Do you have a good EQ? I think Daniel Goleman didn’t intend to mislead anyone about EQ, but I do think that many people have swung one way or the other. Seems to be the case, as always. When will level-headed thinking prevail? Quite difficult, I suppose, since emotions versus our minds are something like elephants versus mules in terms of overall strength. Elephants tend to win in a contest of strength with mules. We get carried away by our emotions more often than not.
I was following a discussion on LinkedIn called “How important is emotional intelligence for today’s leaders?” posted in the Harvard Business Review group. I decided to check it out when I saw that a few of my contacts were in the discussion. The title didn’t catch my fancy, as it had struck me as being rather non sequitur. Emotions are part of our makeup, ja? We will run the gamut of emotions as time passes, regardless of whether we want to or not! The title seems to imply that “emotional intelligence” was less important yesterday than it is today. Does that mean that today’s leaders are more emotional than their forebears? No, human beings have not changed significantly over the last six thousand years. Yes, we have technology, we have social media, more schooling, yada yada, but fundamentally, what has changed? Very little. And in a downwards direction, to boot! Just ask any scientist studying the human genome, they’ll tell you!
It is not about emotional quotient. It is not about emotional intelligence. Yes, I do care about terms used, because words have the power to influence our perceptions and shape our attitudes. It is recognizing that we do have emotions, recognizing that there are fundamental reasons why we experience those emotions, recognizing that we have character development needs as shown by those emotions, and deciding to do something about getting better in those character development areas. It is, more importantly, deciding not to let our emotions get in the way of our decisions, particularly when those emotions have to do with the desire for self-preservation or self-interest as opposed to the greater good of the stakeholders we are supposed to be serving. It is not about the emotions per se. It is about the reasons we experience them! Are there usually good reasons for the emotions you experience? Do you exercise enough self-control such that you do not make counter-productive or even destructive decisions when strong emotions sweep over you? What are you going to do about it?
So. EQ. Emotional Quotient. Get to the root of it. Otherwise, it will become EQ – Ennui Quotient. I suggest you do not permit that. Get a better hold of yourself today!