When on the Lean path of challenging the norm, eliminating waste, and searching for root-cause, business leaders must apply “Emotional Quotient” (EQ) skills to overcome roadblocks. … You need to identify, take ownership, solve and meet challenges head on when applying an emotionally intelligent response.

I didn’t get beyond the first paragraph of this article on The EQ Factor from Supply & Demand Chain Executive without thinking back to JB’s posts on What is the Spend Manager Made Of? and The Spend Management Talent Game where he noted that a high EQ (high interpersonal skills) is one of the three key areas required to excel in Spend Management and that practitioners need to understand the world beyond them and possess general problem solving skills that go beyond functional – or even technology – knowledge. That’s probably what drew me in.

The article states that Emotional Intelligence (EI) can be defined as the innate dimension of intelligence responsible for our potential to manage opportunities when presented and manage relationships with others. EQ (like IQ, only with emotions) is the relative measure of a person’s healthy or unhealthy development of their innate EI and notes that while many leaders can comprehend tremendously intricate data, frequently those same leaders lack empathy, sabotage relationships, and ultimately fail to “rally the troops” and implement desired changes.

It then goes on to illustrate what EQ is by way of a Case Study called The EQ Blunder about a planning manager who is pessimistic, condescending, and challenging. But the specifics aren’t important, the points they specifics illustrate are.

The article notes that EQ can be learned by addressing the five critical skills that make up emotional intelligence through training and reinforcement. These skills are:

  • Self-Awareness
  • Mood Management
  • Self-Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Manage Relationships

A self-aware person gathers their thoughts and formulates a reply that includes an acknowledgment of the concern, followed by questions to gain clarification in an effort to build a complete, unambiguous, and mutual understanding of the facts and/or circumstances before formulating a response.

An individual who controls her mood is capable of self-management – of evaluating the situation and adapting appropriately. They look at the costs and benefits of the small actions as well as the large ones and align their actions with their attentions. They take the appropriate amount of time and give the right amount of attention to critical tasks in order to manage all the issues and act appropriately. They are optimistic, see beyond the present, and anticipate the future.

They are motivated, and take action because it feels rewarding to do so. They manage and sustain their energy levels and ensure that they are able to persevere through the challenges.

They are socially aware. They take ownership, accountability, see through the problem, ask questions, and do whatever is necessary to create change and improvements. They are empathic, in control of their body language, and sharing.

They can manage their relationships. They commit to worthy goals. They are compassionate. They are leaders.