Emotional Intelligence Leadership

What makes a leader that everyone wants to have? All leaders have their strengths and weaknesses, but some leaders stand out from the rest.

You’ve probably had a leader whose temper never got out of control. Their ego was on check. They never shouted when under stress. They calmly assessed every situation.

You are probably thinking of a leader that inspires complete trust, listens, is approachable, and always makes the right decisions. If you are a leader, you probably have the analytical competencies, the “business smarts” for the job, and the technical skills. But are you an emotionally intelligent leader?

What distinguishes outstanding leaders from the average ones? Exceptional leaders are leaders with emotional self-awareness and self-control. These are emotionally intelligent leaders.

In Travis Bradberry’s book, “Emotional Intelligence 2.0,” he cites studies of more than 2 million workers. In those studies, researchers found that “just 36% of people are able to identify their emotions as they happen.”

A lack of emotional intelligence among the senior team can be devastating to the rest of the workforce. In an Inc. article by Brent Gleeson, he says that the ability to be perceptively in tune with yourself and your emotions is a vital tool for leading a team. He defines emotional intelligence as “the act of knowing, understanding, and responding to emotions, overcoming stress in the moment, and being aware of how your words and actions affect others.”

What Is Emotional Intelligence For Leadership?

  • They are aware – A high degree of self-awareness, social awareness and perception awareness are all important in a leadership role.
  • They self-regulate – Self-regulation includes being aware of one’s own emotions and how one’s actions affect others. Self-regulating also involves taking ownership of these actions.
  • They show empathy – They can understand how others are feeling and can respond by recognizing their emotions and power dynamics (e.g. hierarchy, diversity).
  • They have interpersonal social skills – They can interact well with team members and manage relationships well. This involves applying an understanding of emotions to communicate and interact with others on a day-to-day basis. This includes being able to listen and communicate. In turn, they will develop trust, rapport and non-verbal communication skills with team members.
  • They are lifetime learners– Emotionally intelligent leaders are driven to learn about others and themselves. They are intrinsically motivated by their curiosity and their goal for personal growth.

How To Develop Emotional Intelligence in Leadership?

Emotional intelligence must be developed or enhanced in any leadership development program. Organizations are placing an increased value on interpersonal relationships. Leaders that have received feedback on poor interpersonal dynamics are particularly good candidates for developing their emotional intelligence.

Assessments are an effective way to begin to understand the perceptions of others. 360- interviews often work best to help successful leaders reach a higher degree of emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence in leadership is a soft skill. When it comes to soft skills, acquiring and putting new knowledge into practice in the workplace entails a significant behavioral change. This is hard to accomplish if done in purely didactic methods, such as lectures, quizzes, exams and case studies.

Understanding the concept of emotional intelligence is easy. However, long-term change takes time, follow-up and discipline — not just understanding. Learners need to practice, get feedback, and be accountable.

Executive coaching is still the best way to effectively develop emotionally intelligent leaders. Coaches can help leaders recognize their emotions. Further, they can even help them discover how to use their emotions in more effective and productive ways.

A coach can also help leaders look inside themselves beneath the surface. The bad news is that sometimes, hidden emotions are driving leaders’ behavior that they aren’t even aware of.

Resilience and Emotional Intelligence

Resilience is the process of adaptation in the face of adversity. It is a mindset that allows us to take risks and experiment with new approaches in order to adapt. This is the key to effective leadership.

Becoming an emotionally intelligent leader does not happen overnight, nor in a vacuum. Leaders need to understand themselves. They need to understand their deep needs and desires.

They also need courage to ask for help from others and the persistence to do the work necessary. To become an emotionally intelligent leader, leaders will probably do things differently and have to put themselves in uncomfortable situations. A resilient and effective leader knows that he needs to understand her emotions to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations.

How well do you know yourself, your surroundings and the needs and desires of the people you are leading? Becoming a great leader starts with paying attention. By increasing your EQ, you will in turn increase your resilience.

However, people don’t care what you’re aware of, they only care what you do (or how you change). You don’t get points for your intentions. Paying attention is the first step to growing. Doing something about it is what makes the difference.