We all know good leadership when it presents itself. Effective leaders, who strive to achieve excellence in all they do, behave in a way that is both inspiring and reassuring to others. When you think of a strong leader, what qualities or characteristics come to your mind?
The challenge of cultivating emotionally intelligent leadership is that it goes far beyond being able to deliver an inspiring message. Emotionally intelligent leadership is about recognizing, discerning and adapting to emotions. Leaders, who can authentically pave the way for achieving great results by being aware of their own emotions as well being able to interpret and respond appropriately to the emotions of others, position themselves to get better results from their teams. Why? Because a leader’s role in any organization involves driving the collective emotions of the employees in a positive direction. Employees look to the leader for direction, and they take their emotional cues from them too. The leader sets the standard for emotions and behavior.
As a leadership development consultant, my role is to help improve performance and productivity. Emotionally intelligent leadership is critical to achieve both. Sustained success happens only when the leader can focus on the process and the people, not one or the other.
So, what does emotional intelligence look like at work?
Leaders who present with well-developed emotional intelligence skills often demonstrate strong leadership skills too. Leadership is about being able to persuade people towards common goals. Emotionally intelligent leaders are attuned to the feelings of others, communicate clearly, timely and effectively, handle disagreements so they do not escalate and excel at cultivating relationships. A leader’s mood and outward display of emotions as well as the actions he or she chooses every moment of the work day has an enormous impact on those they lead. My hope is that this information helps you to see what kind of impact you choose to have every day.
There are lasting benefits for leaders who demonstrate exceptional emotional intelligence. People will perceive you more positively, communication improves, relationships improve, and work performance and achievement improves.
I am a huge fan of Daniel Goleman. Next month, I will go deeper into his model of Emotional Intelligence which includes Self- Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness and Relationship Management.
So until then, here is a quiz to help you start your own emotional intelligence improvement journey.
To your continued success,
Have a few more minutes? Here is an article in Harvard Business Review on “How to Boost Your Emotional Intelligence“.