Emotional Intelligence: Why it is Important for Driving Performance

Emotional Intelligence: Why it is Important for Driving Performance

There must be a reason why 70% of fortune 500 companies are setting aside budgets to train in emotional intelligence, right? On 13th December, we had a tweet chat with Mucha Mlingo, the founder of PTS Africa to understand more about what EQ is all about, why it is important for performance and the status of EQ in Africa.

To start off, we sought to get a definition of what EQ (Emotional Quotient/ Emotional Intelligence) is, which she says is being smart with feelings.



Mucha went on to say that EQ at its core is about being more aware, more intentional and more purposeful. According to the dictionary, EQ is the capacity of individuals to recognize their own, and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.

IQ is a more popular concept as compared to EQ. Is there a connection between the two? Mucha told us that there is no known connection between IQ and EQ and that you cannot predict emotional intelligence based on how smart someone is,

“I am sure we all know individuals who are high in IQ but make very foolish life choices (low EQ),” She said.

Some of the participants also shared their two cents on what they think about IQ and EQ and how they relate to one’s performance.

Do you think that EQ is a skill that can be developed? We wanted to hear what Mucha thought about this. She said that EQ can be learned.

“It just takes someone to be intentional, engaged & to have some simple tools that make practicing easy and fun,” Mucha said.

In this increasingly global and more competitive economy that demands a highly skilled workforce, how does EQ skills matter for the workplace? Mucha believes that EQ is imperative for a conducive workplace, high performance and the key to competitive edge.

She explained to us how PTS Africa would help a client with an unproductive workforce. The first thing that PTS Africa does is to find the root cause for the situation. Once they have the prognosis, the next step is the equipment stage where they develop the material for training.

They then take the client through training that can last anywhere from one day to one year, depending on the need.  PTS Africa believes in using practical and hands-on methods because adults learn most effectively by doing.

For lasting results, they complete the program with the empowerment stage, which is a follow up after the training to ensure the agenda is actioned.

Emotional intelligence is a fairly new concept that was popularized in the 1995 book written by author and science journalist Daniel Goleman. We sought to find out what the status of EQ is in Africa.

Mucha said that In Africa, there is still very low intentional & grounded utilization of EQ Competencies/Tools as a driver for increased productivity, improved profitability & optimized learning.

Carolyne Gathuru who has attended on of the free EQ cafés by PTS Africa said that EQ needs to take a bigger space than it is currently occupying.

Our conversation took a turn towards schools and EQ practice among the youth in Kenya. According to a survey by the Aga Khan University, 50% of Kenyan youth have no qualms about making money using dubious means. How would the introduction of SEL curb this situation?

Firstly, Mucha explained that SEL (Social Emotional Learning) is EQ for kids.  Helping them to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel & show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions.

She went on to say that ethics is a mindset and not a checklist;

PTS Africa has partnered up with the Wangari Maathai Foundation for the Hummingbird Leadership Project  to tackle the issue of ethics & build a pipeline of courageous leaders.

PTS Africa is planning to have the first EQ conference in Kenya on 20/21st February, 2019. It is going to be a very interesting journey of self-discovery as we explore the latest research, breakthrough tools & case studies and applications of EQ that optimize learning & increase workplace productivity.

Do not miss the opportunity to interact with EQ Experts from across the African continent and learn proven approaches for putting EQ into action to increase effectiveness, improve wellbeing, strengthen relationships and improve quality of life.

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