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Part 5: Resilience and Emotional Intelligence

Running Against the Wind: Building Stamina and Resilience in the Face of Resistance

We’ve all heard of IQ (Intelligence Quotient). You may have taken an IQ test to see how smart you are. But there are more quotient tests out there than you may realize. Some of them are important and maybe even more important than the IQ test. Some of these other quotients are lesser known and frankly, I’m not too certain of their validity. Here’s a brief rundown on a few I’ve discovered as a leadership coach and consultant:

  • BQ - or Body Quotient. This is the ability to decide proper nutrition, regular exercise, rest and generally the overall maintenance and improvement of the human physical constitution. This includes knowing and living within your own physical limitations.

  • MQ - Moral Quotient. This relates to the perception of the social and working life: Honesty, responsibility, tolerance, commitment, enthusiasm and effort. In short, it is the recognition and practice of “the good”, as in transcendentals of the good, the true and the beautiful.

  • CQ - Cultural Quotient. This is a recognition and a skill. It’s the ability to relate and work effectively in culturally diverse settings. But it is also the ability to recognize the cultural cues that are normative, acceptable and what is not acceptable in work or social environments and then successfully navigate them.

  • PQ - Political Quotient. This is a person’s ability to interpret and intent and behavior of others, navigate the diverse agendas of stakeholders all while making progress toward desired outcomes. It is strategic leadership on many levels: emotional, behavioral, instinctual, rational and motivational.

Today we are going to focus on emotional intelligence (EQ) and how it relates to our ability for resilience. Dr. Daniel Goleman, the father of EQ said that Emotional Intelligence is more important than Intellectual Intelligence. The reason being is that we all know people who are very smart but who cannot control their emotions or themselves. They have made life difficult for themselves and for others.

EQ is about knowing your emotions and about knowing where they are coming from. But it is also about knowing other people and recognizing their emotions and where they are coming from as well. It is how to live with people and have the right emotions and have them at the appropriate time. Having a high EQ is about being able to connect with others at a deeper level. It is about knowing you, managing you and connecting with others.

The connection resilience has with EQ is that resilience is one of the five components of EQ. Let’s look briefly at each of these:

Self knowledge and Self Awareness

The first is Self Knowledge. Self Knowledge is knowing who you are. One way to look at it is by asking the question, “How would you describe yourself?” Most people describe what they do. But that is not it. It’s knowing ourselves and our emotions and our actions. What I am like? That is self knowledge. Self awareness is how I come across to others. It is how I show up in the world, how others are experiencing me. That is self-awareness.

Self Management

The second component of EQ is self management. It is how we manage our emotions ourselves. How we meet people and how we regulate our behavior. As you might recognize, self management is built on a foundation of accurate self knowledge and self awareness.


The third component is Motivation/Resilience. Motivation is an emotion in itself. Often, people don’t think of motivation as an emotion, but it is. It is about having the right thought process to put the emotion into play. What motivates us to do things? What motivates you? Resilience is what we have when something doesn’t work and we get up and keep going.

These three components are focused on us. They are inward. It is our personal and internal side of the equation. The last two components are outward focused.


The fourth component of EQ is empathy. Empathy is the ability to feel what other people feel in a given situation. It is similar to the saying, “Before you judge a person, walk a mile in their shoes.” Empathy for most people is not automatic. It is something that is cultivated on purpose and it takes time. One has to slow down in order to empathize. This is very difficult in our current culture, but needed. Empathy is giving pause to our wants and needs and switching our focus to what others may be experiencing in the moment. Without empathy there is no real connection, at least not a deep one. This brings us to the last component.


The last component of EQ is relationships. Author and professor, the late Oscar Thompson said that the word “relationship” is the most important word in the English language. One of his students disagreed and said he thought “love” was the most important word. Thompson agreed that “love” was an important word, but how is love going to get to others without a relationship? How is love to be understood and received without a relationship? Relationship is the track that the love runs on. Without it, our love for other people would get nowhere. Relationships are about connecting. All the previous components of EQ are needed to build healthy relationships and healthy people.

Knowing your EQ is even more important today than in the past. With the rate of change you are experiencing and pressures of life and work, having a healthy EQ can make all the difference in your personal and professional life. If you’re interested in taking an EQ Assessment or discovering what components may need improvement in your life, I have a brief, self-check tool I can send you. Contact me on the consultation form at the bottom of this page and I’ll send you the free PDF. Just write: Send me the EQ Assessment!

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