Much has been written about Emotional Intelligence over the last twenty years and Daniel Goldman can certainly be credited with making this approach and methodology mainstream. That said considerable misunderstanding also exists; many people are confused about how emotions really play into, specifically, our professional lives and its role in the business world.
Within the realm of Executive Coaching, Emotional Intelligence has emerged as a key tool when working with the C-Suite. It is widely held that senior leaders are not lacking in technical capacity; this usually is what got them to that level in the first place. However what separates the real leaders is their ability to also work effectively with all the various stakeholders whether customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders and indeed the community. They have the ability to connect; they are emotionally intelligent.
What are the specific characteristics of people who can do this?
- Self Awareness – can see in themselves what others see
- Confident Communicators – say the right thing at the right time to the right people
- Awareness of Others – foster believability rather than like-ability
- Decision Making – work with the feelings as well as the facts
- Self Managed – rebound quickly from setbacks
- Management of Others – can hold the space in a positive way
- Self Control – possess the ability to respond rather than react
Think about the current CEO of BP Petroleum, Tony Hayward. He is obviously a very smart individual and nobody can question the magnitude of challenge he faces. He is probably among the world’s least popular people if there was such a list. This is despite the fact that BP has admitted full responsibility and will to pay for the damage caused. Of course the responsibility and liability are technically sound business decisions and you would think that citizens and lawmakers would be happy with that. That is clearly not the case and so one wonders to what degree his lack of Emotional Intelligence has become his nemesis.