The technical knowledge and skills that helped secure your first promotion might not guarantee your next! Thus, if you aspire to be in a leadership role, then there should be an emotional element you need to consider. Emotionally intelligent leadership helps you train your team, manage stress, deliver feedback, and collaborate with other employees.
Research shows that emotionally intelligent leaders are 90% more dedicated to their work and set high-performance marks as compared to their peers with just technical skills and knowledge.
Over the years, emotional intelligence has become a must-have skill. Today, we will discuss in detail about emotionally intelligent leadership, its components, and the traits of such leaders. So, let us commence!
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is your ability to manage and understand emotions and recognize their influence around you. The most effective leaders consider emotional intelligence a critical skill to identify and solve the team member’s issues, which is why it is vital in every organization.
Emotional intelligence is a significant parameter in checking the efficacy of a leadership style. Experts believe that intelligence quotient, communication, and technical skills are irrelevant if a leader lacks emotional intelligence.
The growing importance of emotional intelligence has made many leaders inculcate this skill and implement it in the workplace to incite innovation, job satisfaction, and a positive working environment.
Significance of Emotionally Intelligent Leadership
Although many leaders have prolific technical and communication skills, they still lack emotional quotient. As leaders set the workplace culture, emotional intelligence becomes an inevitable part of the skill set.
A company led by a leader lacking this vital skill cannot survive in a complex business environment. Here are key points to help you understand the significance better.
- Emotional intelligence develops an optimistic culture in the organization, which enhances efficiency and productivity.
- It instigates a sense of growth, innovation, and creativity within the organization and team members.
- It constantly motivates the team members and leaders to put their best foot forward in every project.
- It enables leaders and employees to make the right decisions in difficult times.
- It develops a strong bond between the team leader and employees.
Components of Emotionally Intelligent Leadership
Emotionally intelligent leadership can be broken down into four components. To understand what emotional quotient means, it’s vital to understand what each element entails.
Self-Awareness is the core of everything. It describes your ability to understand your strengths and weaknesses, recognize your emotions, and know how they influence your team’s performance.
To draw out the best in others, a leader must first bring out the best in themselves. This is where self-awareness comes into play. One easy way of assessing self-awareness can be done by completing 360-degree feedback, wherein you can evaluate your performance and match them against the opinions of your peers and bosses. Through this process, you will gain insight into your behavior and discover how you are perceived in the company.
Self-Management is the ability to manage your emotions in stressful situations and encourages you to remain positive despite setbacks. Leaders who lack self-management have a hard time keeping their impulses in check.
This is why leaders need to be in tune with their emotional intelligence. It is vital to pause, breathe, collect yourself, and manage your emotions.
- Social Awareness
While it’s essential to understand and handle your emotions, you must also know how to be socially aware. Social awareness is the ability to recognize others’ feelings and dynamics in play with the organization.
Leaders who excel in social awareness often practice empathy. They strive to comprehend their team members’ feelings, enabling them to communicate and collaborate effectively with their peers.
Through effective communication, leaders can better support their teams, thereby improving their individual work performances as well.
- Relationship Management
Relationship management is influencing and mentoring others, thereby resolving conflicts effectively.
Some leaders prefer to avoid conflicts, but it’s essential to address the issue as it arises adequately. Moreover, research shows that an unaddressed issue can waste nearly eight hours of the company’s time in gossip and unproductive activities.
Thus, in order to keep the team happy, leaders need to have cordial relationships in management.
Traits of Emotionally Intelligent Leaders
When it comes to effective leadership, having emotional intelligence is crucial. It is one of the vital skills to thrive in the fourth industrial revolution!
Perhaps a better way of expressing emotional intelligence is the ‘intelligent usage of emotions’. This skill supports the capacity to work effectively with others, make better decisions, and accomplish our goals.
So, here are the traits of emotionally intelligent leaders you can inculcate and create a positive work environment.
- They Influence People
Emotionally intelligent leaders understand how their emotional state influences their team’s decision-making, performance, and cognition. As a result, they use their capacity to generate feelings to inspire their teams and boost confidence. Thus, such leaders skillfully steer the emotional pulse of the team to drive positive outcomes.
- Strategically Usage of Emotions
Leaders having emotional intelligence are aware enough to determine what self-regulation strategies are best suited to help them manage emotional states. Thus, they understand that emotions contain valuable data and are willing to capitalize on this information to achieve desired outcomes and facilitate creativity. In short, they redirect their emotions and feelings to strategically guide themselves and their team to achieve optimum performance.
For instance, if they are feeling low but know that an important project is lined up, they might adopt strategies and guide themselves to a more optimistic, high-energy state of creative performance.
- They are Cognitive & Emotionally Empathetic
Emotionally intelligent leaders are highly attuned to the state of others and understand that empathy involves both cognitive and emotional components. Therefore, if you have ever encountered an emotionally intelligent leader, they would first ask, ‘How are you?’.
Well, that’s because they are genuinely interested in knowing what you are experiencing and have a keen interest in identifying numerous opportunities to support you. Thus, such leaders are sensitive to the emotional pulse of the team, exercise an empathetic perspective, and demonstrate genuine care for the employees.
- Maintain a Positive Team Climate
Emotionally intelligent leaders play a significant role in shaping the culture of the team. They focus on developing positive emotions, which are critical to improving efficiency, productivity, the decision-making process, and resolving conflicts.
By increasing the flow of positive emotions, these leaders also create an open and inclusive culture where employees aren’t afraid of making mistakes. Thus, by fostering psychological safety, emotionally intelligent leaders reinforce trust and connectivity within the organization.
- They have a Rich Emotional Vocabulary
Leaders having prolific emotional intelligence understand the complexity of emotions, what causes them, and why people respond the way they do. As a result, they have a richer and more nuanced emotional vocabulary, which means they are able to reflect and navigate their emotional experiences in a moment consciously.
- Open to Developing more EI Skills
Recognizing the considerable influence of emotionally intelligent leadership in the organization, leaders are more open to the ongoing development of their existing capabilities. They proactively seek discomfort to challenge themselves and develop their perspectives and opinions.
Moreover, they also approach each day with excitement to make a positive and valuable impact on team members’ lives and the organization!
Become an Emotionally Intelligent Leader Today!
The level of emotional intelligence a leader is able to cultivate has an extraordinary and immediate impact on the team and organization. Leaders with this vital skill are able to create a positive work environment wherein employees aren’t scared to take risks and share their ideas.
Thus, if you also wish to become an emotionally intelligent leader, it is best to inculcate these traits and become a role model for others in the workplace!