Earlier this month I had the opportunity to present at the Mensa Annual Gathering on the topic, Leading Difficult People: The Role of Emotional Intelligence. I always have such a fun time at “Nerd Camp” because the people who attend really want to learn and grow – and they are open to new experiences. However, I still thought I was taking a risk presenting on the topic of emotional intelligence to a group of people with extremely high IQs. Would they be receptive to difference between IQ and EQ?
Emotional intelligence is quickly becoming my favorite topic of presentation and it is the foundation of my one-on-one coaching work with others because our ability to be effective in all aspects of our life comes down to how we understand and manage our relationships with others.
I marketed the session as designed for anyone who wants to become more effective in working with other people, and I found the participants very open to the idea that emotional intelligence, rather than intelligence, is the greatest predictor of leadership success. Not sure this sounds right? Here’s why: IQ refers to your ability to learn. However, IQ does not necessarily contribute to whether or not someone is successful, because IQ doesn’t account for what someone does with that ability to learn.
During the session I focused on one aspect of developing emotional intelligence, which is self-awareness. I led participants through a personal values activity – one of my favorite exercises for a group experience like this – and had participants discuss how their values influence their decision-making, as well as how their values frame how they view their interactions with others. (If you’re interested in exploring your own personal values, you can visit my website for a simple and fun values activity: http://kapelaleadershipsolutions.com/leadershipworkoutvalues).
My ultimate goal for the presentation was for participants to learn about emotional intelligence by practicing emotional intelligence throughout the session, so I was thrilled to be emailed after the program by a participant who shared that the session was one of their favorite experiences of the conference because of the interaction that was created with others.
Ultimately, leadership effectiveness is all about creating authentic connections.