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What You'll Learn In Today's Episode

  • Your intelligence quotient (IQ) is a measurement of your intellectual capacity. Similarly, your EQ is a measurement of your emotional intelligence quotient. Studies suggest that your IQ has little to do with your EQ, though.
  • Emotional intelligence is crucial to success in negotiations. For example, Empathy; the ability to sympathize to the point of feeling what others do, is a hallmark of high EQs.
  • Emotional intelligence has 5 commonly recognized elements: Self-awareness, Self-regulation, Motivation, Empathy, and Social Skill.
  • Since the human EQ is trainable, leaders can encourage subordinates to pursue raising theirs. The process is best approached respectfully and with patience, but it’s possible.

Executive Summary:

Welcome back to the NEGOTIATEx podcast! You’ve probably heard the term “IQ,” but do you know your EQ? The NEGOTIATEx team’s focus today is emotional intelligence.

The EQ: Measuring Psychosocial Sentience

Many people know their intelligence quotient (IQ). This is a measurement of someone’s intellectual capacity

Similarly, you have an EQ, too. It’s a measurement of your emotional intelligence quotient. Studies suggest that your IQ has little to do with it, though.

You don’t need Einstein’s brain to be emotionally intelligent. However, your EQ is an important factor in successful leadership: Emotionally intelligent leaders spark engagement in those around them.

At the same time, emotional intelligence is also crucial to success in negotiations. For example, Empathy; the ability to sympathize to the point of feeling what others do, is a hallmark of high EQs.

Likewise, empathy can enable the establishment of a deeper-than-usual rapport with other parties. This depth of understanding can be impossible to reach without it.

The 5 Facets of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence has 5 commonly recognized elements: Self-awareness, Self-regulation, Motivation, Empathy, and Social Skill.

Self-awareness is pretty much what the name implies: It’s your ability to recognize your own emotions. Additionally, it’s also how well you perceive their effect on your thoughts and behavior.

Meanwhile, Self-regulation is your ability to manage your emotions in a healthy way. This includes controlling impulsive feelings and behaviors, taking initiative, adapting to changing circumstances, and keeping commitments.

Your Motivation is the degree of passion you have for working beyond external rewards like money or status. Healthy indicators include curiosity in learning, an inner sense of what’s important in life, and a strong drive to achieve.

Empathy, specifically as an element of EQ, is your social awareness. It involves understanding others’ emotions, needs, and concerns. However, it also includes your ability to recognize power dynamics within an organization or group and the degree to which you feel comfortable socially.

Last but not least, Social Skill is the ability to communicate clearly, maintain and develop good relationships, and influence others. Your ability to work well in a team, inspire others, and manage conflict factor in, too.

Encouraging Higher EQs

Some leaders dream of raising a subordinate’s IQ. That may be a pipe dream, but raising their EQ may actually be doable.

Start by discussing the 5 elements of emotional intelligence. Next, respectfully ask about people’s formative experiences, as well.

These aren’t one-and-done solutions. In fact, they’re only the beginning of the process, but if you work to meet people where they currently are emotionally, it’s a start.

Key Takeaways

  • Read more about emotional intelligence. Adele Lynn and Daniel Goleman have each written pivotal works on the subject. If this approach to negotiation is new to you, reading up is a great way to get the ball rolling.
  • Your EQ will affect your results at the negotiation table. For instance, empathy helps you to not just understand your counterparts—but to see things from their side. This raises your chances of establishing a rapport. 
  • Don’t get discouraged! Unlike someone’s IQ, the human EQ is So there’s no need to feel intimidated. Once you’re aware that you’d like to improve yours, you’ve taken the first step.
  • Take tactical pauses. If someone says something you don’t like, don’t rush to anger. It’s always better to pull over, listen—to see if you even heard what you think you heard—and take stock.

Aram and Nolan go deeper into emotional intelligence and its benefit in negotiation in today’s NEGOTIATEx podcast. Questions and episode suggestions to team@negotiatex.com are always welcome. Don’t forget to drop by negotiatex.com for more information and our negotiation prep tool, either.

