Emotional Intelligence and Good Manners

Sue Hurst

Manners are behaviors that come with training.

Training increases productivity by 22%.

However, when training is combined with personal coaching productivity increases 88% to 400%.

(Int'l Management
Personnel Assoc., 2001)

The photo for this blog post reminds us that “Manners cost nothing.” And they don’t.

Manners are just behaviors we choose. Sometimes the manners we choose are good; sometimes they’re not. Sometimes we choose to have bad manners. In either case, they flow from the EQ skill of behavioral self-control.

While recent research has shown there might be the possibility of minor fluctuation in someone’s IQ, most people tend to consider a person’s IQ to be pretty stable. What you get is what you’ve got.

However, with personality, there is much more flexibility. A person may be extremely shy and reserved as a child but becomes less so as an adult. They may still be an introvert but as they grow and mature, they’re might become more outgoing.

Actually, the same can be true in reverse as well. If someone with a bold and controlling nature has a boss with a strongly dominant personality, they may choose to behave differently, to adopt a softer style at the office to avoid butting heads with their boss. It just makes sense to do so.

In each of these situations, the EQ skill of behavioral self-control is at work. At some level the person has the self-awareness to realize it would be wise for them to behave differently. In this case, they are perfect examples of the definition of emotional intelligence: Being aware of feelings, in the moment, to be able to wisely choose actions.

As with all of the EQ competencies, a person’s behavioral self-control can be increased because these skills can be learned. This is what parenting is all about. Behavioral self-control is a skill we want for our children.

It’s also one we want for ourselves. That’s why we hire business coaches, tennis coaches, and EQ coaches. They can help us form the skills we need to succeed. Training increases productivity 22%—which is really good. However, when training and personal coaching are combined, productivity increases from 88% to 400% (International Personnel Management Association, 2001).

People who are high in EQ overall are more likely to be skilled in behavioral self-control. And that’s encouraging because these behaviors can be learned. Because behaviors are choices.
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