Emotion is information. Emotion contains important data related to our thoughts, attitudes, beliefs and actions. Therefore, every decision, strategy, product, team and customer is influenced by emotional intelligence or the lack thereof by an organization. That's why investing in emotional intelligence training consistently yields great returns, up to 1000%. And therefore, being able to read emotions, your own and others' emotions, will make you a more effective leader.

What is Emotional Intelligence or EQ? Conceived by author and science journalist Daniel Goleman, EQ can be compared to traditional intelligence or IQ. However, EQ refers to how smart we are with human connection. It indicates how effectively we manage ourselves and our relationships. Studies show that EQ is more than twice as predictive of performance than IQ and represents 80-90% of the competencies that distinguish top performers from the rest.

As a leader, there are three levels of responsibility for developing emotional intelligence.

You must develop your own emotional intelligence. Your role is also to develop this skill in others, especially those who report to you. EQ accounts Moreover, as a leader you have the responsibility to make your organization more emotionally intelligent.

Let's first take a look at the brain science of EQ to get a basis for how to do this.

The Science of Emotions

Between the core and the periphery, the brain has three layers of increasing sophistication. The central and most basic level is the reptilian brain. Its function is linked to our survival. The reptilian brain constantly reads our environment for signs of danger, and when it senses them, the amygdala begins the "fight or flight" response. This literally shuts down other parts of our brain function, including the limbic or emotional brain and the neocortex or executive center, which allows for logical analysis and effective decision making. It also causes many other physical changes to prepare the body for battle.

This would be fine if the amygdala only fired when we were in real danger, such as in a car accident or robbery. The problem is that our own personal history shapes our amygdala and what it sees as "danger".

For example, I was attacked by a dog in my twenties. For a few years, my amygdala started every time I saw a dog, even dogs I knew and loved. The fight or flight response was beyond my control and frankly, problematic at times.

Humans can also ignite our amygdalas. If your co-worker reminds you of someone who has harmed you, your amygdala may go off every day. A more subtle response from the amygdala can deliver a consistently high-pitched warning signal. You may feel this like a knot in your stomach or a clenched jaw. It's called the "amygdala hijack" and it literally renders us incapable of any kind of intelligent action, emotional or otherwise, for a short period of time until our entire brain comes back online.

How does this relate to emotional intelligence lead? The amygdala hijack actually lowers both EQ and IQ, causing us to engage in behaviors that we later regret. For example, a normally professional colleague gets heated and yells at the team – the fight response. Or a usually confident colleague is withdrawn during a meeting – the flight response.

The neurobiology of our emotions is at the heart of so many challenging situations such as miscommunication, conflict, bad decision-making and withdrawal. If you can spot the hijack, both in yourself and others, you can better manage and spread potential problems before they have a long-term impact.

Increase Your Emotional Intelligence

The good news is that with the right information and exercises, you can increase your EQ and that of your team, making you a more effective leader.

Four main components comprise EQ, in terms of personal and relational competence. They are self-awareness, self-control, awareness of others and relationship building. Within these components are 20 competencies, such as accurate self-assessment, appreciation for diversity, adaptability, and influence building.

Focusing on the competencies ( Figure 1 ), you can increase the skill and frequency of EQ in your organization every day. Try these seven strategies for building EQ on a daily basis:

Role Model Emotional Intelligence.

A leader's actions have far more impact than words, so commit to role modeling of emotional intelligence. This will of course happen if you stay focused on the competencies while increasing your skill and frequency.

Make EQ part of your organization's core values.

This can look like many different ways and you may use the words "emotional intelligence". not use it explicitly, but you want to show that you appreciate its essence. LinkedIn, for example, has six core values, one of which is "relationships matter". This is all about building rapport and trust with members, colleagues and partners. When leaders intertwine EQ with the values ​​of their organization, they clearly increase its importance to everyone.

Intentionally create an environment that boosts everyone's EQ. employees and makes it an integral part of managerial training and leadership development programs. If you would like to see examples, check out the programs I created at BrittAndreatta.com/Training.comreken19659002reken19459005] Measure and track EQ skills as you learn them.

