Raise Your Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Boost Your Profits

Tue, Apr 21, 2009

Emotional IntelligenceA couple of days ago, I wrote a post on Emotional Intelligence (EQ). This is a follow -up. Many years ago, I worked at Wilson Learning , which was then a global provider of human resource development products and services. One of our flagship products was a course called Managing Interpersonal Relationships (MIR). The goal of MIR was to help individuals reduce relationship tension. In many ways, it was a precursor to Goleman's work on Emotional Intelligence. Daniel Goleman expanded the notion of interpersonal skills. Laura Crawshaw recently added to our understanding by explaining how we can tame abrasive mangers.

In working with executives who want to raise their EQ, I also draw on learning from my Wilson Learning days. According to MIR, there are four social styles or styles of social interaction. For those of you who took this course some time in your career, the styles are: Analytic, Driver, Expressive, and Amiable. Analytic and Driver styles focus on accomplishing tasks first, and secondarily on relationships. If they are focused on a task, and someone walks into their office, they are likely to be curt, perhaps short, and not readily willing to be interrupted or engaged in a conversation.

On the other hand, Amiables and Expressives focus first on relationship and secondarily on the task. This means that when you walk into their office, they will display more emotional signals, and are likely to first want to engage with you and create some human connection before getting down to business.

Both like to get the job done and both like people. The challenge is that they have different priorities. An adaptable, versatile, or emotionally intelligent person is able to read each situation and adjust his or her style ever so slightly to lower the relationship tension. Ideally, it is the responsibility of each party to adjust their behavior.

When relationship tension is high, one or both parties feel uncomfortable, restrained, and in some cases, shut down. Conversations don't flow. Important questions aren't raised and consequently not answered. High relationship tension is not good for business or profits.

When relationship tension is low, both parties are comfortable, relaxed, and usually at their best. Productive ideas and innovation are more likely to occur.

So how can you raise your EQ? One way (and this is a huge topic, so this is an appetizer) is to pay attention to facial expressions, tone, rate of speech, and focus of attention. If someone is focused on the task, keep your interaction short, business-like, and to the point. If someone is more focused on the relationship, relax, open up a bit, and engage. Most importantly, pay attention to how you feel. If there is low relationship tension, you are on your way to raising your EQ.

If you or your leadership team needs to raise its EQ to raise profits, contact info@rubenconsulting.com for a 10 minute free consultation.

Marcia Ruben Ph.D, PCC, CMC

Marcia Ruben Ph.D, PCC, CMC

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