How Does Emotional Intelligence Make You A Better Leader
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People are often not aware of their own emotions, let alone those of others around them. We’re constantly picking up cues about what other people feel, but we’re usually not as tuned in to our own feelings.
This is why it can be so hard for leaders to know how they make someone else feel. They may assume that things are okay because nobody seems too upset with them, but maybe that person was keeping their true feelings to themselves.
Emotional intelligence (EI) gives you the ability to recognize your own and other people’s emotions. By understanding your own emotions and those of others, you will become more able to lead people towards achieving common goals.
You will also understand how to motivate and inspire individuals behind the goal of making the group achieve its potential. This article will discuss some ways that emotional intelligence helps you to be a better leader.
The content in this article should not be used as guidance or training for leadership positions beyond the context of the text. Only use these tips if management has given you permission to do so! Also remember that individual situations may require different approaches than described here.
It helps you become more authentic
People often use emotional intelligence as proof that you are not a good leader, but there is a big difference between being “soft” and being emotionally unintelligent.
Having strong emotions does not make someone weak; it makes them human. For example, I will be very passionate about an issue, which can sometimes make me seem overly dramatic or even irrational.
But my passion comes from an honest place – I believe strongly in this idea so I express myself clearly and intelligently.
By having these feelings, I have control over them because I recognized they were there and I allowed myself to feel them. This helps me understand how other people feel and what issues are important to them.
My leadership style may influence others for the better, since I am known for my intensity and focus.
It also gives my followers the chance to connect with me on a deeper level, since I open up to them. They get a sense of who I really am beyond the surface.
Emotional intelligence allows you to relate to other people and to see things from their perspective, which is why most successful leaders possess high levels of it.
It can help you manage your emotions
A lot of people think that being a good leader is just about telling people what to do and getting them to agree with you, but that isn’t it at all. Being a great leader is also about motivating others to perform their jobs well and helping them feel motivated and engaged in the process.
As we know, one of the most important things leaders are called upon to do every day is motivate individuals around them. This could be encouraging someone else to take charge of a project or moving aside so they can achieve his/her goal.
It’s no surprise then that there are lots of books and courses focused solely on how to be a better manager or leader. But what few realize is that emotional intelligence (or EI for short) has an equally if not more powerful influence over leadership than having a knack for giving orders to other people.
Emotional quotient or EQ is defined as the ability to identify and understand your own feelings and those of others along with the level of control you have over your emotions.
It can help you be more consistent
Consistency is one of the most important qualities as a leader. As a leader, you will need to do things consistently every day, week after week, month after month. This could include meeting with colleagues, going into your own office every morning, showing up for meetings on time, agreeing with other people’s points of view, etc.
Consistency is what makes changes stick. It gives people an idea of how you would perform in the same situations that they are in. If someone has seen you work before, then they know what to expect from you and how you would handle yourself under pressure.
Emotional intelligence helps you be more consistent by helping you manage your emotions. Because you are aware of your feelings, you are better able to recognize when it is necessary to put on a show or keep a calm tone of voice.
It can help you communicate better
People in leadership positions must be able to effectively convey messages to others. Leaders who cannot relate to their followers or don’t know how to say what they want to hear may not survive long, if at all.
Research shows that people tend to agree with things that they think will benefit them personally. This is why someone may agree with your argument even though she disagrees with you — she thinks you are looking out for her best interests.
It also means she will trust your advice because she believes you care about her. On the other hand, she might avoid your input completely because you make her feel bad.
Some experts believe that emotional intelligence (or EQ) helps explain this tendency to promote personal benefits.
People with higher levels of emotional intelligence understand social interactions and how emotions work so they can more easily control their own feelings and those of others.
They also recognize when someone else is feeling stressed or overwhelmed and try to reduce that stress for both parties.
While it seems obvious, we need to remember that our colleagues and superiors are human too. They get nervous, angry, hurt, and upset just like us.
It can help you be a better listener
As we discussed earlier, being a good leader is more than just giving orders to others and expecting them to follow. Being a strong leader requires that you are able to listen to what other people have to say and understand their points of view.
This is very important because in our increasingly connected world, where information spreads like wildfire through social media, news websites, and chat apps, staying informed about all aspects of an organization and its field is nearly impossible!
As your employees’ leaders come from different backgrounds with diverse experiences and skills, they will bring various things to the table. They may not know how to run some department or project, but they could offer tips and tricks for leading others in another area.
By demonstrating that you are willing to learn and apply new knowledge to improve your leadership style, you show that you are invested in the success of the team as a whole. This creates trust, which is one of the most crucial qualities for a leader.
It also helps promote teamwork by encouraging staff members to share their expertise and knowledge. When everyone feels that they are being listened to and heard, it can strengthen their sense of belonging at work and motivation to contribute.
It can help you be a better motivator
We often talk about emotional intelligence (EI) as a skill, something that people have or don’t have. But what if we re-phrase it in terms of leadership? What if being a good leader was just about having high levels of empathy and motivation?
That would make every chief executive officer (CEO) an emotionally intelligent leader!
And while there are some studies which suggest that having higher EI makes you a more effective leader, there is also research indicating that this isn’t always the case. In fact, one study found that when leaders show emotions they feel uncomfortable, their underlings respond to that discomfort by behaving even worse than before.
It can help you be a better decision maker
When we are not aware of our emotions, it makes it difficult for us to recognize what is going on in our lives.
We may also make poor decisions due to how we feel. For example, someone could hurt your feelings, which could influence what kind of decisions you make.
Emotional intelligence helps you understand your own emotional state and why you feel a certain way. In addition, it teaches you how to manage your emotions so that they do not impact your actions.
Decision making involves weighing all of the pros and cons of different options, as well as choosing one over the other. Having high emotional quotient (EQ) means you are more likely to consider all of the factors involved before coming to a conclusion.
You will probably know some people who have very strong leadership qualities. They are known as influencers – people who get others to agree with their ideas and behaviors.
Influential leaders use empathy to motivate those around them. They create an environment where everyone feels comfortable and able to express themselves.
It can help you be a better team player
As we've discussed, EI is not about having a big smile all the time or being super emotional at every chance. Rather, it's about how well you manage your emotions so that they don't influence your behavior.
This includes staying calm in stressful situations, knowing when to use empathy and sympathy and which ones are needed, and using motivation and reward to inspire others.
It also means understanding what motivates other people and using those motivations to promote teamwork. For example, if someone else feels motivated because of praise, give them some recognition for their hard work.
By being aware of these leadership skills, you can improve upon them. Once you have mastered one area of EQ, you can move onto the next.