Toastmaster — May 2011
Change Language:

IQ versus EQ

“I have found... that the most effective leaders are alike in one crucial way: They all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence.” – Daniel Goleman

Many years ago, I heard a Toastmaster comment on how this organization teaches us emotional intelligence (EQ) and how important it is in the development of highly effective leaders. I ran to my nearby bookstore and began the long journey to understanding emotional intelligence. Some say that IQ (intelligence quotient) might get you a job, but your EQ is what enables you to keep it.

When Daniel Goleman, a psychologist and author of the 1995 bestselling book Emotional Intelligence, compared cognitive skills, technical skills, IQ and EQ, he found that emotional intelligence proved to be twice as important as those other qualities for jobs at all levels. This is never truer than in the leadership roles we fill at the club, area, division, district, Board and international levels.

Goleman outlines five components of emotional intelligence:

Internally focused

1. Self-awareness begins our EQ development. People with a high degree of self-awareness are aware of their strengths and weaknesses and are able to talk about them.

2. Self-regulation flows from self-awareness. People with this trait are able to control their impulses and/or channel them in a specific direction.

3. Motivation relates to possessing a passion for achievement for its own sake, not because someone requires it of you. This is the principal ingredient for developing effective leadership.

Externally focused

4. Empathy takes into account the feelings of others when you make decisions. This is different from “taking on” everyone’s troubles.

5. Social skills are the culmination of the previous four traits and include the ability to build rapport with others, foster cooperation and inspire participation.

Take a moment and consider how these traits relate to you and your Toastmasters opportunities. We can boost our emotional intelligence, but not through the traditional training programs that target the rational part of our brains. We are able to become more effective, emotionally intelligent leaders only through extended practice, feedback from colleagues and our own enthusiasm for making the change. We in Toastmasters have the opportunity to develop EQ through our ongoing supportive learning environment while we fulfill our various roles.

Sounds just like what we do best, doesn’t it? Let’s build our EQ together in Toastmasters!

Pat Johnson, DTM International President