THE IMPORTANCE OF EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE IN LEADERSHIP

Do you have the traits of an emotionally intelligent leader?

“What really matters for success, character, happiness, and lifelong achievements is a definite set of emotional skills – your EQ — not just purely cognitive abilities that are measured by conventional IQ tests.”  – Daniel Goleman.

For years, emotional intelligence has been touted as a key skill for leaders, but the benefits continue to grow as psychologists and social scientists study this trait. Recent psychological studies confirm that people with a high EI, especially in motivation and empathy, show a positive correlation between motivation, building resilience, and coping with stress. Not only with themselves, but they are even able to help others.

Emotional intelligence is a personality trait that depicts the individual’s ability to regulate emotions, be aware of his/her own self in relation to others, be emphatic with others, have social skills, and have a high level of self-motivation.

Components of Emotional Intelligence in Leaders

Let’s look at the 5 key components and how they show up at work

  • Self-Awareness – You understand your strengths, weaknesses, and stressors. You understand how you react to others on your team and recognize their perception of you.
  • Transparent & Truthful – You are honest about your own goals and willing to be honest with others regarding their performance whether positive or negative.
  • Connect with Empathy – You are able to connect with team members and see the world through their eyes.
  • Self-Management & Controlled – You don’t let negativity throw you off course. You regulate and recognize your emotional reactions to people or situations. One bad meeting with your team doesn’t affect your emotions and produce negative reactions.
  • Motivation – You recognize when people need help and act to support their efforts.

Sounds like the recipe for a resilient leader, doesn’t it?

For everyone, emotional intelligence is a work in progress, and we should strive to continue to work on these 5 components to become more resilient leaders who inspire and enhance our teams.

Impact of Emotional Intelligence on Those You Lead

A recent study found that workers are 400% less likely to leave a job if they have a manager with high Emotional Intelligence.

Psychological studies confirm that people with a high EI, show a positive correlation when building resilience and coping with stress.

Stress is a common challenge in today’s fast-paced, demanding work environment. Leaders who have a high degree of EI are better equipped to manage their stress levels and those of their employees. EI enables leaders to identify their own emotional triggers and to take steps to regulate their emotions in response.

For example, a leader who is self-aware may recognize that they tend to become anxious when faced with deadlines, and can then take steps to manage this stress by, for example, delegating tasks or practicing mindfulness.

EI also plays a crucial role in helping leaders to manage the stress levels of their employees.

By demonstrating empathy and understanding, leaders can help employees to feel valued and supported, which can reduce stress and improve morale. A leader who is empathetic may be able to identify when an employee is feeling overwhelmed, and take steps to help them manage this stress, such as offering support or reassigning tasks.

In addition to managing stress, EI is also crucial for building resilience. Resilience refers to the ability to bounce back from adversity and remain optimistic and positive, even in the face of challenges. Leaders with high EI are better equipped to build resilience in themselves and in their employees. A leader who is self-aware may recognize when they are feeling overwhelmed, and take steps to manage this stress by practicing self-care, such as exercising or meditating.

Leaders who are self-regulated are also better equipped to build resilience. Self-regulation involves the ability to control one’s emotions and behavior in response to stress. A leader who is self-regulated may be able to take a step back when faced with a challenging situation and reframe their perspective to find a more positive solution. This can help to reduce stress and build resilience, as the leader is better equipped to cope with challenges and maintain a positive outlook.

EI also plays a crucial role in building resilience in employees.

By demonstrating empathy and understanding, leaders can help employees to feel valued and supported, which can reduce stress and build resilience. A leader who is empathetic may be able to identify when an employee is feeling overwhelmed, and offer support and encouragement, which can help the employee to build resilience and to maintain a positive outlook.

Self-awareness and self-regulation are two of the five key components of emotional intelligence. Without them, we end up in emotional turmoil. However, this is hard to develop if you are unaware of your own stressors and how to self-regulate your emotions.

Steps Toward Expanding Your Emotional Intelligence

Work on improving your self-awareness, and you will improve your EI.

Here are 5 ways to begin building greater emotional intelligence and become a better leader:

  1. Start listening to your colleagues and put yourself in their shoes
  2. Spend time reflecting on yourself and your motivations
  3. Don’t shy away from social engagements inside and outside of work
  4. Be supportive, even if it’s not in your job description
  5. Start treating your emotional health like your physical health

The ultimate linchpin for emotional intelligence is self-awareness. Becoming more objective about your emotional states and the other pieces begin to fall into place. Begin finding tools to develop awareness and you can transform yourself into a productive leader.

Summary

Emotional intelligence is a critical aspect of leadership that plays a key role in managing stress and building resilience. Leaders who are self-aware, empathetic, self-regulated, and effective communicators are better equipped to manage their own stress levels and those of their employees. By demonstrating empathy and understanding, leaders can help employees to feel valued and supported, which can reduce stress and build resilience.

In today’s fast-paced, demanding work environment, the ability to manage stress and build resilience is essential for both leaders and employees and EI is a key factor in achieving this goal.

The path to emotional intelligence is a journey and Fierce has several programs that can be customized to your skill sets and the unique challenges you face. To learn more about the leader’s journey to emotional intelligence, click here.

 

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