Emotional Intelligence in Leadership
When you think of a “great” leader, who comes to mind? You might picture someone who never lets his temper get out of control, no matter what problems he's facing. You might think of someone who has the complete trust of her staff, always speaks kindly, listens to her team, is easy to talk to and always makes careful, informed decisions.
These are qualities of someone with a high degree of emotional intelligence. Here we will look at why emotional intelligence is so important for leaders – and how you, as a leader, can improve yours.
What Is Emotional Intelligence?
For leaders, having emotional intelligence is essential for success. After all, who is more likely to succeed, a leader who shouts at his team when he's under stress, or a leader who stays cool and calmly assesses the situation?
According to Daniel Goleman, the “father” of EQ, there are five main elements of emotional intelligence. The more that you as a leader manage each of these areas, the higher your EQ will be. Let's look at each element to examine how you can grow as a leader.
To improve your self-awareness, try keeping a journal. When you write down your thoughts, you pull things into consciousness which might not typically reside there.
Know your values. Do you know what values are most important to you? Do you have a clear idea of where you absolutely will not compromise? Awareness of your "code of ethics" will help expedite your decision-making process
Hold yourself accountable. If you tend to blame others when something goes wrong, stop. Own your part and face the consequences, whatever they are. You'll probably sleep better at night, and you'll quickly earn the respect of those around you.
Practice being calm. Are you “tightly wound” or always in a hurry? These ways of being are not congruent with self-regulation. It is important to develop the skills required to relax, even in the face of challenge.
Take the time to look at situations from other people's perspectives. Also notice your non-verbal signals when listening and empathizing. Do you cross your arms, move your feet back and forth, or bite your lip? These behaviors might not signal true empathy! Think about hearing and responding to the feelings.
5. Social Skills
Leaders who have good social skills are also good at managing change and resolving conflicts diplomatically. They're rarely satisfied with leaving things as they are, but they're also not willing to make everyone else do the work. They set the example with their own behavior.
If you are not particularly strong in these areas, think about resources you might use to enhance those abilities. Leadership Coaching is always a good first step.
Dr. Gale provides coaching and training to enhance leadership skills, interpersonal communications and team building. If you would like to learn more, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.orgForward this article to a friend
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