Leading with Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence has become an invaluable skill for leaders to possess. Developing your EQ (emotional intelligence) benefits both yourself and those you come into contact with, both personally and professionally. EQ allows a leader to reach an audience in ways that others cannot. Reaching a diverse audience can be challenging, but when you apply the idea of creating an emotional connection and attempt to truly understand your audience, leading is amplified and simplified.
There are 5 main qualities that emotionally intelligent person has acquired. These include:
- Self-awareness: Being self-aware is important because the better you understand yourself, your own background and your own pre-conceived ideas about the world, the better you can understand others’. You have the opportunity to learn more about yourself as well as other people.
- Empathy: Trying to understand the feelings of another person gives you the ability to relate to them on a new level and lead in a way that works well for them.
- Motivated: Being able to understand your own emotions as well as others allows you to really motivate your peers. If you understand how someone is motivated, then it is easier to motivate him or her.
- Strong Social Skills: Holding yourself with confidence while communicating with others what you are feeling or thinking is another important characteristic of emotionally intelligent people.
- Self-regulating: Reacting appropriately to your own emotions as well as others establishes a positive environment that allows everyone in the situation to feel comfortable and encouraged.
Improving your emotional intelligence through practice:
- Respond, don’t react: If someone says something that you strongly disagree with or simply do not understand, take a step back and think before you relay your own thoughts.
- When in a conversation, really focus on what the other person is saying instead of thinking how to respond.
- Ask others for perspective: Two heads are better than one! In most situations it is a good idea to ask another person what they think or how they feel about a situation. After all, we can’t know and understand everything in this life.
- Observe: Look around you and take in your surroundings. If you are in a moment, take time to really notice the moment you are in.
- Don’t take offense to criticism: Think about how you can improve: If someone corrects what you are doing or how you are doing it, think about how you can use their opinion to construct and improve upon yourself.
Developing your emotional intelligence makes you both a better person and leader. It is not always easy to relate to another human being that you cannot quite understand. But as a leader, you have to try your best in understanding people from all different backgrounds. Check out this test to see how emotionally intelligent you actually are!