Your time’s important to us. Thanks for listening!


Nolan Martin : Hello, and welcome to another episode of the NegotiateX podcast! I am your co-host and co-founder Nolan Martin and with me today as usual, and definitely the intro that he hates — the man, the myth, the legend Aram Donigion, my co-host and co-founder. How are you doing today, sir?

Aram Donigian : I'm good. It's interesting, since we're going to talk about emotional intelligence    and you said, you know that I hate that intro but you would choose to still go with that. What does that say about your level of emotional intelligence, my friend?

NM : I obviously have a lot to learn during this lesson, and so this is kind of why I brought it up is that today we are talking about emotional intelligence and this is going to be understanding the different emotions as a leader, and eventually how we can tie this into actual negotiations processes. So Aram, kicking us off here, what is emotional intelligence?

Aram On Emotional Intelligence vis-a-vis Leadership and Negotiations [02:20]

AD : Well, you know me and anybody who's been listening for a while —  I like to give you more information that you probably want, you want me to get right to the point. If you are interested in this topic, the two people I go to...and if you see the video, you can see that Adele Lynn's work around EQ is incredibly valuable; and then Daniel Goleman’s work, whether it's his book, Emotional Intelligence or this one, which I read as a company commander, and really helped me to start on a journey that I'm still on today, becoming more emotionally intelligent — this book is called Primal Leadership. I want to read something out of this though, real quickly, because I think it helps set the tone and then we'll get into the definition. “Great leaders move us,” writes Daniel Goleman “they ignite our passion, inspire the best in us, when we try to explain why they so effective, we speak a strategy, vision, or powerful ideas, but the reality is much more primal, great leadership works through emotions, no matter what leaders set out to do, whether it's creating strategy or mobilizing teams to action,” which, by the way, side note — I'd say both of those are negotiations, “Their success depends on how they do it, the process, even if they get everything else, right, if leaders fail in this primal task of driving emotions in the right direction, nothing they do will work as well as it could or should.” I hope that sets the foundation for our conversation around this important topic of emotional intelligence, which we're going to explain folks, and then I really hope that what Nolan and I get to is that we can talk about why this is important as a negotiation concept, how can this make you a more effective negotiator in business and personally, whatever you might face.

NM : Yeah and I think that's a powerful couple of sentences that he [Daniel Goleman] had. For those listening to the podcast, what we'll do is we'll include the links to both of those books down in the show notes. So again, if you go to www.negotiatex.com/22 for today's episode, you'll see the links for those books if you're interested in picking them up. All right, emotional intelligence, Aram, what is it?

AD : Yeah so let's talk about it. The definition of emotional intelligence is that dimension of intelligence, responsible for our ability to manage ourselves and our relationships with others, and that comes from Adele Lynn's work. Now, most of us know what IQ is, right? IQ measures our ability to learn, understand, and buy information and skills in different ways. EQ, the emotional quotient, is something that some of us may not be as familiar with, but it's a way to measure how people recognize emotions in ourselves and in others, and then be able to manage those emotional states, to be able to work more effectively as a part of a team or group or whatever we might be a part of. Interestingly enough, research finds very little connection between IQ and EQ. You can not predict someone's EQ based on how smart they are. The truth is we need both in the business world to be successful. Research that Dan Goleman has done shows that as you grow in your career, your IQ becomes less important as compared to your EQ, and he actually, in his book Emotional Intelligence says that “80% of success professionally can be attributed to non cognitive factors, such as things that are tied to emotional intelligence.” That's good news because emotional intelligence, unlike your IQ, which tends to stagnate at about age nine, it is what it is; EQ is something we can train and develop — things around how we handle ourselves, our leadership communication, authenticity, intentionality, our attitude towards change — these are things we can work on and develop. So the nice thing is we can build our emotional intelligence.

