Aug 10

Smart and Fast Are Not Enough: The Need for Better EQ

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Smart and Fast Are Not Enough: The Need for Better EQ
What is EQ?  Why is EQ the foundation for effective leadership, management, teambuilding and personal development? Do you have the EQ skills you need? Read this post and find out!

© Irene Becker, Just Coach It-The 3Q Edge™| Reach-Resonance-Results
Helping smart people and organizations lead forward smarter, faster and happier.
Leadership, Communication and Career Solutions with a 3Q Edge™ 



Far more than your intellectual potential (IQ), your emotional quotient (EQ) predicts your success. In a study of workers at all levels, the single most important factor that distinguished star performers was EQ, as Daniel Goleman reports in Working with Emotional Intelligence. Of all the strengths required for excellence, 67% are emotional competencies.

Emotional intelligence is a set of abilities that helps you manage your emotions and relate to others. Stress tolerance, leadership, communication, collaboration, social responsibility, problem solving, creativity, and self-actualization all require high EQ.

With appropriate education and training, you can develop EQ throughout your life. One of the best ways to improve your EQ competencies is to find a coach whose practice is EQ focused, because the learning is in the doing.

To better understand the power of EQ, let’s look at how our brains are constructed.

Your Brain is Built to Be Emotionally Intelligent

The oldest part of our brain is the reptilian brain. It controls very rudimentary things—breathing, swallowing, heartbeat, the visual tracking system a frog uses to snap up flies, or the startle reflex that human infants are born with.

The next part of the brain to evolve was the limbic brain. The limbic brain can be expressive and intuitive, but it doesn’t reason, isn’t logical, and doesn’t respond to our will. It’s pivotal to human functioning because it’s what makes our relationships possible. It’s this part of our brain that leads us to desire companionship and bond with others.

The functions of the reptilian and limbic brains are involuntary. While what you do with your feelings is under your control, the actual emotions you feel are not. The reptilian and limbic brains won’t take orders. Rather, they work to send you signals about your feelings so you can tune into these signals and stay safe.

The single most important factor that distinguished star performers was EQ.

Just because you feel something, of course, doesn’t mean it’s beneficial to act on it. The ability to control your actions in the face of strong emotions is created in the third and largest part of the brain, the neo-cortex. Neo means “new,” and the neo-cortex is the most recently evolved part of the brain. It’s the seat of your thinking, logic, and reasoning.

It can modulate feelings and integrate them, and it can talk about them. To solve problems, you need the reptilian brain, limbic system, and neo-cortex to work together. Making good decisions means engaging emotional intelligence, and that demands getting in touch with your feelings and using your whole brain.

The ability to model empathy is the best way to motivate others.

It’s the human ability to align instincts, emotions, and thoughts that gives you the capacity to increase your emotional intelligence. And it’s the ability to use the changes, challenges, and even crucibles you face to develop self-awareness that can help you lead better, communicate better, and succeed in your life and career.

Do You Have What It Takes?

Here’s a list of the major EQ competencies that make up a fully integrated personality. Ask yourself the questions that follow to see if you have these essential traits:

Emotional self-awareness: Do you notice your feelings and attribute them properly?

Emotional expression: Are you able to express your feelings and gut-level instincts?

Emotional awareness of others: Can you intuit what others may be feeling from their words, body language, or other clues?

Creativity: Do you tap into resources to help you envision new ideas, frame alternative solutions, and find effective ways of doing things?

Resilience: Do you bounce back and retain curiosity and hope in the face of adversity, change, and challenge?

Interpersonal connections: Have you formed a network of people with whom you can be your real and whole self?

Of all the strengths required for excellence, 67% are emotional competencies.

Constructive discontent: Do you stay calm, focused, and emotionally grounded during disagreements and conflict?

Optimism: Do you keep a positive outlook?

Empathy: Do you appreciate and honour others’ feelings?

Intuition: Do you notice, trust, and use your hunches, gut-level reactions, and other non-cognitive responses produced by the senses, emotions, mind, and body?

Intentionality: Do you say what you mean and mean what you say? Are you willing to forgo distraction and temptations in order to be responsible for your actions?

Trust radius: Do you believe people are “good” until proven otherwise while at the same time not trusting in a naive way?

Personal power: Do you believe you can meet challenges and live the life you choose?

EQ’s role in your organization

Here are some of the ways EQ can help you manage, lead, and connect with people in your organization:

EQ is a powerful way to read people, understand them, and use what they’re feeling to move past conflict.

Communication demands high EQ. While we know that 90% of communication is non-verbal, we’re often so focused on the facts that we forget the feelings. Emotion is what non-verbal communication is made of.

Increasing your EQ will help you lessen stress, develop better strategies, and establish successful collaborations.

