“IQ” only accounts for 20 percent of success

January 4, 2010

Yes, everyone wants to shine at work.  Be noticed for doing something well, producing the best product or outcomes, or having the best ideas and plans.  This is natural and desirable. Most of us may think it is best done by being the smartest or brightest one in the mix.  But that’s not the case.  IQ, or Intelligence Quotient, has been found to account for only 20 percent or less of the contribution to success in the work place.  Just pure “smarts” and technical ability won’t get you where you want to go.  So, what will?

Daniel Goleman and others have well researched, documented, and written about Emotional Intelligence and its impact on successful work interactions and careers.  We all are familiar with the work colleagues who slow down, interrupt, or stop effectiveness through a host of childlike or inappropriate emotionally based behaviors.  The list is long, including anger, triangulating relationships, jealousy, hoarding or withholding, passive aggressiveness, and generally flat lining (no emotional response at all).  People behaving with these emotions are not only difficult to be around as they play poorly in the sandbox, they also make the work world far less productive.

What does a high Emotional Quotient look like or contain.  Goleman lists the following emotional competencies.

  • Self Awareness – Knowing oneself, having a realistic view of one’s abilities, and having a well-grounded sense of self-confidence
  • Self-Regulation – Managing one’s internal states, impulses and resources.  Handling emotions in a way that facilitates rather than interfers and recovering well from distress
  • Motivation – using one’s deepest preferences to move and guide toward our goals; having the energy to improve, bounce back, and persevere
  • Empathy – Sensing what others are feeling, being able to take their perspectives, and cultivating rapport with a wide diversity of people
  • Social Skills – Handling emotions in relationships well, accurately reading social situations and networks….interacting smoothly to lead, negotiate, and settle disputes for cooperation and teamwork

People who possess the above five tend to be those with obvious honesty and integrity, show resilience, have unique potential and commitment, have influence without positional authority, possess a large trust radius, and display positive emotional energy.

What if your organization has “hired wrong”, put up with emotional basket cases for too long, or just has a poor emotional climate from one or more emotional polluters?  What do you do?

  • First, training and development must go past its focus on technical and compliance issues to include areas such as self-awareness, personal decision making, handling stress, developing and using empathy, effective communication, personal responsibility, and conflict resolution.  These are harder to absorb.  They are not data driven but must be experienced and ingested!
  • Second, new hires need to be evaluated and ranked/rated on emotional criteria as well as technical skills and pure output.  A close look at job history with the right behavioral interviewing can help.
  • Third, catch problems early before they grow and explode.  Doing nothing allows issues to grow, and grow they will!
  • Fourth, partnering with and mentoring from your highly effective leaders will help.
  • Fifth, one-on-one or small group coaching can be effective.

Whether personally or organizationally, we tend to let emotional quotient issues remain static, assuming there is nothing to do other than ignore, put up with, or just fire people.  Far from the case; as seen above, there is a lot that can be done.  It’s not easy; but, have you tried?



Why working with a business coach is now more important than ever.

August 19, 2009

Ever thought about a business or personal coach?  Sure, you may have considered it for an employee who is in trouble, underperforming, or just stuck…or for yourself for that matter.  Yes, coaching helps in those cases. Whether you are struggling or not, however, business coaching returns significant benefits for both intended and unintended outcomes.  Consider the following information:

A recent survey by the International Coach Federation strongly supports the contention that having a business coach is a worthwhile investment, especially in this very challenging business environment.

The Federation surveyed 210 coaching clients for their feedback on the value of business coaching. Here are some of their key insights:

  • 70 percent believe business coaching is “very valuable.”
  • 50 percent confide in their coach as much as their best friend, spouse or therapist; 12 percent confide in their coach more than anyone else (Hmmm, that’s a little scary!).

Some positive outcomes the clients experienced included:

  • 62.4 percent were smarter at goal setting.
  • 60.5 percent were leading a more balanced life.
  • 57.1 percent had lower stress levels.
  • 52.4 percent had more self-confidence.
  • 43.3 percent saw an improvement in their quality of life.
  • 25.7 percent earned more income as a result of receiving business coaching.

Of the 210 survey respondents, 197 were employed professionals. All had a formal, ongoing relationship with a coach with an average duration of nine months. Over 80 percent of the respondents had undergraduate degrees and more than 30 percent had Master’s degrees or higher.

It’s important to note that they experienced numerous positive outcomes; not just making more money.  On many occasions I’ve entered into business coaching relationships where the client was focused primarily on making more money – at least at the outset.  As the relationship progressed and recommendations were put into action, these clients realized that business coaching can lead to many positive outcomes, such as more self-confidence and smarter goal setting.  And guess what, these outcomes usually lead to making more money and having more fun while doing it!

In today’s environment where many very qualified people are competing for fewer jobs, a business coach could be your ace in the hole.