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Most Leaders Need Some More Yang

The yin yang meaning and symbol date back to ancient China and represent the belief that everything in the universe consists of two forces that are opposing but complementary. Day and night, masculine and feminine, life and death, hot and cold, you get the idea. Each of these are necessary in their own context. Individually they provide for our needs however their full value truly becomes evident when we see them at work in duality.

So what has this got to do with leadership? Before I answer that, let me give you some context.

“Managers” manage a process however it takes a “leader” to lead people!

The technical skillset of a manager is not nearly enough when they aspire to be a leader of people. Both these skillsets are necessary to perform your role, but when interchanged and used for the wrong function, instead of being complimentary they can become an opposing force.

People, unlike a process, are both logical and emotional. The human brain has specific systems that regulate both. The Neo Cortex is commonly called the “logical” brain and the “Limbic System” is the “emotional” brain. They too can either work in a complimentary or opposing way and in this we find yet another Yin and Yang.

Cognitive Intelligence (measured as IQ) allows you to utilise information and data to facilitate a logical process. It is valuable for both managers and leaders, however if you rely on your IQ alone when leading people, you and they are in for a bumpy ride.

Albert Einstein, a man with an IQ of around 190 was quoted as saying;
“We should take care not to make the intellect our god.
It has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.
It cannot lead, it can only serve.”

IQ is important to a leader however it’s EQ that sets you apart.

Emotional Intelligence (measured as EQ) allows you to manage your emotions to ensure they work collaboratively with your cognitive function. It is the ability to be aware of your own emotions and the emotions of others, in the moment, and then to use that information to manage yourself and manage your relationships.

We all know that people do not leave organisations they leave leaders. In fact 70% of derailed careers and relationships can be directly attributed to a lack of emotional intelligence. Bullying and harassment, being too harse and overly critical. Lacking empathy or the ability to communicate. This talent turnstile is costing billions of dollars every year worldwide.

Over 50% of wasted time is caused by a lack of trust; a key competency of emotional intelligence. This can lead to a loss of clients and revenue which is sabotaging business and career goals.

A leader who is constantly putting out fires and refereeing workplace conflict goes home feeling tired and stress levels are high. Drained energy levels make it hard for people to enjoy their life and continued stress can cause chronic health issues such as adrenal fatigue, high blood sugar, heart disease and stroke.

Enough of the bad news. It doesn’t have to be this way.

When you develop emotional intelligence in yourself and your team you have leaders who manage a process and lead people in a way that makes everyone produce more. Organisations that have a high EQ demonstrate high levels of trust and empathy. People rave about working there and want to achieve more for themselves and their colleagues. The silo mentality that creates a lot of conflict is replaced with one of teamwork and collaboration so business goals can not only met, they can be exceeded.

People with positive emotions have lower risk of chronic disease and have fewer symptoms, recover more quickly and experience less pain when they do fall ill. They live longer!

Statistics show that people with high emotional intelligence have more satisfying relationships and earn about 33% more over the course of their lifetime.

Leaders with a high EQ display improved performance and higher achievment, they are more creative and innovative in their problem solving. They make better decisions and have a more flexible thought process.

Many organisations, large and small, have realised the importance of developing emotional intelligence and experience a return on investment higher than they do from their technical training. Here are a few examples:

  • Pepsico increased productivity by 10% and more importantly saw an 87% decrease in executive turnover which saved them $4M.
  • At Sanofi Aventis 40 salespeople who were trained and coached in EI outsold their colleagues by an average of 12% or $55,200 per month. That’s over $2.2M per month.
  • Sheraton Hotels increased their market share by 24%.

These skills are not just “soft skills” for the warm and fuzzies. Emotional Intelligence is a crucial set of skills that can be learned and developed, no matter the age or stage of life. It starts with developing a self awareness and then incrementally increasing each of the 26 competencies.

IQ and EQ, a form of Yin and Yang. Working together in harmony or fighting against each other for supremecy. That’s why a leader needs some more Yang.

Contact me today to find out how you can bring this important training and development into your world.

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