Emotional intelligence is one of the hot topics that is being discussed about in most of the boardrooms these days. Hiring of leadership roles are mostly depending on this boiling skill set. Many of us believe great leaders are born, specifically, we attach certain characteristics to our version of what we believe is successful. So, what are the key traits most of us believe a leader should possess? Passion, vision, fearlessness, infallibility — might top the list of what is deemed as positive characteristics to define a leader. Great leaders identify, understand and not only manage their own emotions, but are able to do that with others in a very empowering way. This is referred to as having emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the collection of abilities used to identify, understand, control and assess the emotions of the self and others.
Now the question is how important to have emotional intelligence to be a successful leader. It is discussed below:
- Effective Communication – Leaders should keep the people around them on the same page as they communicate the vision and strategy to achieve vision to make it a more efficient workplace. Motivation comes from effective communication. Clarity and consistency in stating a thought or directive gives employees the ability to understand what is expected or needed from them.
- Self-Awareness – Self-awareness is important to a leader which will guide them to capitalize on their strengths and hire people who can take up the areas where the leader is lacking. Having awareness includes understanding others and promoting their strengths.
- Compassion – Leaders who posses excellent emotional intelligence skills are never on the back-foot when coming to emotions of others. They develop organizations that cares for their employers and other stakeholders. Everyone is treated with consideration.
- Authenticity – Being real, making decisions that are in alignment with how a leader truly operates rarely requires second-guessing. Such a leader must understand their own values and be consistent in applying them. As part of that, the leader needs to possess the courage to hold true to them, without losing sight of reality.
- Respect – Respect is not just about others; the emotionally intelligent leader practices self-respect. A leader who respects themselves and others doesn’t speak disrespectfully at any time, even when mistakes happen. The way to do get the best out of people is not through demeaning behavior, but by treating all people the same in every situation.
- Leading with Heart – Dictatorships don’t work in a company, especially as a long term solution to employee engagement or loyalty. Leaders who have passion show their emotions and vulnerability, and they connect with many employees on an emotional level, too. Many leaders are analytical, but if they are just cold and calculating, there may be too much distance between them and their subordinates to truly be on the same team.
- Creativity – Today’s business environment is volatile, uncertain and increasingly complex. Because of this, the ability to create something that’s both novel and appropriate is top of mind. Not all decisions are cut and dry, it’s about being able to deviate from the set course and look outside of the box for a different option. Collaborative brainstorming with no holds barred can bring an entirely new and creative solution to a challenge. Innovation is the result of creativity.
- Sense of Humor – If a leader is serious all the time, then it creates a very difficult environment. Some leaders are afraid to be light, because they want to be taken seriously. It’s usually a sign of insecurity. An emotionally intelligent leader presents balance. People tend to work harder and smarter when there is a sense of fun.
- Confidence – As a leader, there will be crisis and calm times when things are not moving forward. Whatever size the business, it’s important to not fall into overwhelm or overreact. Great leadership is about having the confidence to make decisions and not second guess them.Those who inspire others to follow into the unknown, do so possessing self-confidence.
- Intuition – Intuitive leaders make quick decisions based on a lifetime of accumulated wisdom and understanding. Logic is important, but can’t be the only determining factor for making a decision. A leader who trusts his or her gut will take the necessary measures that inspires others to do the same.
Should you be interested in grooming your next level of leaders, consider improving their emotional intelligence. Please drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do the needful.