What’s make a leader more effective? IQ or EQ?

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It doesn’t take much to know the answer to this question. It’s EQ. Why is that you ask? Let me share a story on how I can best prove this point using a true to life experience. Okay, here goes…

A few years ago I had the opportunity to work for a fabulous company. We had an amazing team of dedicated, loyal, hard-working and fun individuals that for the most part, got along fantastically. Sure…there were a few that didn’t get along but let’s save that for another time.

I want to tell you about a leader that I had an opportunity to work with. In order to protect this person’s identity, I will refer to them as “Pat”. (Notice how I picked a gender neutral name?) Let me tell you about Pat.

Pat was a fiercely intelligent leader, and I mean fierce. Pat knew all there was to know about every facet of the industry we worked in. Pat knew about customer service, product, accounting, and how to lead our team effectively. Whoops. Scratch that last comment. The one thing that Pat could not do effectively was lead our team. You see, although Pat had a tremendous amount of IQ, what Pat lacked was EQ. People skills. Remember, people more often leave managers, not companies.

Pat was quick to jump down someone’s throat if they made an error, or made an incorrect judgement call. Pat was quick to shout, berate and even insult a team member. Unfortunately, this happened often.

Pat was under a tremendous amount of pressure.

1) Pressure to have our team perform to meet unreasonable deadlines and goals.

2) Pressure to prove that our team could outperform all of the other offices.

3) Pressure to be the best so the promotion Pat yearned for, came to fruition.

The amount of pressure that Pat was under was not about to change but how Pat managed those emotions could.

How can you manage your emotions better? By learning new strategies. One of the strategies that we learn in Preforming Under Pressure: The Science of Emotional Intelligence is Crisis vs. Opportunity.

Crisis vs. Opportunity

Pat would immediately jump into crisis mode when something didn’t go well. Being is crisis mode narrows our thinking and cognitive abilities. It impairs our judgment and causes us to be reactive instead of proactive. Pat would turn bright red during crisis moments. Ever done that? Jumped into crisis mode, turned red, got sweaty, lost your words? It happens to the best of us. The interesting part is that after a crisis moment passed, Pat would often apologize. So Pat was aware of the crisis emotions but was unsure how to manage them.

Now imagine the difference if Pat would have changed Pat’s thinking from seeing a situation as an opportunity vs. A crisis? When we see things as an opportunity, we are more open to ideas and thoughts. We breathe calmer and allow cortisol to flood our system giving us a sense of calm and the emotions of others calmer as well. Pat had much wisdom to depart but was so often in crisis mode that Pat’s vast experience and knowledge was never transferred.

So next time that you struggle with managing your emotions under pressure, remember Pat. Don’t be Pat.

4 ways to learn more about managing your emotions under pressure:

1) Learn more about the physiology of crisis http://bit.ly/1ZX00xX

2) What is Emotional Intelligence or EQ? Http://bit.ly/1TS5Rjj

3) Attend a public program http://bit.ly/1XufuKY

4) Test your emotional intelligence by taking this free quiz http://bit.ly/1jvrZEt

IHHP provides emotional intelligence training and ei training programs for leaders of organizations world-wide.