NM : And I think that's incredibly important because like leadership, a lot of people would just assume they either have it or don't, but I'd argue just like emotional intelligence, leadership is something that can be developed, and can be worked on and improved over time.

AD : Yeah. That's good news for me, Nolan, that we can develop over time because my wife likes to refer to...I'm on an upward trajectory on a number of things, okay, I haven't reached a final destination yet, which is good, but I'm on an upward trajectory. Certainly that is the case, I think, around emotional intelligence. Many many moons ago, and I was actually on the phone with a former soldier, dear friend of mine, Rick, if you're listening, you know, this is about you.

NM : [Laughs] What's up, Rick?

AD : He's been listening to our podcast, and he said, “Hey, when did you start picking up this stuff? Cause you weren't like that when you were a company commander” — and so what he's referring to, I'll let the secret out: we used to have an expression called ‘Go Donigian’ on people. I wasn't very good at being aware of my own emotions, especially when stressed and tired, and we had just a lot of things going on, people moving in different directions, wasn't very good and recognizing my own, kind of, emotional state as well as being able to engage with the emotions that others had, in and often came out kind of in this bam sort of very negative way. So I'm grateful, I'm very grateful that this is something that we can learn and grow, and it has been, you know, through some training, you know, some great meditation practices, around being present and some investment of friends, kind of gets you there, so that we can build on these five sort of these five components of EQ. So some of them are internally looked at. So I'm gonna borrow from Dan Goleman's model, although Adele Lynn's model is very similar but Dan Goleman’s has five components of emotional intelligence. Self-Awareness — do we understand our own emotions, where they come from, the source? Self-Regulation — can we, after understanding, control them, channel our impulses? Motivation — we rate what is our passion for achievement versus just a passion to accomplish, what our passion for achievement is, and then as we connect with others externally our ability to demonstrate empathy and our ability to practice good social skill, kind of our relationship management with others and being able to tie into their emotions. Again, that’s something I didn't do very well at all early in my career. Hopefully I do incrementally better today.

NM : I’m glad that unlike Rick, at least when you were a professor at West Point, and we were all your students, I think, you definitely developed some emotional intelligence to be able to put up, especially with the shenanigans, with Drew and I in your class. I greatly appreciate you picking up these skills before becoming a professor. [Laughs]

AD : Well, you're welcome. You two probably...you two probably broke me. So uh, you were probably part of it…nah I’m just joking. [Laughs]

NM : Now what I found that was interesting, we were talking about the components of emotional intelligence, and let me read this just to make sure that I get it correct. What Dan Goleman found in his research and this was an HBR article in 1998 but it was basically — when senior managers at one company had a critical mass of EI capabilities, their divisions outperformed yearly earnings, goals by 20%. So why do you think that is so important in the workplace Aram?

AD : Well, I mean, going back to his research, right? That, which is that it actually affects results, emotionally intelligent leaders can affect the bottom line, and we've seen that...we see that repeatedly, as I do work with different clients, as we talk about the leaders that they have, we can identify the traits of being emotionally intelligent, you see greater retention, greater productivity, and that comes out through, you know, autonomy, and the ability for people to be able to disagree and to push the organization for it. So emotionally intelligent leaders draw more and get more from the people around them, and that shows up at the negotiation table as well.

NM : So then how can we, as leaders, train our subordinates to become more emotionally intelligent? I mean, we said that it's something trainable, that it's not something that you are just born with. So how do we get better at it?

