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“It is not enough to have great qualities; we should also have the management of them.”
~ La Rochefoucauld 

It’s not enough to know your strengths and how to leverage them to advance professionally.

You must also be aware of, and know how to curtail, your ineffective attitudes and behaviors.

If you are unaware of your unconscious biases and self-limiting behavioral patterns, you will find yourself stymied at relationship building and mired down in the blame swamp.

Plenty of people are aware of their “liabilities;” those things they do that get in the way of them being their ‘best self.”

Fewer do anything about them.

Who has the time to figure out emotional triggers and effective responses when you’re so busy answering e-mails?

But developing your emotional intelligence muscles (EQ) becomes critical in order to lift heavy issues and lead people through them.

People move up in an organization (and life) for one of two reasons:

  1. They are knowledgeable and skilled at what they do; they are task/completion/result driven. (IQ)
  2. They are knowledgeable and skilled at interpreting nuance and engendering relationships. They are people/process/collaboration driven. (EQ)

The best leaders, of course, combine the two. They are the ones who stick around.

Long-term leadership capability, in the end, is all that matters, whether you’re a CEO or a mother.

So how does one strengthen those EQ muscles?

Start with self-observation. The adage, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail,” comes to mind. It’s difficult to manage anything of which you are unaware. Awareness improves management.

The best way to add another tool to your toolbox is to pay attention to what you choose to do, and when, and why. Increased knowledge creates better decision-making.

Remember: IQ may get you through the door, but EQ will move you up the leadership staircase.

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