How Emotional Intelligence Promotes Leadership And Management Practices
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Over the past few years, emotional intelligence (or EQ as it is commonly referred to) has become one of the most popular leadership theories. It looks at how effective leaders manage their emotions and what qualities make someone have high levels of empathy.
Many believe that having strong emotional skills makes you a more successful leader or manager. You will see there are many courses and seminars focused exclusively on developing your emotional literacy.
However, some skeptics say that this theory is simply an excuse for those who want to feel better about themselves.
Emotional intelligence isn’t like other traits such as being organized or self-confident, which we can learn through education and practice. Some people may be born with higher than average levels of emotional intelligence, while others are not.
This article will talk about some ways that emotional intelligence helps in the workplace, but first let us look at the different types of emotional intelligence.
Recognize your emotions and their effects on you
A second important aspect of emotional intelligence is recognizing your own feelings and how they affect you. You will not be able to lead others effectively if you do not recognize your own emotions, nor will you be able to manage those around you well if you don’t understand the effect that things have on you.
As we saw in chapter two, one of the most significant reasons why people get into trouble is because they misinterpret or overreact to something. For example, someone may get angry with you for some reason and throw a tantrum, hurt your feeling by saying something mean, or even physically attack you.
You should always try to put yourself in other people's shoes when dealing with them, but also make sure that you are never offended as this would be poor leadership.
Develop your emotional self-awareness
A large part of leadership is understanding how yourself, others, and situations affect you emotionally. This can be difficult to do if you don’t know what emotions you are feeling.
Many people struggle with this. One way to improve your emotional awareness is by taking some time to really understand your feelings.
When you feel an emotion coming on, take note of it, identify it, and then talk about why you felt that way.
This could be for someone else or even for yourself.
By being aware of your own feelings, you will be able to avoid sometimes having a knee-jerk reaction and creating more problems in the process.
Likewise, when you are around other people, you will be better at detecting their emotions and responding appropriately.
You need to have enough empathy to relate to others so they can tell you what they are thinking and feeling.
Teach important emotional skills
Recent research suggests that people with higher EQs are better leaders because they know how to motivate others, understand other’s viewpoints, and recognize and manage their own emotions.
In fact, studies show that leadership effectiveness is mostly influenced by two key factors: motivation and communication. And while being motivated to do your job well is obvious, there’s another aspect of leader effectiveness that gets less attention but can have just as big an impact — your ability to communicate effectively.
Emotional intelligence (or EI) helps you achieve this by teaching you how to identify and control your own feelings, as well as those of others. You’d be surprised at how many bosses who lack these skills fall short in motivating employees or helping them feel valued and acknowledged.
Similarly, colleagues may not respect your leadership abilities if they perceive you as too focused on your personal life or limited in ways that don’t reflect what’s really going on inside.
So whether you're a senior manager trying to motivate your team or someone aspiring to lead, developing your emotional literacy is an essential part of becoming a more effective leader.
Be honest with your peers and superiors
As mentioned before, emotional intelligence (or EI for short) is related to how well you regulate your emotions. If you are able to control your emotions, it gives you better leadership skills and management practices. Your colleagues and supervisors will feel more confident in you as an individual and a leader because they can perceive that you are stable and in control.
If you struggle to contain your feelings, this creates a barrier between you and others and sets a poor example. This impacts their confidence in you and what they expect from you as a leader or manager.
It also puts additional pressure on them to always have to watch out for you, make sure you’re okay before they are, and keep things under wraps so that nobody else finds out. All of these take away from their personal time and energy.
Emotions connect us to each other and help motivate us towards achieving goals. If we ignore our own inner struggles, we limit ourselves – physically and mentally. You should never hide your true feelings, but instead work on being aware of yours and keeping them in check.
Don’t be egotistical
As we have seen, emotional intelligence is an important skill for leaders to possess.
However, being aware of your own emotions and how they influence you can go too far. When you become overly focused on yourself and your feelings, you lose sight of what else needs to get done.
As a leader, you will find that others may not agree with or appreciate your decisions, but that doesn’t matter because you made them based on what was best for you.
They won’t like everything you do, but that isn’t their job either.
Your colleagues will probably feel frustrated at times, but that’s why there are second chances. They’ll keep coming back if they believe in you and hope you change.
A leader cannot demand respect from others unless they are known for their excellence in leadership. If someone has to go above and beyond to be respected, then you should probably look into whether that person is worthy of your trust or not.
If people do not perceive you as a powerful leader, then they will never respond to you with absolute confidence and loyalty. They will always feel like they have to put in more effort than what they’re given to be admired by you.
Hearing about how great you are can easily make you feel inadequate because you want to show off how well you lead but you don’t want to seem arrogant or pretentious. This can be very frustrating especially when you've done nothing wrong!
By being aware of your weaknesses as a leader, you'll work to improve them so that you can gain back some credibility. You won't necessarily be able to eliminate all weak points immediately, but you can definitely strengthen yours enough to get through whatever comes next.
As we've discussed, being able to identify your emotions is an important part of understanding how you feel about things. But it's not just knowing what you're feeling that matters, it's also being able to act on those feelings in ways that are productive and don't hurt others.
Research has shown that people who are high in emotional intelligence are more likely to be promoted at work because they're able to deal with adversity effectively and communicate their ideas clearly. In other words, they're good leaders.
Emotionally intelligent individuals are sometimes described as "self-aware" or "aware of themselves." This doesn't mean that they're always happy, but rather that they're aware of why they're feeling a certain way and whether these feelings are appropriate.
They may recognize when something isn't working and try to change it, or learn from what didn’twork and move on.
A lot of people get stuck in this fantasy about how they think leadership should be or what skills make a leader. They have these ideas that if they were more charismatic, or had better verbal fluency then they would be a good leader, or even that being a bad leader is not important because someone else can take over!
This kind of thinking makes them feel very self-conscious and uncomfortable when they need to lead. Being able to recognize and manage your emotions is an integral part of leading. If you cannot control yourself around others, or lose your cool in situations where leadership is needed, then you are not a effective leader.
Leaders must be able to relate to their colleagues and work with them cooperatively, but they also must be able to motivate other individuals to contribute and move forward towards a common goal.
They must be able to communicate clearly both orally and written, and use appropriate tone and volume at all times. All of these things takes emotional intelligence.