Aram on How To Train Leaders to Become More Emotionally Intelligent [10:37]

AD : So if you walk through the five kinds of components, it starts with awareness, and so there are different kinds of questionnaires and surveys you can take that, kind of, give you an insight. And so it’s certainly what I've done before in training, whether it's at West Point or Corporately, is kind of start there, build some awareness. It's not the answer, right? We’re not trying to name you as, you know, ‘emotionally intelligent’ or not, it just gives you an idea of where you have strengths, then where you have some potential weaknesses with regards to your emotional intelligence. Then we start to discuss it and we break those components down, and so that we can better understand them and say — Great, how can I show up more self-aware? How can I take myself on, day to day? Set aside my pathetic need to look good, that gets in the way of me learning and say, man, I got things to work on because there are emotions and they go back a long way. The first assignment I asked students to do, and we're talking about negotiation is — tell me about your very first negotiation, tell me about experiences you had in negotiating growing up and how that affects the way you think about it today? That gets to self-awareness and the emotions that we feel, right? Because a lot of things around negotiation are around our emotions. ‘I've got to just cave to preserve the relationship because relationships are everything, I'm a people pleaser’ or it's around ‘Now, I'm in negotiation, I learned that in early age, you pushed, in demand, harsh things.’ That's just around the element of awareness...self-awareness. Then it's like, well, how do you regulate that, right? How do I regulate my own emotions, my own level of motivation, so then I can practice, and what does practicing empathy actually look like, right? So we can talk through that, we can train that, we can do scenarios. And say, how do you have those conversations, so they don't feel canned, but they're very real — that you care about where someone is emotionally, and you're connecting with them, and you're practicing that last piece of some social skill, some relationship management, to meet someone where they are — not where you want them to be, where they are, and that is very real and sincere. So those are all things that we can put a spotlight on, practice, debrief and build greater ability over time.

NM : Yeah, and I think we'll hit a few more things during this episode, but you know, as a Lieutenant in Afghanistan, walking around up controls, I was at least self-aware enough to know that I'm the type of person that immediately wants to get to a decision, and getting to that end result that we're actually going for; but when I'm meeting with an Afghan counterpart, you know, it's all about building the relationship, the rapport first, before you even talk about business. So understanding where I'm at...I knew that I needed to take a tactical pause and really understand, okay, like before I go into this, I know that I can't just jump into what I'm trying to achieve, I need to make sure that I take a tactical pause and kind of meet them where they're at and then build that relationship to get to where I want to go. So I think that this is kind of an example of at least being self-aware enough to know where you stand in the emotional intelligence spectrum and what are some techniques that you can employ to be able to bridge the gap.

Arriving At Emotional Intelligence Through Tactical Thinking [14:00]

AD : So, yeah, that's really well said, right? The tendency there, for all of us and probably for a lot of folks who listen to this program is — I want to jump in and solve problems. And the emotionally intelligent leader is able to pause for that split second and kind of practice some of those behaviors you were just talking about. And it's because, you know, I can recognize what's going on in myself, I can recognize what's going on with this other person, and even if I screw up, it's okay, I can go back and address it sooner, and we don't go too far down this path of damaged feelings and emotions, we're able to get to problem solving actually sooner in a more effective way, right? By practicing what you're saying.

NM : Yeah and I think if you're a leader that is new to an organization, there is something that you can steal from the military, that is, because military leaders are constantly changing out every one or two years, but when a new leader comes into an organization, there's a de facto rule that you can't make any changes within 30 days because you really need to understand what and why the organization is doing what it's doing. And then kind of after those 30 days, it's assumed that you understand enough about the organization, that you can implement effective changes, so if you're bad at emotional intelligence and really need to take that tactical pause, that's another strategy for you to employ is — hey, new to an organization, unless it's something that is immoral or unethical, that you can take the tactical pause of 30 days to really understand the organization before you try and make any changes.

