What is Emotional Intelligence in Terms of Effective Leadership?

For over a decade, emotional intelligence has become quite the fad among leaders and managers of tomorrow. Some of the greatest mentors in the world believe that EQ is one of the important building blocks of leadership. It’s what makes a great leader stand apart from the rest of the leadership pack.  

However, when it comes to defining emotional intelligence or emotional quotient, there is no one answer. The details get more vivid when we discuss EQ in the light of leadership and management. 

TalentSmart founder and the author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Travis Bradberry best explains emotional intelligence in his book as the ability to manage ourselves and our relationship with others effectively. It is an important and powerful indicator that helps in predicting employee performance. 

Further research shows that emotional quotient plays a significant role in many other areas as well. Not only does it help with an employee’s performance and success, but it also greatly matters in customer retention, leadership, enhancing sales and conversion. So how should a manager or a present-day leader hone their emotional quotient as a leader of today and in the modern workplace? 

There are two sure-fire ways! 

To Be Self-Aware of Who You Are

A strong leader is one who is fully aware of his emotions and really does know which elements evoke those emotions and which element dims them. People who have harnessed their emotions effectively can be found more committed to growth and development compared to those who haven’t harnessed. 

One of the first steps that you must take to be self-aware of who you are is to analyze your personality type. You can take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test to identify your personality. 

Learning about your personality is not about just identifying what type of situations can trigger your negative emotions. It is more about registering them and researching on what you can actually do to control those negative emotions in professional environments. Controlling your emotions is more like controlling your reactions and with the right knowledge about your personality type, you can handle it. 

Self-aware leaders cut the problem at its root once they understand what angers or frustrates them. At the same time, they master the art of keeping themselves calm and cool so they can handle situations even when they find themselves stuck in the most unfortunate & frustrating moments.

If you want to be more self-aware of who you go ahead try this practice. Take the MBTI test right now and then work on the areas you believe you’re greatly lacking. Then after a month, retake the test and see for yourself how much you’ve changed your personality. The results might just surprise you. 

Be Socially Aware of Surroundings

Empathy is a powerful trait which only a few leaders possess. If you have the ability to empathize with others, then you can call yourself a socially aware person. For leaders, it is the sensitivity which they have for the other person’s feelings and emotions. Based on this sensitivity, the develop a certain level of inclination to show and respect the fact that they can feel what the other person is going through. 

When a leader is socially aware of his/her employees, it is a sign that he or she is loyal to his/her employees. How does that social awareness work for leaders? Well, in the simplest of terms, if you as a leader know how your employees are going to react in a certain situation, you can then prepare yourself to rebuttal their reaction. Let’s just assume that the organization where you work requires capital changes. You already know that these changes will incite negative reactions among employees. But, if you’re socially aware, you can create a backup plan where you can show that you want to voice their concern. You can address them individually or cumulatively to resolve the concern.

Just like self-awareness, social awareness can also greatly contribute to improving your ability in communications. By taking note of what triggers other people’s reaction, you can mentally notify yourself what things you are meant to speak, and what things you should hold back and not talk about. By knowing the cues, you will save yourself from the hassle of getting in a feisty conversation. 

Concluding Thoughts

Whether you are a manager or leader, it doesn’t matter in which capacity you work in a certain place. But as long as you’re working as an emotionally intelligent leader, you are sharpening up your leadership skills. We all have day-to-day interactions, which can be more beneficial than having a high EQ in order to overcome negative conversations or conversations which can have no positive results. 

Are you an emotionally intelligent leader? Do let us know how you aim to enhance your quality of life. 

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