In my early 20s, I had little to no emotional intelligence (EQ). It was not something I deemed as a success factor. Truthfully, I had been conditioned to avoid it due to beliefs that emotions demonstrated weakness. Decades later I know this is not true and have built a successful career and business that leverages the power of emotional intelligence to build strong relationships.
For many, EQ is a skill that needs to be cultivated. For me, it took a mentor who showed me that you can be a strategic and successful leader while leading with heart. He used his emotional intelligence to develop social awareness and empathy toward his team, with respect to both their personal issues and workplace concerns. He allowed us to show up as we were every day and was supportive of us as people, not just resources. He led a team for three decades that would give 100% of their ability in return with this superpower.
My mentor encapsulated the importance of relationship building and leaning into EQ...
In a recent consult with one of my career-coaching clients, she explained to me that an abrupt change in leadership had occurred.
After reviewing her résumé and discussing at length her leadership readiness, I asked why she had become increasingly pessimistic and negative about being able to achieve this goal. The new leader who had been put into place within the past few weeks had begun to take a toll across the organization.
They came in “ready to shake things up” and made the following announcements:
• “I was hired to do a job; I have no loyalty to any of you.”
• “Your department is broken beyond repair. Why do we need it?”
• “There is a reorganization on the horizon; do what you feel with that information.”
• “Your role may remain, or may not....