Most of us think of a leader as someone with a great deal of experience and training in a particular area. While knowledge and experience are important qualities, one’s ability to communicate, work well with others, and manage emotions is just as crucial to being an effective leader.
It can be the difference between being “bossome” (an awesome boss) and a “bosshole” (boss + asshole).
The concept, also known as emotional quotient or EQ first appeared in 1964, it became popular thanks to science journalist Daniel Goleman in his 1995 best-selling book Emotional Intelligence.
Emotionally intelligent people use emotional cues and information to guide thinking and behavior. Emotional intelligence is typically associated with empathy because it involves an individual connecting their personal experiences with those of others and manage emotions.
What Is Emotional Intelligence?
Psychologists refer to emotional intelligence as the ability to have an emotional understanding, social intelligence, and intellectual ability to control and own emotions. Research suggests that emotional competencies can be more important than IQ in your success in life.
Having High Emotional Intelligence Is Essential For Success In Leadership
An emotionally intelligent person knows what they’re feeling, what their emotions mean. The more that you, as a leader, pay attention and manage each of these areas, the higher your emotional intelligence. The ability to express and own emotions are essential, but so is the ability of understanding, interpret, and respond to other people’s feelings and emotional states.
Having a high degree of emotional intelligence helps you to be able to inspire and motivate others to partner with you to accomplish a shared objective and vision.
There are several ways that you can strengthen your interpersonal and emotional intelligence skills.
Try these methods to increase your emotional intelligence and accomplish more together:
1.Increase your self-awareness
Self-development and being self-aware are the foundation of excellence and of a great emotionally intelligent leader. Before you can lead and inspire others, you must first understand your own motivations and behavior.
- Increase self-awareness by practicing mindfulness and emotional awareness to calm and focus on your own feelings.
- Develop your vision by learning to listen to your inner values, personal goals, and dreams. Trust yourself and your emotional abilities. Try not to compromise or settle on your values to achieve a goal or for other short-term gains.
- Embrace passion by learning to be motivated by your internal compass rather than external forces and situations.
- Keep your energy fully recharged so that you can give your best effort. You can stay energized by taking the time to learn what activities re-energize you and which ones drain your energy.
- Respect yourself and your well-being. Know the limitations of your body, mind, and spirit and strive for a balance between your responsibilities in all areas of your life. Don’t forget your physical health.
- Become aware of your flaws and limitations. Seek ways to improve yourself and be open to change. No one is perfect and good at everything. Own your flawsome (flaws + awesome).
2. Strengthen your development and self-management
Having greater emotional intelligence and learning to be responsible for your behavior, attitudes, and actions can raise your performance level. Developing interpersonal skills helps you build trust, authority, respect, and strong relationships with others.
- Seek the input of others. Ask how you can help them or what you need to do differently to communicate more effectively and lead them better.
- Hold yourself accountable for your actions, behaviors, and job performance.
- Don’t be afraid to delegate responsibilities and tasks. Be confident enough in yourself to surround yourself with talented, qualified, and even people smarter or more experienced than you.
3. Develop your social awareness
Be aware of your own attitudes, beliefs, and the power you have to inspire and motivate others.
- Show genuine care and concern for other people and learn how to actively listen. Doing so will create lasting relationships and build a strong team that will work with you rather than against you.
- Give others a reason to support you and your vision. Let others know when they have done a good job and look for ways to openly recognize and reward excellence and do it often.
- Help others to buy into your vision by making them stakeholders in the realization of your goals. Seek their advice when setting goals and in planning on how you’ll achieve them.
- Help others to increase their abilities and fully utilize their talents by providing them opportunities for training, projects, professional and personal development.
4. Emphasize greater people management
Learn how to bring out the best in yourself and others. Utilize everyone’s best qualities and minimize their limitations with an effective assignment of tasks and delegation of responsibilities.
Regardless of your education or experience, you can achieve greater success by learning how to use your people skills to fully utilize others’ talents and energy.
Inspiring others to follow your lead is what makes you a true leader. But it’s not just about motivating people with words, and it’s equally important that you have the social skills and ability to read other people’s emotions at any given moment in time.
Having a high degree of emotional intelligence allows you to be able to inspire and motivate others to work with you to accomplish a shared objective and vision. You can also use this skill as an effective tool for conflict management because it enables you to see things from their perspective – which means they are more likely to hear what you have to say before responding negatively or aggressively.
These strategies will allow you to increase your emotional intelligence and inspire team members to believe and enlist in your cause. Not because they have to because you’re the boss but because they want to because you understand emotions and are emotionally intelligent.
Lead on you “bossome” good leader you!
If you’ve been looking for ways to be an even more effective leader, then I have good news!
It turns out that high emotional intelligence is one of the most important qualities in being a successful and inspiring leader. By developing your emotional awareness skills and taking time to understand what motivates your team, you can become an inspirational force within any organization.
We want to help you get started or continue your E.Q. journey by helping you develop your emotional intelligence skills and self-confidence to be a better leader.
I invite you to check out The Awesome Leader League, the ultimate collection of leadership skills to help you be a better leader.
Rebecca Morgan, PhD, is an award-winning former Disney leader and founder of The Awesome Leader League (T.A.L.L.), the ultimate collection of leadership skills, strategies, tools, and resources to lead the team everyone wants to be on while skyrocketing your career. Without EVER being a soul-sucking “boss-hole.” Join us here.