The Impact of Behavioral EQ on Business Leadership

Behavioral EQ – or “emotional intelligence” – is a concept which can drastically impact your ability to lead effectively in your business. Most business leaders tend to agree that having a high EQ has very positively benefited their networking ability, employee communication/motivation, and their overall experience as leader. It can mean, as Stanley Jaskiewicz (a Corporate Law Member at Spector Gadon & Rosen in Philadelphia) put it, the difference between closing deals and not closing deals. Basically, it can have enormous impact on your success factor.

EQ and Leadership - Businessman_thumbs up

Consequently, we’ve asked some influential leaders how having a high EQ has impacted their ability to lead in a business environment.

You build better relationships.

Developing healthy long-term relationships with customers is crucial to business success. Wayne Strickland, the President of Global Distribution Strategy at Hallmark Cards, discusses the importance of building good business relationships over years through good, and even bad, moments. Through tough economies and poor decisions, if your company has a high EQ, he says, you will be there for your customers when it gets difficult.

You treat your employees with respect.

A high EQ means authentically connecting with your employees, valuing their work, and demonstrating the respect you have for them. Dave Labowitz, a four time small business executive turned business coach with Dave Labowitz Business and Leadership Coaching, put it this way: “There is no personal and no professional you; there is only one authentic you.” Basically, if you value professionality to the point that you are neglecting your co-workers or your employees, then you will lack the connection and authenticity which creates genuine commitment from all sides. Take some time to ask about people’s lives, and care about the answers.

Treat yourself with respect.

While having a high EQ means treating your employees with respect, it also means treating yourself with that same respect. Extend grace and patience, says Froswa Booker-Drew (the owner of Soulstice Consultancy), to both employees and to yourself. Show compassion in all areas. And part of treating yourself with respect is being self-aware. Ashley Smith, a manager at Mason Frank International, says to consult your peers and listen. What do they say about your strengths and weaknesses?

“Don’t make mountains out of molehills.”

This is a frequently cited quote that does not lose its relevance. And it’s particularly relevant to the idea of Behavioral EQ. According to Jaskiewicz, this means that you must concede issues that are not important.  Basically, he says, know the business objectives that you have going into the deal you’re making and make sure you’re taking those steps that will get you the deal you want. Don’t worry about winning the points that don’t actually matter. Fight hard for those that do.

You think about the long term.

A high EQ means thinking in terms of the long term gains you hope to get for your company, yourself, and for your employees. Short term success is not something on which you should focus. As Strickland states, “Countless times, I have been part of the process where, as a company, we made long term decisions that made us less money right now but was better for the brand and the employees.” Short term investments may grant you short term success, but long term investments grant you the type of success that matters in the longer scheme of your business’s trajectory. Strickland says that this might mean choosing not to give bonuses rather than reducing the size of the workforce. Emotional EQ allows one to make these decisions appropriately, allows a leader to picture far into the future.

A higher EQ means that you (and others) are less likely to clash with co-workers.

Television producer and production company owner at 100% Terry Cloth, Inc., Terence Michael, claims that he hires based on a higher EQ precisely for this reason. The job will only get done adequately if employees know how to handle the different personalities, specialties, and inclinations of a diverse team. People with a high EQ do not allow these personality differences to turn into obstacles, but rather use them to create a high achieving team with a network of talent.

EQ and Leadership - Employees all for one

In Conclusion

Ultimately, EQ is crucial to the success of leaders and business alike. Melanie Lundberg, Assistant Vice President of Talent Management and Corporate Communications at Combined Insurance (and a woman with over twenty years of talent management and leadership experience), says that EQ is one of the most vital traits for a person to have when pursuing leadership roles. It can impact logical decision-making, stress-control, work relationships, the ability to inspire others, and how well one can handle disagreements. Essentially, it can be responsible for advancing your career if you employ it and can be responsible for derailing your career if you don’t. Tangible factors such as experience and specific skill sets are important to have; however, behavioral EQ may be a more defining factor when it comes to leading effectively in the workplace.

Fred Coon, CEO

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