By Daniel Goleman
A majority of the time people are promoted to leadership positions because they are good at a certain task they perform in their current role. They are smart, capable people, but that doesn’t mean they have what it takes to lead people. We are currently seeing what people are calling the great resignation, people are leaving their jobs right and left and a lot of it has to do with leaders. People don’t want to work for horrible bosses who aren’t empathetic, positive, caring, self-aware, etc…
“So you may be good at a job in terms of the objective measures of the job, such as–I’m really good at programming. But it turns out that it’s all done with people. And if you’re the leader of people, you need emotional intelligence to work well with the people you’re leading. It’s just a fact.”
A certain level of IQ is needed for specific roles like being a lawyer or an accountant, but usually in those types of roles everyone around you has around the same IQ–so the thing that sets you apart is EQ. For people who only have IQ, but no EQ they may be better suited to a job in coding or something with numbers that doesn’t require them to work with people too much. They are not good for leadership roles because it is crucial for leaders to be good communicators.
For people with high EQ but not high IQ they may be best suited for a role in sales or a position where they are building relationships with customers and clients.
Three methods you can use to control your emotions at work
We can all use some techniques that can be utilized when we feel angry, frustrated, sad, etc…Daniel has three main methods that he suggests:
- Sympathetic nervous system arousal. It sounds complicated, but actually it’s a breathing technique that helps you recover quickly from being upset. You start out by inhaling as long as you can (at least a count of four), hold it as long as you can (at least a count of four), and then exhale as long as you can. Repeat this six to nine times and it actually shifts your physiology.
- Name what you are feeling. It can help to say out loud what you are feeling either to yourself or to someone else. Just saying “I’m getting angry now” is shown to shift the energy from the part of the brain that feels it to the part of the brain that manages it.
- Practice mindfulness. Bring your focus to your breath and keep it there. Keep your attention on the rise and fall of your belly, and the breath in and out. If your mind starts to wander, notice it, and bring it back to your breathing. And do that for 10-20 minutes a day. The action of catching your mind wandering and bringing it back strengthens your mind to stay focused and avoid distractions.
It’s also important, when you have negative emotions, to take a step back and think twice about your negative thoughts. There are many times when we go to the extreme in our head. You make a mistake at work and your mind starts thinking about how you are going to be fired. When those thoughts pour in, realize that you are being extreme and refocus.