The 10 Reasons Why You Need Emotional Intelligence

Originally published in Psychology Today by Relly Nadler.

What are the top reasons you need to develop and enhance your Emotional Intelligence (EI)? After working with thousands of executives and leaders and focusing on helping them raise their Emotional Intelligence for the last 20 years, both individually and in their organizations, I wanted to summarize some of the key benefits for you.

Below are the top 10 reasons to raise your EI or EQ.
  1. Your leadership is desperately needed now:Gallup (2015) has found that only 10% of workers have the talent combination to be great managers. 40% of organizations say they do not have enough skilled or trained leaders to fill spots for the future.
  2. You are your team’s “Emotional Thermostat”: Your mood and temperament  influence everyone on your team more so than you imagine. Gallup (2015) has found that managers account for up 70% of the variance in employee engagement surveys.
  3. You will have a competitive advantage:.We know the further you go up in the organization the more you use Emotional Intelligence to be successful rather than your expertise and your Intelligence Quotient (IQ). Research studies show that EI is the critical success factor anywhere from 50% to 85% depending on the study.
  4. You are on autopilot: Most of us operate on autopilot much of the time. We take short cuts rather than thinking hard or long about things. Working on your Emotional Intelligence entails taking a hard look at your capabilities and getting off automatic to be more intentional and exceptional.
  5. You have blind spots: We all have them but if you don’t know what they are you will continue to undermine your success. Marshall Goldsmith, one of the top executive coaches with Fortune 100 executives, from his research says 70% of people think they are in the top 10%. This is a major blind spot. Using EI coaching, assessments, 360 degree feedback and interviews you can establish what are your blind spots and begin to shed light on hem.
  6. You and your organization will be more productive: The basis of the EI competencies goes back to Dr. David McClelland of Harvard and then the Hay Group and Multi Health Systems studying what top 10% performers do differently that average performers.Now we have a rich data base of what behaviors and skills to nurture to be a top 10% performer.

The Human Capital Institute and Multi Health Systems Organizations looked at the Return on Investment (ROI) data and surveyed 784 respondents from over 500 organizations worldwide in 2013. They found:

Organizations that value and widely use Emotional Intelligence are 3.2x more effective at leadership development. There is a 31% gap in leadership development effectiveness between organizations where EI is valued, versus those in which it is not. They found that organizations that measure EI, report 16% more positive revenue growth. (HCI, 2013)

7. You will make better decisions: In today’s world we are all “crazy busy”. Some people call this a VUCA environment which is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. To be outstanding you need to be able to make effective decisions in the moment with as much information and knowledge as you can gain. It is a matter of getting accurate input to improve your output. The EI input is knowing yourself and assessing others quickly so your decisions can be better. This kind of strategic intelligence is highly valued by our military we have worked with. It is also a critical skill for any executive that is making thousands of decisions a day. The better you can quickly assess and adjust in this VUCA environment, the more successful you will be.

Our formula for top performance that we share with leaders is:

               Empathy X Insight X Clarity = Top 10 % Performance.

Whether it is training or coaching the focus is to gain more clarity into your strengths and weakness and those of your direct reports or teams. Making micro-initiatives can have a macro-impact.

8. People will trust and connect with you better: Being authentic, taking time for your people will allow you to be a more credible leader. In less than a second, we are able to assess whether we trust someone. Trust we know is the starting point for effective conversations and relationships.

We are wired to connect with others as many neuroscientists and authors have told us, but we often sabotage ourselves and others for some of the above reasons and we don’t make the time to connect with people. In another blog I wrote about the managers’ default is to find fault. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/leading-emotional-intelligence/2013…

We know from the engagement literature from Gallup and Bob Nelson that people 1) want to feel they have a seat at the special table, 2) their opinions count and 3) they are acknowledged for the good work they do, to name a few of the engagement factors. Focusing on your EI can help you build strong and committed relationships.

9. You will develop more leaders in your organization: “Once you connect you will better able to direct.” Knowing others strengths, capabilities and being clear about what is your vision, what you want from people and utilizing their strengths can help make you a “best boss.” People often say their best boss empowered them, stretched them, trusted them and they would do anything for this person. Is that you, if not, work on your Emotional Intelligence now?

10. You will hire better: Being aware of your EI competencies, those of your direct reports and which ones are most important for your organization will help you hire talent that already has these competencies. Gallup has found that:

Companies that hire managers based on talent realize a 48% increase in profitability, a 22% increase in productivity, a 30% increase in employee engagement scores, a 17% increase in customer engagement scores and a 19% decrease in turnover. (Gallup, 2015)

In the next blog I will go over the top ways to raise your Emotional Intelligence.

In Leading with Emotional Intelligence there are over 100 strategies that leaders can do to increase and sustain their performance.  A few micro initiatives can have a macro impact. For free EI tools go to: www.truenorthleadership.com/ei-central

References

Goldsmith, M. with Reiter, M. (2015) Triggers: Creating BehavioManagwrr That Lasts–Becoming the Person You Want to Be, NY; Crown Publishing Group

“Leadership and Emotional Intelligence: The Keys to Driving ROI and Organizational Performance”, (2013) Human Capital Institute

Gallup. Inc (2015) State of the American Manager Report. Gallup, Inc Publishing

Gallup Report: “What Separates Great Managers From the Rest,” May 12, 2015 Gallup http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/183098/report-separates-great-mana…

Nelson, B (2012) 1501 Ways to Reward Employees, NY: Workman Publishing

Nadler, R. (2011) Leading with Emotional Intelligence: Strategies for Building Confidant and Collaborative Star Performers NY: McGraw-Hill