IQ and technical skills are important because they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions. However, according to the internationally known psychologist, Daniel Goleman, it is emotional intelligence that will enhance a leader’s abilities to fulfil their mission and enable them to stay effective and efficient in their position.
Your IQ and technical skills will equip you to come up with strategies and techniques inside your organisation, but it is your emotional intelligence that will help you collaborate with your team to solve complex issues every time they arise.
Why Does Emotional Intelligence Matter to Leaders?
Most of the time, a leader’s ego is one of the main hindrances to productivity in an organisation. A leader must learn to set aside their personal feelings and focus on driving their business to success.
The emotional intelligence of a leader is a strong indicator of performance. When a leader has a high level of emotional intelligence, they will stay calm under pressure, resolve conflict effectively, and respond to team members with empathy.
Consider a stressed leader who constantly yells at their team. Do you think this behaviour is likely to produces quality solutions to problems?
Most probably not. The actions that leaders take have the potential to make situations worse and to produce disastrous effects in terms of an organisation’s productivity and team morale. Team members who are too nervous or fearful of how their leader will respond to certain situations or input are much less inclined to contribute ideas or suggestions that could ultimately be conducive to the business and its success.
Here are a few core elements of Emotional Intelligence:
- Self-awareness – the recognition of one’s emotions and feelings and the understanding of how these emotions and feelings affect others.
- Self-management – the ability to control and manage one’s own emotions and to express emotion appropriately.
- Social awareness – the ability to identify how others are feeling and respond with understanding, kindness and compassion (also referred to as empathy).
- Relationship Management – the ability to effectively manage relationships with others through communication, active listening, rapport-building, collaboration and conflict-resolution.
- Motivation – the internal or intrinsic drive of an individual to achieve their desired goals without seeking external motivation or rewards such as fame, money, recognition or acclaim.
Emotionally intelligent leaders possess these core elements to a strong degree and are thus able to effectively manage their teams, interact with every individual in the workplace and influence others through positivity and optimism.
There are some who have innate emotional intelligence. However, for those who don’t, the good news is that emotional intelligence can still be acquired and improved with proper knowledge and practice.
Afterall, there is an indisputable correlation between high emotional intelligence and effective leadership.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
– Maya Angelou