By Josh Williams, Ph.D.
For years, organizations have used IQ tests as a selection component for hiring new leaders. Psychologists have studied leader emergence for centuries and found IQ to be near the top of the list for predictive traits. This should be no surprise. Strong analytical skills are needed to deal with a numerous, competing challenges at higher organizational levels. However, many believe EQ, or emotional intelligence, may be equally important. In fact, one study showed 71% of executives value EQ over IQ with their leaders (https://www.careerbuilder.ca). Emotional intelligence reflects our ability to recognize our own emotions, and those of others, and then use this information to effectively manage relationships.
Organizational leaders with high EQ are mindful of their own actions and sensitive to the needs of others. A key component of EQ is empathy which is only possible with interactive conversations and active listening. These skills are especially important in the COVID era which some are now calling a psychological health crisis (in addition to being a physical one).
Unlike IQ which is relatively fixed, leaders can actively improve their own emotional intelligence.Unfortunately, more than half of all leaders report they struggle demonstrating empathy even though 93% of employees said they’d remain loyal to an employer who showed genuine concern for their needs (https://hcamag.com). Emotionally intelligent behaviors in the COVID era include:
Displaying emotional intelligence empowers your employees during a time when many people feel helpless. It also makes you a stronger leader during and after COVID-19. This will lead to safer, more productive, and more pleasant work environments for you and your employees.
At Propulo, our focus has always been on safety culture and operational excellence. Please visit our website (Propulo Consulting) for more business insights and leadership resources.