The concepts of Emotional Intelligence are not new, with research going back to the early part of the 20th century. The term “Emotional Intelligence” was introduced by Salovey and Mayer in 1990. But it was Daniel Goleman, a Harvard-trained psychologist and writer who really brought EQ into the mainstream. He wrote about EQ in The New York Times and his 1995 book Emotional Intelligence. But it was his 1998 article in Harvard Business Review that sparked great interest in the business community.
The key premise of Emotional Intelligence formation DISC is that EQ skills relate to how effectively people work with others, specifically around:
• Social Awareness
• Relationship Management
Self-Awareness means having a clear understanding of one’s emotions, strengths, weaknesses, drives and capabilities. On the surface there’s really nothing new about this concept – it’s been touted for thousands of years. But it’s a critical skill and it’s overlooked by many people. It’s so important because people with a high degree of self awareness recognize how their feelings and values affect them, and this relates to how they interact with others. They tend to be very thoughtful in the sense that they take time to think about the things that are important to them, and how their work and lives relate to these things. This self reflection helps them to be aware of both their limitations and strengths, and they’re candid about this.
Goleman says that Self-Management frees us from being prisoners to our emotions. Without understanding what we’re feeling, we can’t control our feelings and this leaves us at the mercy of our emotions. This is okay when it comes to positive emotions like enthusiasm or success, but it’s a problem if we’re controlled by negative emotions like frustration or anxiety.
People with this mastery are usually optimistic, upbeat and enthusiastic. This is particularly important in the workplace because emotions are literally contagious.
3) Social Awareness
The third component of Goleman’s EQ model, Social Awareness, is mostly about empathy. It’s the ability to read another person’s facial expressions, voice and non-verbal signals in order to understand that person’s emotions. This is especially important for leaders because by staying attuned to how people are feeling, they can say and do what is most appropriate. For example, they can try to calm people’s fears, lessen anger, or in a more positive example have a good time at the office party.
4) Relationship Management
Relationship Management is where these three skills all come together. This is the most visible aspect of a person, and in particular leaders. This is where you see skills like conflict management, team building, and infl uencing others. Leaders with good skills in the fi rst three areas of EQ will usually be effective at managing relationships because they’re attuned to their own emotions and this means that they’ll approach relationships from a position of authenticity. It’s not just being friendly, but it’s what Goleman calls “friendliness with a purpose”: motivating people in the direction you desire. These people are very good at developing networks, not necessarily because they’re highly sociable, but rather because they understand that nothing gets done alone and they’re skilled at being able to work with others.
These EQ skills are unique from a person’s technical skills and cognitive abilities. According to Goleman’s research: 90% of the difference between star performers and average performers was attributable to EQ competencies. This and other research show that EQ skills are directly linked to critical business measures and individual success, more so than traditional measures such as IQ. It’s not that IQ and traditional factors are not important. Clearly they are. But IQ and various job-specifi c skills are essentially entry requirements, particularly in leadership and managerial positions.