Insights in Leadership

EQ, IQ and Listening Skills

June 15, 2015


Someone once said that leadership is 90% mental, and the other 10% is... mental. Some of that mental capital is logical intelligence (IQ); and some is emotional intelligence (EQ).


We can all be highly effective listeners when our thoughts are well-ordered and we stay on top of them.


But sometimes our emotions get in the way of being attentive listeners. They may preoccupy us and make our minds wander, whether or not they have anything to do with the person we are listening to.  A momentary or habitually low listening EQ can take us down the wrong (un-listening and un-thinking) paths as leaders.


To raise your EQ while listening, consider these three simple steps:

  1. When you find yourself in a situation where your emotions are blocking your listening logic, use your IQ; stop and reset. If possible, put off the conversation to a later time.

  2. Reprogramming your listening EQ takes time; there will be setbacks. Hang in there and be patient with yourself.

  3. Be happy when you do a good job of listening; smile and pat yourself on the back. Positive reinforcement helps raise your listening EQ habits.

“I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I'm going to learn, I must do it by listening.”   - Larry King

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