AD : Yeah. That's a little counter-intuitive for a lot of folks because again, we're action oriented folks, and so we think we need to get straight to action, and again, an emotionally intelligent leader is one who's going to be able to survey and be aware of things before you make those decisions. It requires some humility too. So I shared the failure when I was commander. I still struggle sometimes with practicing emotional intelligence, the way that I should, and, you know, friends and colleagues could probably point to those points. Sometimes I've hit it well though, and again, this goes back to a kind of humility. You know, about a year or so ago, in the middle of COVID, a lot of people were tired and stressed, and doing teaching and doing training programs, virtual, and having to learn this. I inadvertently offended a student of mine, and I didn't know that I had, so we're in the middle of a session, I noticed the students’ camera, they had been on camera and all of a sudden the camera goes dark, and so I followed up afterwards and I just said, “hey, I saw that you camera went dark, hope everything's okay, let me know if you missed anything?” Because I didn't know if maybe there was something going on in their own life, and I got a surprising response, which was actually saying that something you said...really, really struck me as not just negative, but offensive. My natural tendency kind of was to go into self-preservation mode, right? The emotions were well —  That's not what I meant, I'm clearly being misunderstood. And fortunately, in that case, because this was early in the term, I was able to say, you know, that's not going to be helpful, and the truth is that even though I'm feeling those things, I've got to kind of, self-regulate my natural response and say, this student that I care about, whose learning I care about, who I don't want to lose for the rest of the term, they're hurt and they're hurt because of words that came out of my mouth, so how do I connect with them? And that requires some humility, right? Fortunately, the student was just as humble and we were able to talk through it and work through it and get to a great place. [They were] one of my best students that I had in the term, I can imagine that going completely differently without some practice of emotional intelligence.

NM : That's pretty powerful, and I think it at least shows that you're well-versed in this to be able to want to understand that distinction, I mean, imagine if you, as the listener, as the leader, was able to pick up on those cues to be self-aware enough to know like, there are things I need to change to make sure that I'm building the connection that I intend to build with my subordinates, peers, what have you. So definitely powerful and definitely kind of a takeaway for me. I know that we'll get to key takeaways, but it's that, I'm not at that point. So I know this is definitely something that I need to do to continue working on, but with that, let's kind of bridge this, okay? How is this important in negotiations and how do we get from talking about emotional intelligence to emotional intelligence in the negotiation realm?

Emotional Intelligence Within Negotiations [18:28]

AD : Yeah. So that's the link we want to make, right? So, um, boy, it shows up all over the way that you would have talked about negotiation in the past. Self-awareness: what assumptions am I carrying, what baggage do I bring into a negotiation because of what's worked or hasn't worked in the past? At the negotiation table, am I trying to be, you know, a Shakespearian theater actor and just do a performance or am I being authentic to myself? So how do I regulate how I show up to the table? That tends to be somewhat of an interesting topic — because some people think that, oh, I should just pretend to be someone I'm not at the negotiating table, that's not what you and I would say, right? We would say, we need to negotiate in a way that's consistent with who we are as people. Empathy, huge, right? Empathy shows up all over. How are you going to build genuine working relationships, establish rapport, have some two-way trust, and integrity to be able to tackle difficult problems without being able to empathize with somebody? Empathy is communication too, and when you're hurting and I just either ignore it or I say, “yeah, yeah, I understand” right? You don't feel heard. You don't feel got. I have to acknowledge the emotions there and empathy...different from sympathy, which says, “geez, sorry, you're feeling that way”; empathy is actually — “yeah, I can see that pain, I feel that pain.” That's real, genuine empathy.

NM : Real fast, if I can jump in right here, Aram.

AD : Yeah, jump in, jump in.

NM : If you, the listener, think that this is something that you really need to understand, you need to take a listen to, I believe it was episode 19, where we talked to former LAPD hostage negotiator, Mike Baker, and Mike talks about, as the hostage negotiator, he was able to build empathy, build rapport with people that were going through obviously a difficult situation, they messed up, and although on a normal day-to-day basis, Mike doesn't necessarily build a connection with criminals by any means, but during the negotiations process, he is able to put that all aside and truly build empathy with someone he normally wouldn't on a day-to-day basis. So it's pretty powerful. I think that you should listen to that episode right after this one, if you haven't already. All right. Sorry.

