What is EQ and Why is it Important?
Emotional intelligence has been defined as “a complex ability to regulate your impulses, empathize with others, and persist and be resilient in the face of obstacles” by Roger Pearman in his 2002 book Introduction to Type and Emotional Intelligence. The important point of this definition is that our EQ is not just about how we deal with our own emotions, but how we react to the emotions of those around us.
This is why EQ has become such an important part of the recruitment process, as finding people who fit within a culture at a workplace, or an established team, is arguably even more important than identifying those with the perfect skillset or experience. Training can fill any holes in a skillset or experience, but if someone is unable to fit into the emotional structure of a workplace or team, it can be extremely difficult to make things work.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator offers a way of identifying which of 16 personality types each of us are, and with that gain some understanding of our EQ, and how we will react and respond in a broad range of situations, so we can better understand what type of team, work environment and even career would suit us best.
How ISTJs Use EQ in Teams or Groups- Strengths & Challenges.
The ISTJ type, or the Introverted-Sensing-Thinking-Judging Type, enjoy a structured environment where they can follow standard procedures and always know where they are within the process. They prefer to be able to keep track of facts and figures and have an eye for detail. They seek to have accurate definitions of roles and responsibilities, look for efficiency savings where they can, and tend to follow up on communications as part of that organized approach.
Within a team environment, that translates to someone who fully respects the ‘chain of command’, who they report to, who that person reports to and so on, and tends to stick to the defined roles and responsibilities that they have been given. They are very efficient communicators, able to break down complex concepts into more manageable parts with ease and tend to use logical arguments to make their points, using specifics of the situation to explain their approach.
In general, ISTJs are focused and task oriented, so within a team they can be given a specific goal and they will keep going until it is achieved. This is not only good for whatever the project may be but is also an example to other team members as someone who always achieves their targets.
For ISTJs who have leadership responsibilities, they tend to focus on efficiency and reliability within the team, using an organizational approach based on logical ideas. They usually express themselves with quiet authority and tend to be understated but effective leaders.
What that means in terms of how ISTJs work within a team and how their emotional intelligence impacts work tasks and cultures is that they can have some difficulties. While an ISTJ has confidence in their own arguments because they use a fact-based approach, they often lack the self-awareness to acknowledge that this can be detrimental to the larger group and cause friction with other team members.
Being compulsive about rules and roles allows ISTJs to be efficient and productive, but it can leave them obsessive about deadlines or other defined goals, and that can again have a negative impact on the team. In fact, ISTJs often experience emotional satisfaction at achieving a defined goal like a deadline, or if they identify an issue before others. This makes ISTJs very motivated when giving specific goals or tasks to accomplish, and especially where those tasks or goals have well defined plans that they know they have the skills to achieve. In these scenarios, an ISTJ will always seek to excel, relishing the chance to work with a plan to reach a clear goal.
However, ISTJs also tend to suppress emotions, often trying to exert too much control over those emotions and withhold their feelings, which can be disruptive over time. That in turn can lead to loss of control in particularly difficult situations, such as when they see others as being too lazy, emotionally disruptive, or disloyal to the team. Another trigger is the resistance to change, with that loss of control put towards anyone pushing change that they believe to be unnecessary or without purpose.
They also struggle with flexibility, much preferring the order and certainty of an established, well-defined plan. While they can, and do, excel in achieving goals set within a plan, they can be very intolerant to change of a plan, or even of ambiguity within a plan, again, with the risk of friction with others who prefer a less ordered approach.
While ISTJs struggle to deal with the emotions of change and uncertainty, they have the emotional intelligence to operate within a defined pathway of goals and the strategy to achieve it, and there, they thrive.