Emotional Intelligence has become a HOT TOPIC in terms of leadership traits. Many may ask the question – What is EQ? And how does it play out in the context of leadership? Being a leader with EQ puts you in the unique position to be able to understand not only the behaviours, but also the motivations of your co-workers. Emotional intelligent leaders are then also equipped to find common ground amongst different values and building cohesive teams in order to effectively reach goals.
According to Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis there are four domains and 12 competencies of emotional intelligence that leaders can master and develop.
The first pillar of EQ is listed as Self-awareness, meaning leaders that are able to identify their own emotions, strengths, weaknesses and behavioral patterns and is thus regarded as the core of EQ. Having self-awareness give leaders the ability to modify behaviour as needed for each situation and in return self-improve.
Secondly self-regulation is the ability to act to your emotions and behaviour in a controlled manner. Leaders are able to focus on their deepest values and long term interest.
Empathy allow leaders to be able to understand, relate and show compassion for the emotions, experiences and thoughts of those around them This equip leaders to better understand and meet the needs of their peers, thus leaders are able to foster a supportive environment.
Lastly EQ leaders are able to build, sustain and support effective and healthy relationships. Team members tend to show greater engagement and reflect positive attitudes when leaders are able to actively manage their relationships with others. Employees start to feel understood and accepted, contributing to stronger relationship building.
The 8 qualities that best describe leaders with a high EQ:
Adaptable as they do not fear change
Know and act on their strengths
Understanding, inspiring and committed to quality
Show appreciation and great diplomacy
Focus on collaboration and synergy
Explorative and open minded
Build trust, show integrity and honesty
Develop and support others, building strong relationships
It is never too late to develop your own EQ. This will require you to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Take the time to learn the norms of your organisations culture, learn what triggers you and how these triggers impact your emotions, be an active listener, welcome difficult situations, critics and feedback, manage your expectations, nurture your relationships and lastly always keep an objective view, placing focus on the people around you and their perspectives.