Does a high IQ make you a better leader?

Not necessarily.

Over 20 years ago, Daniel Goleman, Ph. D., pioneered the concept of emotional intelligence. His studies showed that people who possessed more solid, emotionally-based characteristics out-performed those who demonstrated academic excellence.

Self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills were defined as the traits that matter to effective leadership. But, while Goleman’s principles were applied to individuals, over the years, businesses have used (EQ) emotional intelligence to build successful teams and outcomes.

Emotional Intelligence to build successful teams

What’s your team’s EQ? How can you use Emotional Intelligence to build successful teams and continue to support them?

Let’s look at the five drivers of EQ.

  • Self-awareness. What are the personalities of your fellow team members? Are you working with introverts who might be uncomfortable sharing ideas? Is there someone who is quick to be a nay-sayer? Maybe you have a person who likes to control the conversation. In order to build a strong team, start by ensuring that the individuals have different ways of processing information and ideas. The results of a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test is a great way to learn about one another. Accept your team & all their quirkiness.
  • Self-regulation. This trait is about controlling yourself. Team-building occurs naturally when there is trust among the members. If they fear they will be admonished, criticized, or teased, trust won’t grow. Establish “rules of engagement” for group meetings. Be clear about the behaviors that are unacceptable. For example, no member of the group can criticize an idea without offering a solution or alternative. this requires everyone to contribute in a positive way. Prohibit interruption and distraction (e.g., turn off our phones).
  • Strive for a positive environment. Inspire people to contribute. Share stories of success, particularly those where the challenge was a tough one. Remind your team that “failure” is simply an opportunity to learn and grow.
  • Your team is made up of people who experience difficulties, setbacks, and seemingly insurmountable challenges. While you don’t need to coddle or excuse, be supportive. And encourage this empathy across your team. The purpose of a team is to bring more problem-solvers to a task. Sometimes, that task might be giving a member some additional help to navigate a difficult time.
  • Social skills. How well do your team members manage social situations and relationships? This is a key indicator of EQ. A person with strong social skills is friendly and persuasive. The positivity attracts followers, like a beacon of light in a dark room. A socially skilled individual uses this “likability” to get positive results—making it a valuable trait for a team.

Use Emotional Intelligence to build successful teams & continue supporting them

Although our culture’s fascination with technology seems, at times, to move us away from personal interaction, it’s the people that create the company. You will always achieve better outcomes when you have a strong team. Building that team means focusing on getting “smarter” about emotional intelligence.