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How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence (EQ) as an Engineering Manager (+ Test)

The story was originally published on Vectorly’s blog.

In order to effectively manage tech teams and deliver great software, the manager needs to develop key engineering management skills.

You can find THE FULL LIST 8 top Engineering Management skills in 2022 in Vectorly’s article or download free skill matrix.


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Among the most important skills of a great Engineering Manager is personal skills which include the ability to learn, systematic thinking, strategic vision, decision-making, and of course a high level of emotional intelligence (EQ).

In this article, you’ll find out more about emotional intelligence, as well as how to improve it and test your EQ.

What is EQ and why it’s important for an Engineering Manager?

IQ, or intellectual quotient, refers to a certain set of skills, e.g. mathematical abilities, extensive understanding of vocabulary and language, abstract reasoning, or spatial abilities - which is mostly determined at birth.

Emotional intelligence (or EQ), on the other hand, is an acquired skill and might change dramatically over the years. Having high EQ skills basically means understanding your own feelings and the feelings of other people, expressing emotions, being self-motivated, and encouraging others to be like that.

Good EQ skills turn out to be essential for effective leadership, since specialists high in EQ seem to do much better in managerial roles. They tend to be more successful in their careers, build stronger work and personal relationships, achieve their goals, and motivate others.

If you’re interested in developing your EQ skills, you can find great resources Vectorly gathered on the topic below.

Top 6 books to improve your EQ as a manager

Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ


Everyone knows that high IQ is no guarantee of success, happiness, or virtue, but until Emotional Intelligence, we could only guess why. Daniel Goleman's brilliant report from the frontiers of psychology and neuroscience offers startling new insight into our “two minds”—the rational and the emotional—and how they together shape our destiny.

Drawing on groundbreaking brain and behavioral research, Goleman shows the factors at work when people of high IQ flounder and those of modest IQ do surprisingly well. These factors, which include self-awareness, self-discipline, and empathy, add up to a different way of being smart—and they aren’t fixed at birth. Although shaped by childhood experiences, emotional intelligence can be nurtured and strengthened throughout our adulthood—with immediate benefits to our health, our relationships, and our work.

Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence


Managers and professionals across the globe have embraced Primal Leadership, affirming the importance of emotionally intelligent leadership. Its influence has also reached well beyond the business world: the book and its ideas are now used routinely in universities, business and medical schools, and professional training programs, and by a growing legion of professional coaches.

The Emotionally Intelligent Manager: How to Develop and Use the Four Key Emotional Skills of Leadership


We have long been taught that emotions should be felt and expressed in carefully controlled ways, and then only in certain environments and at certain times. This is especially true when at work, particularly when managing others. It is considered terribly unprofessional to express emotion while on the job, and many of us believe that our biggest mistakes and regrets are due to our reactions at those times when our emotions get the better of us. David R. Caruso and Peter Salovey believe that this view of emotion is not correct. The emotion centers of the brain, they argue, are not relegated to a secondary place in our thinking and reasoning, but instead are an integral part of what it means to think, reason, and to be intelligent. In The Emotionally Intelligent Manager, they show that emotion is not just important, but absolutely necessary for us to make good decisions, take action to solve problems, cope with change, and succeed. The authors detail a practical four-part hierarchy of emotional skills: identifying emotions, using emotions to facilitate thinking, understanding emotions, and managing emotions―and show how we can measure, learn, and develop each skill and employ them in an integrated way to solve our most difficult work-related problems.

Thinking, Fast and Slow


Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives. And how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Topping bestseller lists for almost ten years, Thinking, Fast and Slow is a contemporary classic, an essential book that has changed the lives of millions of readers.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0


In today's fast-paced world of competitive workplaces and turbulent economic conditions, each of us is searching for effective tools that can help us to manage, adapt, and strike out ahead of the pack.

By now, emotional intelligence (EQ) needs little introduction—it’s no secret that EQ is critical to your success. But knowing what EQ is and knowing how to use it to improve your life are two very different things.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 delivers a step-by-step program for increasing your EQ via four, core EQ skills that enable you to achieve your fullest potential:

  1. Self-Awareness
  2. Self-Management
  3. Social Awareness
  4. Relationship Management

The EQ Difference: A Powerful Plan for Putting Emotional Intelligence to Work


Co-published with SHRM. Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a strong indicator of individual, team, and organizational success. But stocking up on emotionally intelligent employees isn't enough: you need a concrete plan for putting this valuable resource to work. The EQ Difference offers an array of self-assessment tools and team-focused exercises that will help increase and leverage emotional intelligence both in individuals and in groups. It's filled with practical tips and suggestions for developing your own ""emotional quotient,"" as well as that of your peers, employees, and even senior executives. Featuring real workplace examples, Letters to Leaders, and excerpts from actual performance reviews that show the positive impact of EI in a variety of environments, The EQ Difference will help your organization achieve greater productivity, higher morale, and better employee retention -- all keys to stronger bottom line results.

Blogs & authors writing on EQ

TIP FOR FIRST TIME MANAGERS: For super effective management of a tech team, use best tools & practices - GET them on Vectorly’s site.

Test your EQ level

As we found out, emotional intelligence plays a huge role in personal and work life. Do you want to know your level of emotional intelligence? Tap HERE to access your EQ.

The story was originally published on Vectorly’s blog.

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