I have always been fascinated with emotional intelligence, in fact, I find it to be more important than IQ at times. I look for high EQ in my personal as well as my professional relationships. I think we have all encountered people with low EQ and realize it creates an unhealthy environment – whether at work or home. Recently I read an interesting article on what it looks like when someone is not emotionally intelligent. I found it interesting since I’ve often seen lists of attributes that describe an emotionally intelligent person, but until now had not seen such a comprehensive list of characteristics exhibited when one is lacking emotional intelligence.
Here is the list, compiled by JoAnn Corley, Founder, The Human Sphere:
· Refusing to acknowledge a fact
· Difficulty admitting a wrong
· Habitually defaults to defensiveness
· Difficulty apologizing
· Continuous diversion in a conversation to point of the ridiculous
· Lack of discernment
· Using absolute, grandiose, exaggerated or catastrophic terms as standard parts of speech: always, never, super, disaster, amazing, tremendous
· Easily triggered
· Over reactionary
· Cyber-bullying / bullying
· Insulting/demeaning/belittling those in opposition
· Lack of civility
· Over personalizes events and/or actions of others
· Talks about oneself disproportionately, using “I” much more than “we”
· Claiming to be the only source of hope, almost as a savior
· Making statements of power, that are beyond reason or capability
· Tit for tat
· Easily wronged
· Refusal to acknowledge reality
· Glib communication in which lies are fluidly expressed with no sense of error
· Acts like a victim when things don’t go their way
· Attacks back instead of receiving input or feedback
· Revengeful, not able to let go of an offense
· Blames others for one’s missteps
Sound familiar? She wrote this list during the election season last year, which is why it may remind you of what we are currently seeing daily on the news. Would you want anyone in leadership within your organization to possess these qualities? In many organizations, behavior such as this would be grounds for termination.
The most successful leaders have high levels of emotional intelligence. They possess the ability to understand and manage their own emotions, and those of the people around them. As a quick reminder to what emotional intelligence does look like, the four qualities are:
· Self-Realization: One who is able to identify their feelings and emotions.
· Self-Control: One who is able to self-regulate (manage impulses, exercise self-control, self-manage
· Empathy: One who is able to identify with the emotions and feelings of others.
· Responsive: One who is able to respond appropriately to all matters.
We should be looking for these qualities in all forms of leadership, and in fact, all employees. Low emotional intelligence has negative effects in the workplace – dragging down morale and reducing productivity. A study by Pearson and Porath of thousands of managers and employees found the following to occur when employees work with some who exhibits negative behavior:
· Two-thirds of employees said their performance declined
· Four out of five employees lost work time worrying about the unpleasant incident
· 63% wasted time avoiding the low EQ offender
· More than 75% of respondents said that their commitment to their employer had waned
· 12% resigned due to the low EQ behavior
Emotional intelligence is essential in the workplace. Don’t tolerate a lack of it.
Let me know how you handle low emotional intelligence in your organization and what methods you use to evaluate EQ for new candidates. Email me at [email protected]. And for more information on this topic, ASE offers a class entitled Emotional Intelligence Now. Our next class is November 14th.