When people can see their progress, it drives buy-in while increasing EQ throughout the system. Many elements of employee engagement and exit surveys correspond to EQ, so you probably already have valuable data to analyze.

Hold your people and organization accountable.

If emotional intelligence is missing, find out why and fix it. This may mean providing more training and coaching to help people grow. It also means clearly communicating expectations and holding people accountable for meeting them. There should be consequences when people fail to meet the minimum standards for self-control and association with others. For example, if there is bullying and harassment in your organization, you should address it.

Recognize and reward emotional intelligence.

This is the best way to validate your words with concrete actions. Shine the light on people with high EQ. Tell their stories at meetings, create awards, and make it part of your promotions decisions.

Collaborate with others.

These strategies will be easier and more fun to implement when you interact with others. to form a team. Identify people with high EQ in your organization and work with them to raise awareness and get the job done. Together you will be able to influence your organization in powerful ways.

Never A Better Time for EQ

As individuals and companies and through rapid changes brought about by a pandemic, and new consciousness broken open by a new wave of civil rights, understanding the brain science of emotions help support your organization.

The limbic brain, which surrounds the outline of the reptilian brain, is also known as our emotional brain. Our survival is tied to this part too, as we are a tribal species and must be able to connect with others, take care of our young, and navigate complex social groups. While the reptilian brain sorts by broad emotional categories such as happiness, sadness, love, and disgust, the limbic brain houses an expanded and more nuanced emotional palette.

The outer part of the brain is the neocortex, which is our thinking brain. also known as the executive center, where we conduct logical analysis and effective decision making. Our emotional palette expands further and, more importantly, allows us to have thoughts about emotions and tune in to more subtle indicators than the other layers can read. Both our IQ and EQ live here.

Consider the isolation that many individual employees now experience when working from home. While workers with families face the stress of this newly pressured environment of working from home with partners, while simultaneously overseeing remote learning for children, all under the same roof, 24/7. And everyone feels the grief and fatigue from the loss of social connections and even loved ones, as the death toll for both COVID and suicide is on the rise.

In what ways can you notice that people need extra attention and support? How can you increase the sense of belonging in your organization in this moment when everyone feels separate? your teams, and they learn to judge themselves and others. In these moments, it is crucial to deepen your own emotional intelligence in the arena of implicit bias.

According to the Kirwani Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University, “The implicit associations we harbor in our subconscious mind cause us to have feelings and attitudes about other people based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, age and appearance. These associations develop over the course of a lifetime and start at a very young age through exposure to direct and indirect messages. "This is known as implicit bias and has an unconscious effect on our perception of other people's achievements and attitudes. It is a natural occurrence, but uncontrolled, its damage is omnipresent.

Remember, although we have come a long way as a society, was it just a few years ago that our society was filled with open and enforced messages about the following negative stereotypes:

  • Women as weak and emotional
  • African Americans as criminals
  • Latino & # 39; s so lazy
  • Jews so stingy
  • Gays, lesbians and transgender people as depraved
  • Asians so inscrutable
  • Pacific Islanders so shifty
  • Hippies so dirty
  • Millennials so Vulnerable

These views were widespread, and many would still argue, though perhaps more covertly. They have been endlessly amplified and replicated in our TV shows. textbooks, policies and laws. While many people realize that these stereotypes are false, it takes time and deliberate effort to unlearn and dismantle them, both on an individual level and in our society. These elements shape us more dramatically than we could imagine and affect how we see others.

As you practice developing emotional intelligence in yourself and your organization through competency assessment, consider deepening a reading exercise to raise your awareness of anti-racism. , personal growth and compassionate mindfulness. This is a great way to expand the brain's emotional palette to recognize subtle indicators at play – indicators that have a direct effect on the individuals who make up the environment and culture of your organization.

Emotional intelligence can lead to improvements in important areas of the whole. organization. Especially at a time in global history when organizations and individuals feel vulnerable, even exposed, emotional triggers are high and behavioral change is inevitable. Take the opportunity to improve your organization's EQ game. The integrity it adds to your leadership and the growth it fosters will not only be appreciated but will support the success of your organization for decades to come.


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