It takes EQ skills to understand people’s different perspectives, win people to your side, and help them contribute to the greatest extent possible.

We like to think we’re rational beings, but most decisions are made on the basis of how we feel about the facts we’ve uncovered. Emotions, not facts, move people. Hence, you need to use the challenges at hand to understand what really matters to people, how they need to be validated, what they really want.

When you help others in your organization increase their EQ, they’ll be better able to adapt to change and embrace creative solutions.

“Motivation” and “emotion” come from the same root, and both are contagious. The ability to model empathy (an EQ competency) is the best way to motivate others.

In a world of unprecedented change and challenge, your EQ will help you build the leadership, communication, and collaboration needed to lead a better life, build a better organization, and contribute to a better world.


I am committed to helping smart people and organizations use changes and challenges to optimize and catalyze their potential to communicate & LEAD FORWARD.  Use changes and challenges to improve communication, management, leadership…career success?  Yes!
Helping my clients build their 3Q Edge™ and develop the R-E-A-C-H™ that helps them lead forward smarter, faster and happier is what I do best!


Irene HeadshotIrene Becker | Just Coach It-The 3Q Edge™ | Reach-Resonance-Results
Executive Coaching, Consulting, Training and Keynotes with a 3Q Edge™ 

Face to face and/or virtually by telephone, video conferencing or skype! 
irene@justcoachit.com  Twitter @justcoachit
Tel: (1) 416-671-4726   Skype: beckerirene



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  1. Navjot

    You are absolutely right Irene :) EQ is much much more important than IQ. To stand strong in times which need us to resist stress and accept failure is something that can be achieved only through a good EQ.

    IQ is for skillful people, EQ is for leaders :)

    A very good article :) Thank you for sharing :)

    ~Navjot @coolwoodyblue at twitter

    1. Irene Becker

      Thanks so much for your comments, Navjot, and for also following me on Twitter:) I am so glad that you liked my article on EQ. Your comments on IQ being for skillful people, and EQ for leaders is so true. However, I believe that today the need to develop stronger EQ skills is important for everyone and CRITICAL for leaders. EQ is also a conduit to increased creativity and it also helps strengthen the other two Qs that are part of my model, IQ (ideation, cognition, actionability) and SQ (values alignment, soulful purpose the anchor of our best selves and best work)

      I thank you again for your great comments! Will be writing more on EQ soon!

      Wishing you a wonderful day! Delighted that my post was of service!

  2. Maragret Kanipe

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.

    1. Irene Becker

      Thank you very much for your comments, Maragret! Delighted that you bookmarked the blog. You can also subscribe by rss feed. There is lots of new content and good existing content to enjoy.

      Here to learn, share and contribute. Appreciated your comments very much.

      Best, Irene

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    1. Irene Becker

      Antoine: Thank you very much for your kind comments. I hope that you will visit the blog and site as there is lots of great info, and you can also find an EQ self quiz. Stay tuned as there is much more good stuff to come.

      Best, Irene

  4. Wesley

    Reached your web blog through Yahoo. You already know I am signing up to your feed.

    1. Irene Becker

      Thanks you very much! Glad that you are signing up to my rss feed, as I post frequently. If there is an area of particular that interests you let me know.

      Very best, Irene

  5. Armin

    I truly learned about most of this, but with that in mind, I still believed it turned out practical. Beautiful post!

    1. Irene Becker

      Thanks so much Armin. I am glad that the article was of service to you. Building high EQ skills is really critical. While the best way to build them is through coaching where an ongoing process occurs, everything starts with desire and awareness. There is also an EQ Self Quiz on site that you might enjoy.

      Very best, Irene

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    Simply desire to say your article is as amazing. The clarity in your post is just great and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the enjoyable work.

    1. Irene Becker

      Thank you so much for your comments! I am so happy that my article was of service to you. Understanding what EQ is and building it is SO critical. I did a certification in coaching EQ and also do work for a large US organization coaching executives and senior managers in EQ skills that relate to communication-influence, engagement, leadership, wellness…improved results! I am delighted that you are going to subscribe to the RSS feed.

      There is also an EQ self quiz on my blog which you might really enjoy. And, there are new posts very frequently. Do stop by and give me your feedback again! I just posted a new article on Leading in the Face of Crisis. More to come:)

      Yours in service, Irene

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      Thanks very much for your comments! Glad taht you are enjoying the site. Lots more good stuff to come soon! You can sign up for the rss feed also, and get updates automatically.

      Very best, Irene

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      Thank you very much! I am dedicated to the integrity of my work, and appreciate your comments. Stayed tuned for lots to come on the site and on ! blog!

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    1. Irene Becker

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  11. Irene Becker

    Thanks so much Marnie. If you go to the top of my site you will see an icon to subscribe by rss feed, and in so doing you will get an updated feed of my posts. I want to mention that there is also an EQ Self Test on Qblog. If you have trouble locating it, email me and I will send you the link. irene@justcoachit.com. I am also a passionate tweeter, and if you would like to follow me on twitter my handle is justcoachit.

    EQ is so critical, and the big bonus is that we can all learn/enhance our EQ skills and the benefits are key for just about every aspect of our lives and careers!

    I also have a program, an accelerated program on EQ that you can read about on http://www.justcoachit.com.

    Wishing you a terrific day.

    Very Best, Irene

  12. Irene Becker

    Hi Elizabeth: Thanks so much for your comments. You can subscribe to Qblog by clicking on the requisite tab on the right side of the blog homepage-Get Updates. This will allow you to get the rss feed. The blog is new, and I will be adding an email option shortly!

    Very best, Irene

  13. Irene Becker

    Thank you so much Alegro! I hope that you will enjoy the many posts on Qblog and many more to come. There is new content often, and you can sign up for the rss feed so that you are updated!

    Very best, Irene

  14. Irene Becker

    Thanks so much, Heather! I am so glad that you are enjoying Qblog! Stay tuned because there is lots more to come!

    Very best, Irene

  15. Jacob Verna

    Good article!

  16. Irwin Mickler

    Hello, I really loved your comments above. Keep up the good work ! Thanks Very Much.

    1. Irene Becker

      Hi Irwin: Thank you very much for your comments! Stay tuned for more great content…and I hope more great feedback!

      Very best, Irene

  17. Irene Becker

    Thank you very much, Kenneth. There is also an EQ self test on Qblog!

    Very best, Irene

  18. Irene Becker

    Hi Deonarine: Thanks for your great feedback. So glad you are enjoying Qblog. You can also subscribe by rss feed so that you do not miss any updates/new posts!

    Very best, Irene

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    1. Irene Becker

      Thanks for your very kind message. Delighted you are enjoying the blog.

      Best, Irene

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    1. Irene Becker

      Dr. Johnson:

      Thanks so much for your very kind comments. I am glad that you are enjoying my blog, signed up for the feed and are sharing the blog. This is terrific.

      Being informative, entertaining while hitting nails on the head is something I am passionate about. Synchronistically, I have worked thie cosmetic dental practices helping them build enhanced EQ skills, improved communication and leadership. And, I am hoping to write a series on Emotional Intelligence for Health Care Professionals…so please stay tuned.

      There is also a quick EQ self test on the blog as well as lots of good stuff on career, communication, leadership strengths as well as inspiring posts because the imperative to stay focused and recharged is critical.

      Best! Irene

  21. Helio Fred Garcia

    A core principle of effective leadership communication is that to move people you need to meet them where they are. That requires emotional intelligence and a genuine curiosity about other people, their values, goals, and decision-making styles…

    Thanks for reminding us…

    1. Irene Becker

      Hi Fred: It is outstanding to receive positive feedback from an expert on effective leadership communication, and I believe that your book The Power of Communication http://thepowerofcommunication.net/ is a must read book for all leaders.

      Thank you for a leadership and communication footprint that is helping so many, Professor Garcia.

      Best, Irene

  22. Micheal Adeyemi

    Your article was timely to me.I want to appreciate you for taking time out to write such a wonderful piece on EQ. it has broaden my knowledge base and i must say a big thank you to you. You just blessed me.hoping to read more of your article and please inbox me your blog site so i could visit frequently.


    1. Irene Becker

      Michael: Thank you so much for your comment! EQ is a wonderful competency and one that we can grow throughout our lives and careers. The ability to develop strong EQ is so important, and with the desire, the right coaching or guidance it is doable! My blog site is http://www.justcoachit.com or 3QLeadershipblog You can sign up for the blog on the right hand corner of the blog homepage. There is also a short self quiz on EQ on the blog. Just do a search in the search bar and you will find it.

      If there are particular areas of EQ that are of interest to you, do not hesitate to drop me a line. irene@justcoachit.com

      Best! Irene

  23. Ian Cribbes

    Irene, an excellent article – particularly the self-questions. In my time in the Middle East I was adopting much of what you preach. I was not aware of my behavioral patterns and the interaction until reading your articles. Many thanks and keep up the excellent blogs.

    Warm regards,


    1. Irene Becker

      Ian, thank you so much for your wonderful feedback! So very appreciated. Delighted that the article was of value in terms of content, and also helping you to spot the link between behavioral patterns and interactions…ah, the coachable moment!

      Again, sincere thanks. Dedicated to providing value through my work and articles. I think you will like the new site…should be up this month!

      Warm regards back,

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