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  • Writer's pictureChuck Cusumano

Emotional Intelligence

By Jillian Broaddus and Chuck Cusumano

If you’ve done any work with The Joshua Group, you know we like assessments.

Whether you’ve been coached through Gallup Strengthsfinders results, learned more about yourself through our Communication survey, worked with our leaders as you undergo a 360, or heard our take on your Language of Appreciation style or Giver-Taker-Matcher scores, we believe self-assessments are an extremely valuable tool into analyzing your strengths, working through your areas of opportunity, and unlocking your ultimate potential.

Well, we have good news… We’re brewing up a new assessment to add to our repertoire, and it’s unlike any we’ve used before: We’re introducing an EQ assessment in the New Year!

We figured we’d use this week’s blog to tease a little bit about what we’re learning, including what EQ is, why it matters, and how to improve your own score.

What Is EQ?

EQ – “emotional quotient” – is basically defined as: The ability to carry out accurate reasoning about emotions, and the ability to use emotions and emotional knowledge to enhance thought.

Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, describes it as understanding and managing your own emotions and influencing the emotions of others.

Why does it matter?

According to Harvard Business Review, emotional intelligence is the strongest predictor of performance. Study after study confirm that emotional intelligence is more important than IQ or past experience, and that emotionally intelligent individuals fare better when it comes to getting hired, getting promoted, and being happier and more engaged employees.

Daniel Goleman puts it simply: “If your emotional abilities aren't in hand, if you don't have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can't have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”

Emotionally unintelligent people – leaders especially – have been shown to derail teams (at best) and lead to failed companies (at worst).

Why is this, though? Ultimately, emotionally intelligent people are easy to get along with; they’re supportive, likeable, empathetic, and positive contributors to any social environment they’re a part of. They handle their thoughts calmly and rationally, are likely to maintain their composure in times of turmoil, and are often self-aware and motivated team players.

In other words, everyone wants a high EQ team!

How do I improve it?

We’re still in the midst of researching how to measure EQ and – thus – how to improve it, but here are some key points to start with:

  • Check in with yourself. This can be on your own in a casual setting throughout the day, with a trusted confidante or mental health professional, or through a scheduled routine such as meditation. Managing your feelings begins with acknowledging them!

  • Really listen – to yourself AND others. It’s far too easy to be distracted in today’s world, but a crucial skill of emotional intelligence and working well with others is through developing active listening skills and honing in your curiosity about others’ needs and feelings, too!

  • Reflect – either through requesting feedback from others, or thinking back on your own interactions periodically and questioning where you could improve. Feedback is often uncomfortable, but growth also doesn’t happen in your comfort zone. In order to strengthen your relationships, start with an honest look at where they currently stand.

That’s all for now, but as we mentioned – please stay tuned for more! If you want to read up on EQ in the meantime, check out this Fast Company article, or Daniel Goleman’s book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. If you want to discuss anything you’re learning or hear more about our assessments, please reach out to us at

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