Emotional Intelligence: Why is It Pivotal to Good Leadership?
Emotional Intelligence has long been recognized as one of the main components of being a good leader. Psychologist and journalist, Daniel Goleman, wrote “What Makes a Leader”, a popular article from 1998 where he wrote that the most effective and successful leaders are always those who have high emotional intelligence
He stated that while IQ and practical skills are still very important, emotional intelligence is the core of a good leader and not an entry-level requirement for executive positions. He reviewed many studies and research cases where he discovered that people without emotional intelligence could not be good leaders. A person could have the best training in the world, a sharp mind, and many great ideas, but still not be very good at leading.
Understanding Emotional Intelligence in Leadership
Emotional intelligence is, in essence, the ability to be in tune with yourself and your emotions and have awareness of the current situation. This is a powerful leadership tool which is especially useful in fast-paced environments such as the current marketplace or the tech industry.
Emotional intelligence is an umbrella term for the act of knowing, understanding, and responding to various emotions, overcoming the stress of the moment and being aware of how you and your actions affect others. Demonstrating it is of huge importance and puts you at an advantage over other people, especially when building a great team, no matter what field you are in. One of the most common factors that lead to employee retention challenges is a deficit of quality communication from leaders, which creates a decrease in engagement and doubt in the goals and the mission of the team and the company.
Benefits of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership
A leader who doesn’t have emotional intelligence can’t really gauge the needs of their teammates; they can’t understand what they want or what is expected of them. Leaders without emotional intelligence also react to their emotions without filtering them properly beforehand. This creates mistrust within the team, and it can endanger both the relationships and the mission of the company and team. Erratic emotions are often bad for the entire company’s culture, morale, and attitude in the company. Leaders must be self-aware, and they must understand how their emotions work and how to get the most out of any situation in a positive way.
5 Main Components of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership
“Emotional intelligence, from a leadership standpoint, can have five main components which are self-awareness, self-management, empathy, relationship management and effective communication. You need to build an understanding of emotional intelligence and what it means if you want to become a great leader,” says a tech writer at SimpleGrad and Big Assignments.
Here are those five elements explained a bit deeper:
This element can be defined as the ability to recognize your own emotions in the moment, your strengths and weaknesses, as well as values and your impact on other people. Without this, you cannot understand who you really are and why you do what you do. You can’t know what you are good at or understand why you react the way you do. If you want to truly reach your potential, you need to be confident that you know who you are, recognize both good and bad traits of your personality, and then you can identify what you need to work on to become better.
When you understand yourself and your emotions, the next step is to discipline or control those emotions. You should redirect your disruptive emotions and change the circumstances by adapting to them. Keep the team going with a positive attitude and give them a sense of direction. Leaders can’t lose their cool or yell at other people. Tranquil, calm leadership can be contagious and can influence people around them. Panic is contagious as well, so you need to focus on being grounded if you want your team to succeed. When things get stressful, you need to remain calm and collected and lead in a positive direction.
This is your ability to understand what other people are feeling, see things from their perspective and understand how they might feel or react to something. You need to be able to see if your team member is struggling with something, or if they have a desire to move forward and so on. The better you are at relating to others, the better your chances of being a good leader.
“You need to be good at managing your relationships in effective ways. These relationships need to be productive and real in order for you to learn and become a better leader,” says Tina Garner, a project manager at Rated Writing and Writingpopulist.
To build high-quality relationships, you need to learn how to communicate effectively. You need to avoid misunderstandings and learn to build trust through communication. Failing to do so can have serious consequences in your workplace.
About the Author: Jenny Han is a team manager at Best Essay Services Canada and Studydemic. Before she chose management as her calling, she was a writer. Jenny’s main goals are to share her experience, motivation, and knowledge with her readers at blogs like Via Writing.
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