Leaders of the BBC decided a particular division needed to be shut down. They sent in an executive to give the news to the more than 200 employees who had all worked diligently, giving their best. The executive sent to deliver the decision started off with a glowing account of how well rival operations were doing, and that he had just returned from a wonderful trip to Cannes. This was not a well-planned delivery just before telling these same people they are soon to be jobless. Would you like to hear of your boss’ great luxurious lifestyle, just before he tells you he is taking away your source of income? This executive did not have EI (Emotional Intelligence), much less an EIQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient).
As David Goleman tells this story in his book, Primal Leadership, he says people became enraged, not only at the decision, but as much with the deliverer of the decision. Fortunately, BBC sent in a second executive who shared of the decision in a different manner. He spoke from the heart about the importance of the calling into journalism, about the dedication and commitment of journalists such as the people seated around him. When he finished, the group cheered.
The same people, about to lose their jobs. But this time they cheered. What made the difference? The temperament. The second executive had a high EIQ. He understood the heart of the matter and the impact of the decision to shut down this division. Therefore, he spoke from his heart. The temperament of a leader and the temperament of his/her communication delivery sends a loud and clear view of his/her EIQ. The first executive drove the group toward antagonism and hostility, the second toward optimism, even inspiration, in the face of difficulty.
As leaders, we impact people’s lives every day in many ways. Our temperament and how we influence the temperament of others has a significant impact in the effectiveness of our organization. Temperament is outwardly displayed in one’s attitude. When a leader comes across with a rough and impersonal charge, it will negatively affect the attitude of all in attendance and will flow down through the organization. On the other side, as a leader delivers a charge to the organization with enthusiasm and encouragement, the organization will respond more positively.
However, for some reason, emotions (which drive temperament and attitudes) are oftentimes considered irrelevant in the workplace and have no bearing on leadership. Any time a leader can gain insight into better understanding and developing his/her own Emotional Intelligence (EI) will only increase positive leadership ability. Understanding and developing your own EI will also give insights into positively influencing the productivity of others.
Like it or not, our emotions affect all areas of our lives, including the workplace. The more a leader can grasp the influential role of emotions in the organization, the greater effectiveness and production will be realized.
Understanding and developing a high EIQ separates the few great leaders from all the others. These leaders see not only improved production and effectiveness of staff, his organization also realizes less turnover, greater compatibility through team work, as well as commitment and retention of talented employees/volunteers. Are you ready to develop your EIQ?
To learn more about EIQ contact George Yates.
George Yates is a coach and organizational health strategist, assisting individuals and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose.