Emotional Intelligence

By Jennifer Griffith, Ohio Regional President of First Merchants Bank and a Conway Center Service Provider member.

Mary Manager is an extremely liked manager of a small team. She tends to find opportunity in everyday situations and is known for her kindness. Her manager feels lucky to have such a well-balanced team leader working by her side and regularly compliments her for her high levels of EI (Emotional Intelligence). Grateful for the high EI, Mary is not investing in this part of her leadership style, nor is her boss. Mary’s starting to feel stuck in a rut and her engagement is beginning to decline.

Recently, a fantastic business coach encouraged me to invest some time in exploring what a deeper understanding of Emotional Intelligence could do for our team dynamic. If you’re not familiar with this concept, Emotional Intelligence, sometimes referred to as Social Intelligence, is based on a four-part model that explores the connection between what you see and what you do with yourself and others. There are 12 identified competencies that associate with each of the four models: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, and Relationship Management.

If you’re interested in exploring the concept, a quick search will highlight the parallels between job performance, measures of success and/or personal fulfillment. While IQ (Intelligence Quotient) has been measured for more than 100 years, EI may be nudging out IQ in terms of its ability to accurately predict professional success, especially in a team environment. A high EI is typically the game changer that can describe why two properly trained teammates may excel at different paces.

Let’s revisit Mary Manager. Her kindness and likeability suggest strengths in empathy and a positive outlook. Both measures of strength inside the broader categories of Social Awareness and Self-Management. The feeling of getting stuck in a rut or pulling back on engagement suggests a gap in Self-Awareness and Relationship Management. Leaders who can develop strengths across the suite of competencies will likely be your future leaders and more successful adaptors of change.

If you;re interested in further exploring the topic, my business coach recommended Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves. Since reading it and taking the EI appraisal, I’ve shared the book with several of my teammates to advance the conversation. It’s been an interesting journey for me and perhaps there’s more that you are now curious to learn about.

Jennifer Griffith is the Ohio Regional President of First Merchants Bank. If you have any questions regarding emotional intelligence, please feel free to contact Jennifer by calling 614.583.2050 or by emailing her at jgriffith@firstmerchants.com.