Emotional Intelligence: Do Your Leaders Have What it Takes?

Nearly two decades after research proposed the concept of emotional intelligence, companies around the world now rely on “EQ” when selecting team members. Employers prefer employees who demonstrate emotional intelligence, because EQ predicts ability to effectively lead others without allowing emotions to dictate behavior.

EQ vs. IQ

The intelligence quotient (IQ), widely accepted as a reliable measure of cognitive ability, has little to do with emotional intelligence (EQ). First explained in detail by Daniel Goleman in 1995, EQ differs from IQ in that it isn’t dependent upon genetics; it can be improved over time; and it may be a predictor of effective leadership.

Indicators of Emotional Intelligence

When evaluating emotional intelligence competency, researchers look at the following indicators:

    • Awareness of emotions. From recognizing emotional changes to understanding how your emotions affect others, self-awareness is essential to improving your emotional intelligence. By viewing strengths and weaknesses honestly, self-aware individuals can make ongoing improvements.

    • Emotional regulation. Controlling an outpouring of emotions can be difficult — ask the parent of any toddler — but the emotionally intelligent leader has mastered the ability to regulate. Instead of allowing big emotions to alter behavior or demeanor, emotionally intelligent individuals regulate their feelings and avoid impulsive actions.

    • Strong motivation. Emotionally intelligent individuals tend to demonstrate an unwavering motivation to succeed. When placed in a position of leadership, motivated employees strive to excel, particularly when faced with “insurmountable” challenges.

    • Coaching. For leaders intent on building a solid team, the coaching style offers ample opportunity to develop employees professionally. Many leadership styles focus on the completion of immediate tasks or the meeting of high standards. But coaching aims to fine tune skills, facilitate personal growth, and prepare employees for the future.

    • Empathic ability. Recognizing emotions in others – and their effect on performance and problem solving – is crucial when building a cohesive, talented team. To assist in the development of emotional intelligence in others, leaders use empathy to understand how others respond to emotions.

    • Social adeptness.From building relationships to creating professional networks, high EQ players use their social skills as a foundation to create long-term partnerships. Leading others requires social and emotional maturity to implement changes, motivate others and establishing rapport to hold an enterprise together.

Applying EQ Principles in the Workplace

How do these indicators relate to effective leadership and the organizational climate? Evaluating the success and stability of a business may begin by noting a decline in sales or reduction in employee morale. Could poor leadership be the cause? Leaders (and employers) may need emotional intelligence coaching if they present with these behaviors:

      • Having unregulated emotional outbursts

      • Being unable to identify with others’ emotions

      • Resisting feedback or change

      • Engaging in disconnected or antagonistic behavior in a crisis

      • Struggling to establish rapport and unite team members

Identifying emotional intelligence deficits in leaders early may prevent organizational break down. Equip your leaders with the tools they need to build and manage a successful team: sign up for Advance Your Leadership’s, www.advanceyourleadership.com bankable insights on effective leadership today.

Are members of your leadership emotionally intelligent… or not? How has this affected your business?

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