Does Emotional Intelligence Make You a Better Leader?
There are a variety of qualities that make up a leader, ranging from confidence, passion, and initiative. However, all these on their own are not enough for leaders to truly succeed. Instead, leaders require emotional intelligence to tie these qualities together and allow them to become a successful leader. Daniel Goleman, a proponent of emotional intelligence, shows that the skills provided by emotional intelligence allow leaders to effectively manage and influence others, maintaining their positions in their fields.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is an innate quality in every single person that addresses how we interact with others and react to emotions. Every individual has varying degrees of emotional intelligence, and this level determines their success in handling interactions between themselves and others. Generally, emotional intelligence is divided into two major categories – personal and social competence. In turn, each of these two categories is divided into two skills, separating emotional intelligence into four main competencies. Personal competence is comprised of self-awareness and self-management skills, and determines the individual’s ability to stay aware of their own emotions and behavior. On the other hand, social competence deals primarily with the individual’s ability to interact with others, and is distinguished by social awareness and relationship management.
Why Leaders need Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is critical to leaders because it provides a wealth of benefits and innate advantages. Not only are emotional intelligent leaders able to control and restrain their own emotions, they are also able to navigate social networks and influence those around them. The following are qualities that are enhanced by emotional intelligence, and play a major role in the individual’s leadership ability:
For leaders who are placed in a position of power, it can be easy to lose sight of goals and become occupied with privilege. However, not only does it harm those around you, it can also prove to be a risk to your own position. However, emotionally intelligent individuals will find themselves in a better point to resist the temptations and urges that surround the allure of leadership. Not only does emotional intelligence help the individual stay aware of their emotions, they are also able to positively direct this behavior towards constructive means.
Leaders are bound to come across a bit of conflict every now and then. If handled improperly, this can have a negative effect on employees and disrupt the working environment. Luckily, emotional intelligence gives leaders the tools needed to placate any conflict. For example, emotionally intelligent individuals are better able to gauge the emotional status, understand what motivates their behavior. In conjunction to maintaining their own behavior, leaders with this quality are able to calmly placate disagreements, dispensing impartial decisions.
It’s hard to find a single profession or career in which communication skills are unessential. These skills are vital for nearly any individual, especially true for leaders. Emotional intelligence can help leaders clearly express themselves and convey directions to their team. In addition, it can aid leaders in understanding what it takes to inspire and motivate others. Therefore, leaders who are looking to maintain clear channels of communication should keep emotional intelligence in mind.