How Emotional Intelligence Influences Leadership
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Over the past few years, emotional intelligence (or EI for short) has become one of the most popular leadership theories. It looks at how well you control your emotions to determine if you are in a good position to succeed or not.
Some experts believe that we reach our highest potential when our emotional skills are strong. Others think that having low levels of emotion control is actually what helps us succeed because it prevents us from getting distracted by non-productive thoughts and feelings.
Either way, there’s no denying the importance of controlling your own emotions.
It can influence everything from your career success to your personal relationships. In this article, we will discuss some ways that emotional skill can affect leadership. Keep reading!
One important element of emotional intelligence is called emotional literacy. This means being aware of your emotions so that you know what they mean.
For example, someone who is emotionally literate would recognize that she is feeling angry with her friend because he did not call her back after their last conversation. She could also identify which ones of his actions made her feel this way and why.
On the other hand, a person who is less educated about emotions might get confused or even be annoyed by the same behavior. They may assume that his absence shows that he does not care about them or want to be friends.
Fortunately, such people are very rare.
Relationship between emotional intelligence and leadership
Over the past few decades, there has been an explosion of interest in what is now referred to as “emotional literacy” or "EI." This term was first coined by Daniel Goleman back in 1989 when he published his best-selling book The New Leaders: Learning From Experts In A Changing World. Since then, it has spread like wildfire across all levels and areas of business.
Emotional agility or "EA" (the ability to handle your own emotions and those of others) is one of the most important qualities for leaders. Having strong EA can help you deal with difficult situations, influence others, and motivate them towards achieving their goals.
On the other hand, low EA can hurt your career if you're not aware of how your actions may make others feel. You could also suffer from mental health issues such as anxiety or depression due to poor relationships at work.
This article will talk more about why having high EQ is crucial to becoming a leader, tips on improving your emotional quotient, and some examples of how people with low EI were never promoted into a senior position.
Tips for becoming a more emotional intelligent leader
Developing your emotional intelligence is a process that will take consistency, repeat practice, and research. But there are some things you can do to make your leadership shine with EI.
Here are five easy ways to strengthen your emotional intelligence as a leader.
1) Use of pronouns
This one may seem simple, but it makes a big difference. When someone does something well, acknowledge their efforts. Tell them they did a good job!
They worked hard, you made sure everything ran smoothly, and they deserved recognition for their effort. A “good job” or “well done” usually suffices, but if you're ever really curious about what people think, ask them yourself.
"Thanks for doing such a great job today," says Leader 1. "It was my honor to work with you."
"You always put in so much effort, I want to say thank you," says Leader 2. "Keep up the great work!"
And even if you don't know the person very well, asking how they felt about the event can give you insight into their emotional regulation skills.
Look on the bright side
Even if you’re not sure how to fix your emotional intelligence, you can still improve your leadership skills by looking on the bright side of things.
This is especially important in difficult times when there are challenges that need addressing. By thinking about the positive aspects of what has been done so far and brainstorming potential solutions for future problems, you can motivate yourself to keep moving forward.
You may also want to consider asking others for help – whether it be through sharing lessons learned or offering tips and tricks they have used themselves.
By doing these things, you will bring out the best in other people and inspire them to do their job well too. This will boost morale and trust, which are crucial qualities in any workplace.
It can also help you retain their respect, as they will feel valued and acknowledged for their efforts.
Think of others before you act
Recent studies show that emotional intelligence is an important leadership quality. It has been linked to better team performance, higher employee engagement, and lower turnover.
Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to someone’s ability to recognize their own emotions as well as those of other people, identify what emotion other people are feeling, and how to effectively use emotions for productive conversations or behaviors.
It also means being able to relate to others and understand why they feel the way they do. Some people may have high EI, while others may need some work.
There are several different types of emotional intelligence. People with strong understanding and regulation of their own feelings and empathy — the ability to relate to and understand the emotions of others — are considered to have high levels of emotional quotient (also referred to as EQ).
Just like with physical fitness, the more you exercise your EQ, the more you have of it. But just like with having enough sleep or eating healthy food, investing in self-awareness and social skills will only make your overall level of EQ stronger.
Don’t be egotistical
As mentioned earlier, emotional intelligence is like having a toolkit of skills that you can use to deal with people.
A lot of people who don’t have high levels of emotional intelligence find it difficult to control their emotions which sometimes leads to hurt feelings or anger towards others.
This may be because they feel threatened by other people so they try to put up a tough front or avoid talking about things because they are not sure what will come out.
It could also be due to fears – they might fear being made look bad so they refuse to acknowledge how badly they were wrong. Or maybe they just cannot admit when they are wrong and take a long time to apologize which only makes matters worse.
Be honest with your team
As a leader, you must be able to identify what emotions are in the room and apply appropriate solutions. If someone is upset about something, don’t make it worse by assuming bad motives.
Rather, try to understand why they are feeling that way and work to fix the problem or address the underlying cause.
By being aware of how others are feeling, you will know where to direct your attention next. You can also use these insights to determine if people need help changing their behavior or not, and whether they are willing to accept it.
If you notice that some things are getting out of hand, get rid of the source of the tension immediately!
Avoid power struggles and instead focus on solving the problem. This will preserve relationships and keep morale high.
Listen to your team
As a leader, you must learn how to listen to others. You need to understand what they are telling you and why they are telling you. This includes listening to their positive messages as well as their negative ones.
By paying close attention to what people say, both in person and online, you can get valuable information about them and who they associate with.
This will help you determine whether or not they are trustworthy and if they are going to be a part of the organization’s future.
It also helps you identify potential problems before they become big issues. If someone is being rude to other employees, it may indicate that they are looking for a new job.
By identifying this early, you can prevent bad publicity and loss of productivity while searching for their next position.
You should always strive to have conversations that focus on individuals’ contributions and success, instead of criticizing or putting down others.
That way, they will feel more motivated to keep up the good work. When they do, they will reward you by giving you their best effort.
Be a good listener
As mentioned earlier, being a good leader is more than just giving orders to people and expecting them to follow you. It means listening to what they have to say, considering their points of view, and acting upon it.
As human beings we are our own worst critics. We think about how we could've done things better, or maybe even if we're doing well then there's something else that can be improved. This internal dialogue can become very frustrating at times.
It is important to learn how to listen to others. A lot of leaders struggle with this - how to pay attention without distracted by other things.
By practicing active listening, you will hone your ability to focus completely onto what someone is saying, while also understanding what they are trying to get across.
This will help you in many areas of your life including work. Your colleagues and superiors will feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with you because you show an interest in learning about them.
You'll also understand their positions more clearly which helps you to form productive relationships.