How Is Emotional Intelligence Important To Leadership
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Recent studies have linked emotional intelligence (EI) with improved leadership performance. In fact, some experts believe that it is a must for leaders. Why? Because effective leaders are aware of how their colleagues feel about them and manage those emotions.
They also know when other people are feeling down or depressed and help them work through their issues. And they recognize and acknowledge others’ achievements so that they can motivate them to keep up their efforts.
Furthermore, influential leaders use non-verbal cues effectively. They understand what kind of reactions elicits positive responses from others and adjust their behavior accordingly.
Lastly, effective leaders build trust. They create an environment where everyone feels safe to be honest and open. This helps promote teamwork and collaboration.
Emotional intelligence is not only important for aspiring leaders, but current ones as well. If you want to lead, then you need to develop your emotional literacy. You will never influence someone if you do not understand his or her feelings.
Beware though, while this article discusses the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership, it may also discuss why most people perceive leadership to be more related to having a higher IQ than being emotionally intelligent.
That is why it is crucial to differentiate between the two. Only after understanding the difference should you begin working on developing your emotional intelligence.
How can I improve my emotional intelligence?
Developing your empathy is an important part of improving your EI. Just like with any other skill, you have to practice it.
There are many ways to increase your empathic capacity- by reading about difficult situations and how others have dealt with them before, speaking about things that affect other people, acting on what has an effect on someone else, etc.
Practice makes perfect, so keep doing these things and sticking to this advice as you develop your EQ.
It’s also very helpful if you can find something you feel passionate about and then try to understand why people might think or feel differently about it. This could be anything from politics to religion to music to literature!
Once you've got the basics down, you can start trying to apply your empathizing skills in different areas. For example, if someone close to you is having problems, ask yourself whether there's something you can do to help them.
Give more attention to your emotions
It is important to understand that leadership does not just mean giving orders to people and expecting them to obey you. Being a leader means motivating others to work with you towards a common goal.
As we have discussed, emotional intelligence is an essential quality for leading someone else. If there’s one thing that leaders are usually lacking, it’s empathy.
And while they may talk about their own experiences, feelings, and dreams, few actually take time to think about what other people are going through.
This can be because they don’t want to show weakness or because they aren’t able to relate to everyone. Or maybe they’re too focused on themselves to care about anything beyond their next task.
Whatever the reason, it doesn’t do anyone any good. Not even yourself.
So whether you are a manager trying to motivate your team or a person looking to advance in your career, being aware of your own feelings and how they affect others is a key first step.
Become a better listener
As mentioned earlier, being a good leader is not only about giving orders and talking very seriously, but also listening well. A lot of times, people in positions of leadership feel that they do not have to listen much because they make the calls or give their opinions quickly.
However, as a leader, you should always be willing to hear what others have to say and understand their points of view.
This will help you achieve your goals and fulfill your responsibilities as a leader. You will learn how to motivate other people by understanding their needs and offering solutions that are appropriate for them.
You can also use this knowledge to strengthen team work and communication skills by asking questions and acknowledging different ideas.
Emotional intelligence helps with this by teaching you to recognize and manage your emotions. This includes both feeling and expressing emotion positively and correctly.
Furthermore, it teaches you to distinguish between fake and real emotions so that you can more clearly read someone.
Learn to laugh at situations that are not that funny
Most people have a hard time being honest with others, and themselves. They hide things about their lives by either denying or downplaying them. This usually happens because they do not want to be judged or thought of as less than good people, so they make up stories to believe about themselves or fake ways of looking and acting like those who think very highly of themselves.
Many teens develop emotional intelligence by learning how to control their emotions when talking to people. But as we know, leadership is more than just telling other people what to do and getting praise for it- it’s also making sure everyone else is in a good mood while you're doing your job and supporting each other during times of stress.
So, how does someone learn this? By practicing, of course!
You have to work on yourself before you can help anyone else deal with their feelings. A lot of leaders start developing their EI early in life, because they understand the importance of self-awareness and empathy.
But research shows that even adults could use some work on their EQ! According to a Harvard Business School study, “individual differences in emotional competence directly related to engagement, productivity, and effectiveness in the workplace.
A lot of people get derailed in their leadership pursuits because they overestimate their emotional intelligence (EI) and underestimate how much it really matters when leading others.
Some feel that since they’re not bad at recognizing emotions, then they don’t need to work on developing their EI. This is like saying you don’t need to work on your strength because you can lift heavy things sometimes.
You should be aware of your strengths and weaknesses just as you would with any other skill.
The same goes for emotional skills. If you recognize what someone is feeling and why they are feeling that way, then you should work on improving your own emotional regulation.
But if you think that being able to read other people’s feelings makes up half of the leadership equation, then you’d better start looking ahead of you in your career ladder.
Because it doesn’t. Not even close.
Emotional competence is important to leadership, but only insofar as it impacts performance. And whether a leader is considered effective depends more on whether his or her team members perceive them as such than whether they have lots of technical knowledge or can motivate people under difficult circumstances.
Understand your audience
As mentioned earlier, leadership is more than just being in charge of people. It is also understanding who your followers are and what makes them feel appreciated and valued. This includes knowing when they need recognition or praise and how to give it to them.
As leader, you will find yourself working with different individuals and groups throughout your organization. Each person in your team has their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as potential career paths that they could take at the company.
By having high levels of emotional intelligence, you will be able to effectively lead these people towards success while still maintaining personal relationships. You will also have to deal with external factors such as shareholders, media coverage, etc., so you must understand the effect those things have on your employees and you as a leader.
Emotional quotient – EQ for short – is one’s ability to perceive, evaluate, manage, and use emotions to achieve one’s goals. It is considered to be an essential skill because we live in a very emotionally charged society.
Most professionals develop basic skills like empathy (understanding other people) and self-awareness (identifying themselves), but research shows that people without higher EQ go unnoticed and underutilized even though they may not know it.
It is important to note that there is no clear definition of emotional intelligence. Some say it is only about emotion whereas others include behavior, motivation, and perception among its components.
Don’t be egotistical
As we have seen, emotional intelligence is important to leadership because it helps you manage your own emotions and those of others.
This makes sense because as leader, you will need to know how to deal with people if you want to keep them working for you.
As a manager, you will need to motivate employees and inspire them when they are struggling. You will also need to accept that some things will upset you or make you angry, and then let go and move forward.
You can’t control everything, but by using your EQ skills, you will learn to cope better with situations than someone who has lower levels of EI.
As mentioned earlier, one of the most important qualities in leadership is humility. This isn’t someone who doesn’t know what they are talking about or don’t have ideas, it’s being aware of your own limitations and knowing when you are not an expert on something.
As leader, you need to recognize that you do not know everything – even if you think you do!
This would go against the first rule of leadership which we discussed earlier: assume you don’t know anything until you prove that you do. So how can you say that you don’t know something unless you try to find out?
Your colleagues and superiors may be able to tell you things about your job that you don’t know already, so ask them for help and read their books/materials to see what they learned. Also, attend meetings and presentations they hold so you can get more knowledge from them.
Alternatively, you could also look into finding those answers yourself by doing some research or looking into what other people have done.