How Your EQ Predicts Your Future Success
by Bruce King & Jim Deitz
Reprinted from BIZ Magazine
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is defined as one’s mastery of
the five elements of: Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation,
Motivation, Empathy and Social Skills.
Choosing the franchise system that will help you reach your true potential is a challenge for almost every buyer. One client depicted it as “The most gut-wrenching decision I’ve ever made.” We believe that understanding one’s Emotional Intelligence before the purchase and then utilizing that knowledge during the management of a business, can ease the buyer’s fears when making a choice and help insure top performance thereafter.
For decades, schools and colleges have maintained that achieving high scholastic achievement predicts success in all future endeavors. Those with good grades in high school found the doors of many colleges open before them, and scholarships and loans were readily available. When one graduated near the top of his or her college class, businesses of all kinds sought their services and offered outstanding starting salaries. Yet a study completed in the early nineties proved that the most successful in their careers were rarely the best in academia.
A New Tool for Predicting Success
Daniel Goleman, the leading author on this phenomena (“Working With Emotional Intelligence”) discovered that a high Intelligence Quotient (IQ), or the measured ability to learn and apply information, did not often correspond to those leading their fields in their occupation. Further investigation revealed that even a high level of technical skill in an occupation did not necessarily correspond to top performance. What the study did disclose was the presence of five attributes that he grouped under the title Emotional Intelligence and that has come to be known as EQ.
If choosing the right franchise to buy is both challenging and risky, it stands to reason that those interested in improving their odds for success would want to examine their EQ as it relates to their work and investment.
The first segment of one’s Emotional Intelligence is defined as self-awareness. As we mentioned in last month’s article, you can’t map your journey unless you know from what point you’ll start. Evaluating yourself to gain a clear understanding of your strengths and limitations allows you to search for a franchise system where you’ll optimize your strengths while you hire others to handle areas that will be a challenge for you. Just as an athlete will test his skills at the start of each new season to determine where he should invest his time fine-tuning his skills, anyone making a major career change should evaluate what areas of his or her core behavioral traits should be the rock-solid foundation on which to build his future success.
The second area to assess and develop is that of self-regulation. A common weakness here is evidenced by those making inappropriate comments to employees and customers. “Inappropriate” here, does not mean “wrong”–only that they may be ineffective or counter productive because the other party sees things from a different perspective than the speaker. Likewise, being aggressive is a great benefit for those in a sales role, yet knowing when to back off is critical to long-term success. The tendency to be detail-oriented is of great benefit in many roles, yet someone who optimizes his skills of self-regulation will know when he should delegate detail work to others because, as the owner, he must move on to more critical areas of management.
The third segment to evaluate for strengthening is one’s self-motivation. The ability to get yourself moving toward a goal is invaluable to an entrepreneur. Most systems help their owners establish growth and financial goals during headquarters training. The superstars reach these objectives in record time–because they’re using their strengths and hiring for their deficiencies. Even if motivation has been a challenge for you in the past, it may have resulted from a poor job fit. Choosing the right industry—the one where your activities seem “natural”–should make every day a joy because your work is more like recreation than labor. At that point, the weekend is just a chance to rejuvenate yourself for the next week’s challenges.
Only after you gain a strong sense of self-awareness, can you begin to look outside yourself. The person with a high EQ displays a great deal of empathy. This is the ability to see things from the other person’s perspective and adjusting your actions so that both you and your employee (or customer) work together to achieve common goals. The inability to see peoples’ differences and the willingness to bridge the gap will hinder success. A shortfall in empathy should point a potential franchisee in the direction of “solo” ventures, where one produces the majority of the company’s products or services with a minimal interaction with employees or customers.
The last focal point of EQ is that of social skills. These include the business competencies of communications, team cooperation, the ability to influence others and effect change, and the ability to lead and manage others. Most of these social skills are determined by the behavioral traits needed to build and manage a business. These are easily measured by today’s modern behavioral assessment tools (including our FranchiseFit Survey). Again, discovering one’s strengths and shortcomings will be critical in focusing on a franchise organization where the positives can be put to good use and the negatives can be outsourced.
The Building Blocks of Success
One of the most exciting things about understanding your EQ is the realization that improvement is easy. Once you clearly understand these five critical areas, you can start your journey toward achieving a higher pinnacle of success. Author Goleman states that EQ is twice as important in achieving great things as the combination of IQ and Technical Knowledge. By understanding the needs of his field, one can determine what areas should be developed to meet the challenges.
Surely, you’ll want to match your natural behavioral traits to your daily work by purchasing a franchise that calls heavily on your current strengths. Then you should address areas which need improvement in order to guarantee that you achieve the levels of success that are only the dreams of others.
Bruce King is President of Professional Development Resources, Inc. in Atlanta. His company specializes in assisting people and companies with job selection, performance evaluation and training.
Jim Deitz is President of Andover Franchising, Inc in Atlanta. Through the company’s website, The Franchise Doctor, helps people discover their fit in franchising with the “FranchiseFit Entrepreneurial Matrix offered free at their site.