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Leading with Emotional Intelligence

Leading with Emotional Intelligence

The first segment of this article, published in our last issue (December 2010), related to evidence of ranging abilities constituting to what is defined as emotional intelligence (EQ) - along with its direct link in determining success in the workplace. As management and human resources of many companies face enormous challenges, organizations everywhere are noticing how this emerging trend, including the ability to lead, plays a crucial part in how today's management meets the challenges they face.

Recent survey results of 150 executives from the largest organizations identified leadership among the most important assets of managers. Every leader is considerably an expert in their chosen field, but the IQ of this role explains less than 25% of the success they'll experience while managing. Compare this to the remaining 75% relying on emotional intelligence, and you'll realize that IQ is not a real differentiator in making a leader into a star performer.

It's imperative that today's leaders hone well-tuned people skills as opposed to focusing on sharpening their technical expertise. Rather than focusing solely on what employees do, more emphasis and understanding should be placed towards the thoughts and feelings that generate these actions. This type of understanding is directly linked to EQ, which can enhance leadership in meeting increasingly and challenging management demands.

Leaders of higher EQ manage to outperform their peers having less ability in this competency. In jobs of medium complexity (i.e. sales clerks and mechanics), a top performer is 12 times more productive compared to those at the bottom and 85% more productive than those that are average. In more complex jobs, including insurance salespeople and account managers, top performers are 127% more productive than their average performers. One third of this difference is due to technical skill and cognitive ability, while the remainder related to emotional competencies.

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