When it comes to working with others, Marcel Schwantes believes emotional intelligence (EQ) is everything. As leaders, when we are being impulsive, shortsighted, reacting with anger in the heat of the moment, or not making decisions in our “right minds,” it is because we are sorely lacking EQ.
So, how do you know if your EQ is up to par? Schwantes, who is the founder of Leadership From The Core, says that if you can answer yes to the following 5 questions, then that could mean you have a high level of emotional intelligence.
1. Do you respond to people and situations instead of reacting? There is a difference. In reacting to a stressful moment that’s going south fast, you may end up clouding your thinking and judgment and escalate what should’ve been a manageable dispute into an all-out war. But by responding, rather than reacting, emotionally-intelligent people step back, create space to consider the situation from all angles, and decide the best approach to handle things.
2. During the conflict, are you able to cut through the drama and stick to the facts? In emotionally-charged moments under pressure-cooker environments, a person with high EQ will explain the outcome she is hoping for and will ask for other ideas for solutions with an open mind. This typically leads to a constructive discussion that may resolve an ongoing issue to everyone’s satisfaction.
3. Do you take in the whole view of the problem and look at all sides of the issue? People with emotional intelligence look at all sides of the issue and tap into their feelings and those of others to choose a different, and better, outcome. They seek out varied perspectives and solicit opinions of others before acting.
4. Do you manage your emotions better than most people? Self-control is a personal competence developed in every person. The question behind self-control is: Can I manage my emotions and behavior to a positive outcome? If you can honestly say yes, then that means you have the capacity to be present, calm, and focused during times of high stress. It’s a necessary virtue with a long-term payoff.
5. Are you naturally positive and optimistic? Emotionally intelligent people are positive thinkers who don’t get caught up in things they can’t control, like obsessing over politics or COVID-19. They put their energy and effort on the things within their power — the things that matter most in life, like their business and relationships.