How Is Emotional Intelligence Important In Leadership
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Over the past few years, emotional intelligence (or EQ as it is popularly referred to) has become one of the most prominent leadership theories in business. It looks at how well you control your emotions and understanding your own emotions to facilitate better professional relationships and effective communication.
Many believe that having strong emotional regulation skills is an important factor for success in life. For example, people who cannot regulate their anger or frustration will likely struggle with maintaining healthy relationships and working under time constraints.
Furthermore, some studies suggest that those with lower levels of EQ are more likely to exhibit unethical behaviors such as fraud or theft. People who lack empathy can easily get carried away by someone else’s feelings before taking action themselves.
This article will discuss why emotional intelligence is so crucial to successful leadership and what you can do to improve yours.
Leadership and the mind
There are many theories about what makes someone worthy of being called leader, but one thing is for sure — leadership requires you to be motivated by something more than just money or power.
Leaders must be motivated by an internal desire to make the lives of others better through action and motivation. This want to improve people’s lives is what drives leaders.
It is this desire that makes them go beyond their job responsibilities and it is also what helps them keep up their own level of performance even when things get tough.
Emotional intelligence (EI) has been growing in popularity as a key factor in understanding why some people succeed with their jobs while others do not.
This article will talk about how important emotional intelligence is to leadership, and then look at a few examples of poor leadership due to lack of EI.
The power of being emotional
A few years ago, I was talking with one of my very best friends about leadership. We were discussing what qualities make someone a good leader and what are needed to lead people. He mentioned something that made me pause and think for a minute. He said that we as leaders need to be able to show emotions.
He explained that too many things in this world depend on only staying dry and calm. Things like business, politics, social systems – all rely on you putting on a strong face and keeping your feelings under control.
By having enough emotion, you’ll never know when you’re going to get help or guidance from someone. You will always feel connected to someone, which is a key factor in leading others.
I thought about it for a while and agreed. Having some level of emotional intelligence (EQ) can definitely aid in leadership. But, I still had questions about how important it truly was.
That is why today I wanted to talk more about the importance of EQ in leadership. Let’s dive in!
The basics of emotional intelligence
To start off, let’s take a quick look at the definition of emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence (or EQ, for short) refers to our ability to identify, understand, manage, and use our own emotions to achieve our goals.
This includes understanding your own emotions, as well as those of other people.
How to be more emotional
A large part of being an effective leader is showing emotion, but some people are just not very good at it. Others may show emotions too much, or wrong emotions. They may use strong emotions for their own personal gain instead of to help others.
Effective leaders know how to control their emotions, and they recognize when someone else has done so. This article will talk about ways you can improve your emotional intelligence by doing these two things.
You can learn how to be more emotionally intelligent by practicing them, which means working on this topic on a recurring basis. Also, you can compare yourself against your own past self to see what changes you make in your emotional regulation.
If you want to become a better leader, leadership skills such as emotional intelligence are important. You do not have to be a professional leader to develop your EQ-the average person can do that.
Emotional intelligence in the workplace
Over the past few years, emotional quotient (EQ) or emotional literacy has become increasingly important in the workplace. Companies are now requiring their senior leadership teams to demonstrate an understanding of emotions and how they affect others.
This is especially true for leaders who assume a position that requires them to inspire confidence in members of the organization, motivate people towards common goals, and facilitate teamwork.
Without adequate EQ, employees may feel discouraged when confronted with challenges, which can negatively impact productivity and morale. On the other hand, disengaged workers may not put forth their best effort due to lack of motivation, which could also hurt productivity and result in lost opportunities.
Furthermore, poor leadership skills can have disastrous consequences. According at least one source, there’s a strong link between having low levels of empathy and violence.
According to Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amato, “empathy deficit syndrome” leads individuals to focus more heavily on what they want instead of what others need, creating a sense of entitlement that can quickly turn into anger.
Developing your emotional intelligence
A large part of being a leader is understanding how emotions work in others, and being able to control your own emotions. This is important because leaders are usually seen as people who make big changes, so why not learn more about how emotion works and what you can do to strengthen yours?
Research shows that people who have high levels of emotional intelligence are better at their jobs than those who don’t. They may be paid more, given higher responsibilities, and received higher praise from colleagues and superiors.
They also tend to enjoy their job more, which means they’re likely to stay longer too. (And we all know that employees who feel valued by their employer will give his or her life for that company!)
Emotional intelligence isn’t just relevant in the workplace though- it’s something everyone should develop. Why? Because staying healthy depends on it.
If you lack emotional intelligence, then chances are you won’t manage your stress well. You may even use negative feelings towards other people as a way to get back at them or to prove a point. All of this can damage your relationships, and sometimes yourself.
On the flip side, if you’re someone who experiences and expresses strong emotions, you’ll probably meet with less hostility and confusion than most.
Emotional intelligence and the self
Over the past few decades, there has been a growing interest in what we call emotional literacy or emotional intelligence. This is described as the knowledge of your own emotions and how to regulate them. It is also referred to as “self-awareness” because it involves understanding yourself beyond just your thoughts and feelings.
Many believe that having high levels of emotional intelligence (EI) can have significant benefits for you in terms of career success and personal happiness. In fact, some studies suggest that being highly emotionally intelligent may be a key factor in leadership effectiveness.
Emotional intelligence isn’t simply about knowing what your emotions are and when to use them. It goes much deeper than that.
It includes things like whether you recognize your own negative emotions and why they exist, what helps you cope with those emotions, and whether you learn from experiences with emotion. All of these components contribute to higher levels of EI.
There are many theories about how emotional intelligence comes together, but no one definitive model. However, research does seem to indicate that both cognitive and social skills play an important role.
Cognitive strategies include using logical reasoning to understand your emotions. For example, if you feel angry, then trying to think through the reasons why this anger is justified will help reduce its intensity.
Social skills focus on learning how to relate to people who share similar strengths and weaknesses as you do.
Emotional intelligence and the other person
Recent research suggests that emotional quotient (EQ) is just as important as cognitive skills like reasoning or understanding emotions. EQ refers to our ability to recognize, understand, manage, and use your own feelings and those of others.
This seems intuitively obvious, but it’s worth emphasizing because too often we don’t pay attention to how much emotion our colleagues are experiencing-or even if they’re having any at all.
We may not always be aware of their mood swings, which can negatively affect productivity and collaboration. In addition, we might fail to pick up on nonverbal cues such as body language and tone of voice, potentially missing key information.
Both mental qualities go beyond simply identifying someone’s good sides and bad ones, although that’s certainly helpful. It includes assessing whether what you're reading in their facial expression and body language matches what they're saying.
It also means recognizing when something's off for them so you can respond appropriately-perhaps by changing topics, offering suggestions, or showing empathy.
Emotional intelligence and results
Recent studies show that emotional quotient (EQ) is a key factor in successful leadership. More and more leaders are developing their EQ skills, which include understanding other people’s emotions, being able to recognize your own feelings and those of others, and using these insights to motivate, inspire, and influence others.
Research shows that high levels of EQ go beyond simple empathy — knowing what someone else is feeling — to include things such as motivation, self-control, and social responsibility. These qualities can be learned and improved upon.
While some may think that having strong leadership qualities means being aggressive and outspoken, this isn’t always the case. A leader who is able to control his or her anger, for example, will likely not succeed if there is a disagreement with team members.
Likewise, a leader who doesn’t take initiative cannot expect to lead. You have to put in effort into leading, just like anyone else does.