is emotional intelligence hype or reality?

EI headAt Leadership on Speed LLC, our "raison d'etre" is to support business success at all levels through a core understanding of how individuals "show up" and are experienced in the work place – in other words, one's level of self-awareness.  From a place of self-awareness, we can then work and train on communication, leadership, integrity, interpersonal skills and a host of commonly called "soft skills" that are not simply important, but critical to long-term success, in business and in life.

Interestingly enough, even with Daniel Goleman's groundbreaking work in Emotional Intelligence (EI) and the criticality of these skills in business success, organizations (as a general rule) still give little time or attention to supporting, training and developing these aspects of current and future leaders.

First of all, in our work at Leadership on Speed, we train leaders at every level but we define leadership not as positional or authoritative but rather we train for all associates to "lead where you stand".  In other words, every human being has the capability to lead from any position within an organization – to exert positive influence across the organization in order to accomplish the mission. 

Goleman's extensive research clearly demonstrates that while IQ and technical skills are important, they are not the driving factor in success. Rather they are considered "threshold capabilities" – meaning that one clearly must be technically competent in order to have some degree of success but many of us have been in environments where simply "average" individuals have successfully moved up the ranks while someone who was considered quite brilliant, incisive and "high potential" has failed to live up to the hype. 

The difference?  While intellect and cognitive skills such as big-picture thinking and long-term vision are particularly important to success, emotional intelligence proves to be TWICE as important as the other skills for jobs at all levels

THE GOOD NEWS:  Research shows that people can, if they take the right approach, develop their emotional intelligence.

On this critical learning area, we will commit more time on our blog in 2010 to support you, our readers, in better understanding what these skills are and how you can improve them for your own success.  We would also love to get your thoughts and feedback. Do you agree that emotional intelligence can or does distinguish those who are most successful?  What is your personal and business experience with EI?  Do you consider yourself to have a high emotional quotient already?  Has it made a difference in your success?

Here's to an amazing 2010!

You were born to be great.

YES, you can!

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