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16 Aug '13

Signs of good and bad EQ

Posted by T.J. Addington in emotional intelligence (EQ), good EQ, low EQ
Emotional Intelligence (EQ), is the ability to understand ourselves, know what drives us, accurately understand how we are perceived by others, and understand how we relate to others. EQ measures whether we have the relational skills to work synergistically with others while being ‘self defining’ and allowing others to speak into our lives or work without defensiveness. Many of the actions, responses, attitudes and relational tendencies relate to our EQ. Healthy leadership therefore requires healthy EQ since leadership is all about relationships and people. One can lead from a position of authority with poor EQ but one cannot lead through deep influence without healthy EQ.


I believe that we pay far too little attention to issues of EQ in the hiring of leaders, building of teams or in our own lives. There are many brilliant individuals whose poor emotional intelligence leaves havoc in their wake. Poor emotional intelligence on the part of leaders is the major cause of relational and leadership issues. It is an issue every leader needs to pay close attention to. Those who do not end up hurting their leadership and the organization they lead. Several key issues of EQ stand out for leaders.


Consider these signs of poor EQ
  • Defensiveness
  • Inability to resolve conflict or negotiate differences in a healthy way
  • Lack of empathy and understanding leaving people feeling hurt
  • Marginalization of those who disagree with us
  • Narcissism, where it is all about “me”
  • A need to get our own way
  • Control of others rather than empowerment
  • Inapproachability by staff, volunteers or board members
  • Use of spiritual terms like “God told me” or “spiritual warfare” to shut down discussion
  • Lack of flexibility and ability to negotiate issues for a win/win solution
  • Holding grudges and lack of forgiveness
  • Inability to play on a team
  • A history of relational problems with people one has worked with
  • Lack of sensitivity to how actions, behaviors or words affect others
  • Personal insecurity
  • Inability to be self defining while maintaining good relationships
  • Attitudes of cynicism and mistrust toward others
  • A poor understanding of one’s strengths and weaknesses
  • A victim mentality where we are the victims and it is always someone else’s fault when conflict occurs
  • Seeing the world in black and white where there are good guys and bad guys and not much in between leading to the demonization of others
  • Needing to be popular
  • Becoming enmeshed in other people’s issues
  • High personal anxiety over aspects of my job
  • Saying one thing to one individual and another thing to others
Consider these signs of good EQ
  • I am approachable and have a nothing to prove, nothing to lose attitude
  • I seek to resolve conflict quickly and well
  • I am self defined but always leave the door open for dialogue with those who disagree and work to keep the relationship
  • I live with self confidence but not hubris
  • I am highly flexible
  • I seek to understand myself well including, weaknesses and strengths and the shadow side
  • I ask others for feedback on my behaviors
  • I am a team player and value “us” more than “me”
  • I work very hard to understand others and put myself in their place
  • I don’t hold grudges and extend forgiveness easily
  • I don’t need to be popular but I do desire to be respected
  • When conflict occurs I take responsibility for my part
  • There are no issues that are off limits for my team to discuss
  • I am patient with people and always give them the benefit of the doubt
  • I have a sense of humor about myself and don’t take myself too seriously