Your Boss's EQ can Impact Employee Mental Health
In an April poll conducted by the American Psychiatric Association only 50% of US employees were comfortable discussing mental health issues at work. In the same study, one third of those in the workplace worry about retaliation or firing if they raise mental health issues. In addition, 29% of workers feel their manager is providing emotional support right now and 24% of employees feel they are engaged in their jobs in the last 6 months
The emotional and financial costs of mental health issues in the workplace and employee disengagement far outweigh the costs of training your leader-coaches to be better listeners, communicators and have more empathy. Organizations need to continue to invest in EQ, coaching, conflict management, teamwork and effective communication to be successful.
What is a Leader's Greatest Asset: Existing Knowledge or Their Ability to Learn?
I recall the time a CEO I was working with let an executive VP go in large part because they could not learn, they were unteachable. This experienced VP had one of the highest IQs in the company but struggled to learn, flex and adapt. While knowledge and the ability to learn are obviously both important, this respected CEO made a choice: the ability to learn and adapt were more important to business success than existing knowledge and a high IQ.
Ignorance and arrogance are a bad combination. Without the ability to learn and apply the learning business leaders are at best likely to repeat the status quo. In our fast-paced technological world and current magnitude of economic and social challenge, leaders will need to ask new and daring questions, and work with employees to find new and daring answers.
Perhaps it is the underlying connection between an ability to learn and a high EQ that is relevant here. Those business leaders with a high EQ (high levels of empathy, pursuit of meaning, social consciousness, impulse control, problem solving, stress tolerance, emotional self-awareness etc.) typically have a strong desire to learn and apply the learning. They have the ability and the humility to identify, understand and adapt, and coach the same in others.