Tips to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence (and Reach the Stars)

Would you hire Star Trek’s Spock as a Manager?

Spock exemplified how highly analytical individuals are crucial to team success but may lack needed emotional intelligence required to work effectively with different personalities.  In Spock’s defense, who cares?  There is a reason for everything and logical approaches need no discussion.

Great managers not only need to use logic and critical thinking, they need emotional intelligence to engage and motivate others.  Thankfully, for most, emotional intelligence can be taught.

Most organizations have Spocks within their teams.  They could be the engineers, lawyers, accountants or other individuals with or without professional designations who typically work well with like-minded individuals.

When working with ‘opposite-minded’ people who have high emotional intelligence, there is a risk of perceiving their emotion and energy as weak, risky and ‘out there’.  It is therefore important to make an effort to drop judgments and build connection through empathy, creativity, recognition and relationship.  If not, working relationships may deteriorate.

Here are three tips for the ‘Spocks’ out there to improve emotional intelligence:

  1. Invite Criticism: Invite and gather other opinions on goals and objectives, without your criticism.  Ask others why they feel the way they do about their advice.  This not only uncovers core interests and emotions, it creates a collaborative and engaging environment where new or more solid solutions emerge.
  2. Be Vulnerable: Let others know a bit more about your analytical characteristics and how they can potentially help and hinder the team.  For example, perceptions that a manager who demands perfection or well thought-out ideas may reduce risk taking, creativity and team work.
  1. Build Connection Through Care: Emotions are the core of relationships.  You may consider yourself less ‘friendly’ and easy going; however, if you show you truly care by asking open-ended questions and being curious — trust, emotional connection and stronger relationships will follow.

Spock may have been able to fly the Starship Enterprise, but, would he ever reach the stars without the others?

Glen Sollors, Partner