Berger Leadership Blog

Jan 16, 2015

Assessing emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence

You can learn the hard way or the smart way, and I’ve done both. And one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that knowing how I react to things – and understanding how others react – is critical to succeeding as a leader. Even if you had the highest IQ in the room, success won’t come if you don’t control your emotions and understand others’.

There is a business-speak term for this: emotional intelligence.

Travis Bradberry, co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, in a LinkedIn Pulse article, calls emotional intelligence “the foundation for a host of critical skills—it impacts most everything you do and say each day.”

Harvard Business Review writer Muriel Maignan Wilkins outlines several “telltale signs” showing it’s time to check your EI:

  • you get impatient and frustrated when others don’t seem to get the point;
  • you don’t think being liked at work matters;
  • you are likely to blame others for most of the issues on your team;
  • you’re surprised and think others are overreacting if they seem sensitive to your comments or jokes.

If any of these hit close to home, you’re in good company. And take heart: Emotional intelligence can be learned. Wilkins suggests getting feedback from others on what you might need to change; hard to hear, maybe, but oh so critical. Another tip: Pause before you respond to situations – listen to yourself, and listen to others. Then lead.