It’s October and time to check your EQ!

October is Emotional Intelligence Awareness Month, which may be news to you if you aren’t 100 percent sure what emotional intelligence is. However, emotional intelligence – or EQ – can be the key to leading your team to a more successful year if you use it correctly…and it is often especially helpful as we enter the high-stress holiday season.

Your emotional intelligence, or your “EQ,” is your ability to both identify and manage your emotions. Sounds pretty simple, right? EQ is made up of three key skills.

  1. You need to be able to correctly identify what you are feeling,
  2. You need to be able to apply what you are feeling to tasks or problems at hand, and
  3. You need to be able to manage and regulate your emotions, as well as to use what you are feeling to motivate someone else to feel a specific way.

Let me give you some easy examples for each skill:

  • If you understand that the urge to throw your stapler at the wall after a difficult phone call means that you are experiencing anger and frustration, then you have the first skill.
  • If you are able to then apply yourself to the solution necessary to heal a relationship or mend a service issue, channeling your emotions to fuel you to work faster, you have the second skill.
  • If you can rein in your anger while you give the team a speech to put them on the right road and motivate them, and they feel a fresh burst of energy to get going, then you have the third skill.

The reason that EQ is so important for team building is that emotional intelligence touches virtually every aspect of your business. EQ is a part of hiring, working, supervising, and leading. When a team has a good EQ, the team members trust each other, develop a sense of belonging to the group, and work together efficiently.

You need to view fostering EQ among your employees as one of your important jobs. For most people, EQ is developed “in the field” rather than learned before coming to the job.

You can help your employees understand their own feelings by using tools like personality assessments. In addition to that, creating an environment and culture that allow team members to effectively regulate their emotions, and then modeling for them how to properly use emotions to positively impact others, are the best ways to boost the EQ across your team.

Think of EQ as an undeveloped energy source; when you can tap into it and use it effectively, your business will really start to gain some speed as it moves forward.