AD : Yeah, no, that's great, Mike does make that point, and empathy is all over the crisis negotiation unit team's manual, right? That's with the FBI, with what Mike shared as well — it's all over — the ability to demonstrate empathy, to connect, because sometimes we go back to our model, the interests that somebody has, interests aren't always tangible substantive things, sometimes they're psychological or emotional and the interest is “I just want to be heard, I just want to be got.” It's amazing how often with my kids, when they're angry and frustrated, the only concern...it's not even, it's not whatever that got dropped in the dirt or got lost or torn or whatever it might be, it's not the substantive issue. They just want to be heard. And if you can demonstrate empathy, that actually gets you to the ‘interest’ as well, and it actually can make solving the problem that much easier. So yeah, listen to Mike's examples there, and you can put this into practice. Those are ways that emotional intelligence shows up at the negotiation table.

NM : Yeah, and I think it's kind of another underlying reason here and they're all kind of connected, but that's to build more effective relationship, having that emotional intelligence, especially in a negotiation to be able to build that rapport, really build that relationship, to be able to achieve your desired outcomes would be to remain authentic, you know, that's kind of the importance here of being emotionally intelligent. What are some other ways of tying this back to the seven elements of the negotiation?

Connecting Emotional Intelligence With the Seven Elements of Negotiation [22:10]


AD : Well, I would say another one is just being able to, you know, problem solve right, and come up with different options? I remember being based in Afghanistan and working with a journalist and there was always this kind of assumption that military and journalists would have some sort of antagonism. Truth is, this journalist and I got along great. And you know, why we got along great is we talked at the end of the day. We can really appreciate the fact that I was concerned about security and the journalist was concerned about being able to tell a good story and an effective, truthful story to readers and be able to do their job. Well, those two things didn't have to be mutually exclusive, and so the ability to listen and engage and connect on an emotional level with each other, allowed us both to do our job and do it really well and work in partnership with each other.

NM : All right, Aram, if it's okay with you, let's jump into some action items. This is a podcast that is all about trying to help our listeners take action to become more effective negotiators. So with that Aram, what is a key takeaway pertaining to emotional intelligence? I'll pass the mic over to you.

Action Items & Key Takeaways [23:12]

AD : Sure. One, if you like the topic, there's a lot to read about it. So get out there and read about it. It has changed and is continuing to change the way I try to engage with others in a more authentic and hopefully effective manner. Two, it will affect the results you get. Nolan shared some of the research, the research is out there. You will get better results at the negotiation table, at building teams, at change management, all these things that you're trying to do with your company, by being a little bit more intelligent. And three, it is trainable. So, you know, don't get discouraged about where you are today. I can speak from personal experience — it is something that we can learn and grow on. It starts with awareness and reflection, and then through practice, we can actually see growth in our emotional intelligence.

NM : Yeah, I think the key takeaway from me is...this is obviously something that I need to work on, and I understand that about myself but one tool that I use again and again is that tactical pause. So if I'm caught off guard by someone else's reaction, it's definitely, you know, not what I intended — let me take that tactical pause to really understand why they may be feeling that way, first. But just telling them like, like you said earlier, being on the defensive, being like, whoa, that's not how I understood it, that's not how I said it. So I need to figure out why I made them feel that way? And I think that's pretty important. It all starts with the tactical pause. So with that, I appreciate you listening to the NegotiateX podcast. If you could do us a favor, please go to Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to our podcast, give us a five-star rating, share it with some of your friends, share it with some of your co-workers. We would greatly appreciate it. Hopefully we're starting to piece together the different parts of the negotiation, to be able to help influence your business and your life. And that's basically our goal, that's why we started this podcast and it's definitely to help you become a more powerful leader and help your organization improve. So with that, if you want us to cover anything in the future, please send us an email to team@negotiatex.com. If you are a business owner or leader, and you're looking for some more one-on-one coaching to be able to fully understand or be able to bring to the table and how we can use that to improve yourself, your organization, and basically get all the results that you are trying to get at, then please don't hesitate to reach out to us, you can go to www.negotiatex.com  and, you can see the coaching services that we offer. With that, we greatly appreciate you listening, and I'll see you over in the next episode.

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