If you are wondering if you have high emotional intelligence (EI)? or if you are interested in improving your EI to be a successful leader, you are at the right place to find it out. Here is why you need to know about the importance of emotional intelligence to be a successful leader.
The ability to understand what motivates others, relate in a positive manner and to build stronger bonds with others in the world inevitably makes those with higher emotional intelligence better leaders. An effective leader can recognize what the needs of his people are, so that those needs can be met in a way that encourages higher performance, happiness and satisfaction.
Emotional intelligence (EI) is, in layman’s terms, our level of ability to:
- Recognize and understand our emotions and reactions (self-awareness)
- Manage, control, and adapt our emotions, mood, reactions, and responses (self-management)
- Harness our emotions to motivate ourselves to take appropriate action, commit, follow-through and work toward the achievement of our goals (motivation)
- Discern the feelings of others, understand their emotions, and utilize that understanding to relate to others more effectively (empathy)
- Build relationships, relate to others in social situations, lead, negotiate conflict, and work as part of a team (social skills)
An emotionally savvy and intelligent leader is also able to build stronger teams by strategically utilizing the emotional diversity of their team members to benefit the team as a whole.
Improve Mental Well-Being
Emotional intelligence affects our attitude and outlook on life as leaders. It can also help to alleviate anxiety and avoid depression and mood swings. A high level of emotional intelligence directly correlates to a positive attitude and happier outlook on life. If you have good mental well being you are able to feel relatively confident in yourself and have positive self-esteem.
You can’t be a good leader without self-awareness. It lies at the root of strong character, giving us the ability to lead with a sense of purpose, authenticity, openness, and trust. It explains our successes, our failures and by giving us a better understanding of who we are. Self-awareness lets us better understand what we need most from other people, to complement our own deficiencies in leadership.
The ability to take care of our emotions, bodies and specially to manage our stress has an incredible impact on our overall wellness. It is heavily tied to our emotional intelligence. Only by being aware of our emotional state and our reactions to stress, in our lives can we hope to manage emotion, stress and maintain good health.
By better understanding and managing our emotions, we are better able to communicate our feelings in a more constructive way. We are also better able to understand and relate to those with whom we build relationships. Understanding the needs, feelings, and responses of those we care about leads to stronger and more fulfilling relationships.
Better Conflict Resolution
The goal in any leader is to resolve conflict in a thoughtful, caring and empathetic way. When we as leaders can discern people’s emotions and empathize with their perspective. It becomes much easier to resolve conflicts or possibly avoid them before they start. We are also better at negotiation due to the very nature of our ability to understand the needs and desires of others. It’s easier to give people what they want if we can perceive what it is.
Learn More: How to Create a Successful Company Culture?
Leaders must know how to resolve conflicts between their team members, customers, or vendors. There is an instinctive fight or flight physical response to escalating stress. Our emotional intelligence describes our ability to understand our own and other’s emotions and recognize those emotions as they surface.
Higher emotional intelligence helps us to be stronger internal motivators. Which can reduce procrastination, increase self-confidence, and improve our ability to focus on a goal. It also allows us to create better networks of support, overcome setbacks, and persevere with a more resilient outlook. As leaders our ability to delay gratification and see long term directly affects our ability to succeed by staying dedicated.
Emotional intelligence is still not completely understood but what we do know is that emotions play a very critical role in the overall quality of our personal and professional lives. Hence, more critical even than our actual measure of brain intelligence. Most of all while tools and technology can help us to learn and master information, nothing can replace our ability to learn, manage, and master our emotions and the emotions of those around us.
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