Why high performers of all ages need Emotional Intelligence AND Social Intelligence

Being a dedicated youth mentor as well as a corporate trainer, I often coach teens who are outstanding athletes.

And just like the high performers in the boardroom or C-suite, these young people are impressively focused on achieving their goals.

They drill endlessly in the physical and mental strategies that will help them dominate their competition.

They spend hours studying the plays of their sport’s greats, to learn the moves, tactics and aptitudes that make them champions.

They identify the gaps or weaknesses in their present skill set, willingly taking on additional training intensity for the reward of breaking through temporary blocks or weaknesses.

However, just like the charismatic personalities in the workplace who display ferocious levels of commitment to their mission, these young athletes most often lack two things…

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Social Intelligence (SQ).

Emotional Intelligence, made famous by psychologist and author Daniel Goleman, is the skillset that requires an individual to work on mastering themselves emotionally.

At its essence, EQ skills concern how well we handle ourselves and our relationships by practising:

  • self-awareness (i.e. what we’re feeling, and why – as well as engaging with our moral compass),
  • self-management (i.e. handling our emotions – especially those arising in distressing circumstances – effectively), and
  • empathy (i.e. putting ourselves in the shoes of another person to experience feeling what they feel)

SQ, on the other hand, is less about our efforts towards mastering ourselves, and far more about learning the appropriate way to manage our interaction with others. It is also a crucial component in effective leadership.

So, what I see when I work with young sports men and women, is often a huge gap in their ability effectively to understand, accept and handle BOTH their own emotions (due to insecurities, fear of failure, the belief that they are only valuable if they win, etc.) AND their interactions with friends, family.

I see the same thing with promising young graduates, or mid-career employees, managers or even executives.

That relentless drive to achieve goals is being undermined by the absence of a true understanding and competence to work with personal feelings while integrating and engaging with the needs and motivations of others.

And yet it is precisely that balance of EQ and SQ that add up to 21st-century leadership and success, no matter how old a person may be.

That’s also the reason why cultivating emotional intelligence and social intelligence is key to my coaching, mentoring and training approach, and are prominently featured in the FEARLESS, LIMITLESS and EVOLUTION tracks of my work.

Ultimately, I truly believe that, once transmitted, EQ and SQ anchor a fulfilled lifetime, irrespective of an individual’s chosen field, empowering them at times of both opportunity and challenge.

Please check out the FEARLESS, LIMITLESS or EVOLUTION tracks of my website to learn more about my corporate training, my one-on-one mentoring and workshops for young professionals and teens.