team, working alongside everyone else, while maintaining your authority. EQ teaches you that socializing with your team members after work can help improve your working relationships. When you’re relaxed, you can gain a greater understanding of the different personalities within your team.
Learning EQ Skills
Cornerstone University of Grand Rapids, Michigan, has released data that indicates just 36% of Americans have a natural aptitude for Emotional Intelligence. It means two in three managers need to develop basic EQ skills to stand any chance of success when building a team.
Managers with natural ability can still progress further and faster if they finely tune their EQ skills. An article published by Forbes indicated that 90% of the top executives are proficient in EQ skills. When vacancies appear on the career ladder, EQ skills can help you gain promotion. Fortunately, EQ skills can be learned.
I gained many advantages from learning EQ. It has helped me build a successful career in carer and corporate services, especially in interview coaching. With Emotional Intelligence training, you should benefit from its guiding principles to become a true professional.
Managing the diverse personalities within a team can be a serious challenge. However, EQ should help improve your self-control and understanding, ensuring your team becomes responsive and efficient. With EQ to guide you, your team can be successful, improving productivity, profit and business potential.