18 January

Having Emotional Intelligence

Excerpt from The First Time Manager by Jim McCormick 

Social scientists and psychologists have found that managers and leaders who have high levels of emotional intelligence, or a high emotional quotient (EQ), seem to do much better in their managerial and leadership roles than their counterparts who have average or low EQs. These experts have also found that individuals high in EQ experience more career success, build stronger personal relationships, enjoy better health due to better stress management techniques, motivate themselves and others to achieve greater accomplishments, and have the capacity to trust others and be trusted. According to these same experts, intelligence as measured by a traditional IQ test seems to have no bearing on managerial success. 

Having emotional intelligence basically means that you have emotional smarts. If you can answer yes to the following questions, you probably have high levels of emotional intelligence: 

  • Can you walk into a room and sense the mood? 
  • Can you recognize the emotional states of others? 
  • Do you know when you are becoming emotional and can you control it if you want to? 
  • Under stressful and chaotic situations, can you evoke positive emotions in others? 
  • Can you and do you express to others how you are feeling and what your emotions are? 

EQ is a combination of having people skills and knowing a lot about yourself. 

The EQ Test

Let’s have a little fun now. Below are ten items that determine EQ levels. For each item, rate your own ability on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest. If you want to get an accurate score you will need to be honest. 

  1. When in stressful situations, I find ways to relax. 
  1. I can stay calm when others verbally attack me. 
  1. I can easily identify my own mood shifts. 
  1. It is easy to “come back” after a major setback. 
  1. I have effective interpersonal skills like listening, giving feedback, and motivating others. 
  1. It is easy for me to show empathy to others. 
  1. I know when others are distressed or upset. 
  1. Even when working on a boring project, I can show high levels of energy. 
  1. I just seem to know what others are thinking. 
  1. I use positive, instead of negative “self-talk.” 

A score above 85 means you are already emotionally intelligent. A score above 75 means you are well on your way to becoming emotionally intelligent. 

EQ and Managing

No doubt you can see the connection between EQ and being a successful manager. Managing people is very different from managing tasks and projects. The EQ skills of recognizing your own feelings and the feeling of others; being able to express your emotions appropriately; being self-motivated and getting others to be; and being able to deal with stress, tension, and chaos and helping others do the same mark the excellent manager of today’s workplace. 

Paperback of The First Time Manager

The First Time Manager is the trusted management classic and go-to guide for anyone facing new responsibilities as a first time manager. Available in: