EQ becoming increasingly important at international firms

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a key leadership trait.

In a recent post we discussed a Gallup study that found that majority of companies pick the wrong members of a team to take a managerial or leadership position. Businesses often make the mistake of placing a disproportionate amount of importance on a person's experience and hard skills rather than their ability to lead. 

While the Gallup study focused on companies in the United States, the same issue is plaguing firms in India, according to Live Mint, an Indian newspaper affiliated with The Wall Street Journal. Many of the human resources and leadership professionals interviewed by the source said companies in India have been slow to screen applicants for emotional intelligence (EQ). A few firms, however, are discovering that EQ is a critical skill for good leader. 

"It's a competency. It is about understanding what you are feeling and what others are feeling," Pratap Nambiar, director of Leadership Circle India told the source. "It essentially includes things like empathy, compassion. It is like the elephant in the room, it is always there. When your emotion gets the better of you it means that you will do something that you will regret later."

The key challenge for companies is finding candidates with just the right amount of experience and essential leadership characteristics. 

Being a great leader involves more than having extensive knowledge about a subject or organization. Managers must also harness the power and acumen of their emotions, and use them as a source of energy, information, and connection, to inspire their teams and lead by example. The key challenge for companies is finding and promoting people who have just the right blend of experience and essential EQ competencies for leadership. Fortunately, EQ is a skill that can be measured and developed and that makes for a much bigger pool of candidates.

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