In his landmark book, Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ in 1995, Daniel Goleman shocked the leadership world when he claimed that conventional measures such as IQ counted for as little as 20% of a person’s success in life. What did this mean when sourcing good job candidates and choosing who to develop for leadership roles within organisations? What did this mean for educators who are trying to help students find leadership qualities within themselves?
We all know of people who achieved extraordinary academic scores at school or university, only to struggle in following years to find a balance of happiness and success in their lives. So how do people create fulfilling, happy and successful lives for themselves, both personally and professionally? How do they rise above the ranks and stand out as being exceptional contributors within their communities? What is the 80% that makes the difference?
By now it’s no secret that the missing ingredient is Emotional Intelligence, our ability to tune into our emotions and use emotional information as data. Data to help us understand our feelings, connect with other people and see things from multiple perspectives. Our awareness of how we act and respond to situations, and our understanding of our behavioural patterns and their cost/benefit analysis in our lives. Our ability to be optimistic, and to see the hope and possibility in every situation (no matter how challenging). Our capacity to tap into an inner well of motivation and drive, all the while staying focused on our main game (having a clear idea of where we’re heading). Take all of these qualities, and throw empathy into the mix – our ability to put ourselves in another person’s shoes and respond compassionately and fairly to their situation. Now that’s a powerful combination to achieve happiness and success in life. A potent recipe for leadership.
There is a wonderful global organisation, Six Seconds, doing fantastic research in Emotional Intelligence. I like the way they describe the Success Factors of an enriched, happy and rewarding life:
- Effectiveness – our capacity to get results, and achieve what we set out to achieve
- Relationships – our capacity to build and sustain relationships, to network and have a sense of community
- Wellbeing – the way we access, use and conserve our energy: look after our health and find a balance in our life
- Quality of Life – how we find a balance and fulfilment. The choices we make to feel a sense of achievement and satisfaction
Every one of the above speaks to me about a life of balance, so it’s no surprise that Emotional intelligence is the key to our happiness and success, as having balance in life means we are in control of our choices and making decisions that feel congruent with our life values.
Many of us are looking for ways to grow our personal and professional leadership. If there were to be a cook book on Life Success Tips, what recipe should we be looking out for, and what would be the essential ingredients?
From my viewpoint, there are four standouts:
These four powerful ingredients set the Managers apart from the Leaders. They set the dismal politicians apart from the inspirational motivators. They set the disengaged employees apart from the fired up go getters. They set the confused school leavers apart from the engaged motivated life learners.
The awareness that comes from understanding our own Emotional Intelligence, where our strengths lie and where we can improve is powerful in developing our confidence. Strong relationships with people are driven by empathy, a major Emotional Intelligence skill. The way we communicate with people influences the strength of our relationships, which builds more confidence and self-efficacy (how we feel about ourselves). Good communicators have more influence, people will stop and listen – even if it’s not what they want to hear!
The better we are at reading emotions as data to help us respond to situations, rather than reacting on autopilot, the better our leadership will be shaped. Emotions are not the fluffy soft feelings we once learned about. They are the critical neuro-peptides that provide the information we need to become great decision makers in our life. They provide us with the important clues we need so that we communicate truly and effectively, and with impact.
I feel very strongly about the inclusion of Emotional Intelligence Coaching at all levels – it’s too important to be passed over. These are learn-able skills, and deserve to complement all Educational programs at both secondary and tertiary levels; they deserve to be introduced into all Corporate and Government leadership development programs. They deserve to be integrated into our Sporting codes at all levels, coaches, players and within administration. They deserves to be an offering for new parents and all Health care providers.
At UBalancer Solutions we have the benefit of having many coaches trained in the Six Seconds’ suite of evidence based tools. Through our coaching, you’ll be able to have a clear visual of your own Emotional Intelligence competencies. These are competencies you can develop, and change your life for the better, in every possible way.
Develop the leader in you. Today is a good day to start.