Much too often, when a talented staff member is promoted to management, that person morphs into a tyrant who ends up alienating everyone on the team. Author Steven Stein, a leading expert on psychological assessment and emotional intelligence, explains why this happens and how to change it in his new book, The EQ Leader: Instilling Passion, Creating Shared Goals, and Building Meaningful Organizations through Emotional Intelligence (Wiley, May 1, 2017).
Dr. Stein describes the faulty rationale behind promoting employees only on the basis on their technical skills — in other words, on their IQ (intelligence quotient) instead of their EQ (emotional quotient). Technical skills are important for front-line job performance, but they have little to do with motivating and rallying a team. For that, a person needs an entirely different skill set. Dr. Stein points out how bosses need to develop their Emotional Intelligence (EI), or else be at high risk of failing.
The EQ Leader describes EI as the new barometer for successful workplaces. But there’s a void of leaders with EI skills who can create office environments where team members are heard, valued, and validated. The assessments that Dr. Stein’s company, Multi-Health Systems (MHS), conducts comprise the largest database of EI scores in the world. From the results, he identified four pillars of EI essential for successful leadership: authenticity, coaching, insight, and innovation. Dr. Stein argues that without the ability to coach, to innovate, to communicate a compelling vision, and to serve as an ethical role model, leading an effective team becomes nearly impossible.
Millennials and Generation Z bring new values to the work force, and their lack of buy-in to old-school hierarchies in the office setting have helped recast today’s leadership mold. They look for socially responsible workplaces where there’s a shared sense of purpose, and they expect to take pride in their work and know their voice is heard. All are values embedded in leaders with strong EI.
The EQ Leader walks readers through the qualities associated with each of the four pillars, describing how to improve and apply them in order to create a finely tuned working environment. For example, leaders must walk the line between empathy and assertiveness, being able to defend their position while still inviting feedback that can alter their perspective — and never mistaking aggression for assertiveness.
Dr. Stein puts his theories into practice: MHS has been named to Canada’s “10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures” for multiple years. In The EQ Leader, he describes an annual event at MHS as one example of putting EI concepts into action. The MHS “Hackathon” invites teams to develop a business plan or prototype for a new product or service, then give a brief “Shark Tank” style presentation. The company benefits from discovering new, innovative ideas, and at the same time the event builds camaraderie.
The EQ Leader offers valuable advice and practical examples for improving EI. The benefits can expand beyond workplace morale and the bottom line. Moving beyond the era of the tyrannical boss will mean happier, less-stressed employers and employees enjoying a better quality of life.
Learn more at drstevenstein.com.