One of the top must-have skills and certainly one that is gaining immense traction in the contemporary era is emotional intelligence. Also known as EQ, emotional intelligence is a soft skill that rose to fame in the 1990s.
Not many people realized the influence EQ could have on humanity and commonly, they considered IQ to be a fundamental soft skill. In this piece, we’ll explore emotional intelligence and the link between this remarkable trait and leadership.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand your emotions and their impact on yourself and those around you. Emotional intelligence was birthed in 1990 by two researchers; John Mayer and Peter Salovey. However, it was later publicized by Daniel Goleman, a psychologist in his book “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ”.
Today, EQ is among industries’ most sought-after soft skills, especially among leaders. Many people take decisions irrationally generally based on their feelings only to realize the catastrophe cultivated later. This is partly an indication of a lack of EQ.
People with no emotional intelligence lack emotional balance and are somehow unreliable.
However, people with EQ are better positioned to assess the impact of their emotions. With that, they step back to analyze their feelings and emotions and understand why they feel or think in a particular way.
Also, they put themselves in others’ positions which allows them to make realistic decisions. Therefore, whether you’re an entrepreneur, team leader, manager, or CEO, EQ can add value to your personality. But how?
The Facets of EQ
There are generally two dimensions of EQ with a total of four subsets. These dimensions of EQ include personal awareness and social awareness.
The facet of personal awareness consists of self-awareness and self-management whereas the facet of social awareness focuses on how one behaves socially and manages relationships.
Self-Awareness: It is when an individual is able to perceive his or her emotions and their impact. People who are highly self-aware know their strengths and weaknesses and are able to better present themselves in public.
However, there are also instances where one is unaware of certain traits that others openly know about him or her. For example, an individual may be unaware of his or her anger issues, whereas others clearly know about them. Therefore, it is essential to conduct a 360-degree assessment often to attain insights about your emotions and overall personality.
Self-Management: Like the way it sounds, self-management is the ability to manage one’s self. The ability to control your feelings, temper or the impulse to act as per emotions is termed self-management.
Many people find it hard to control themselves, especially in challenging moments. They have automatic reactions in stressful situations, commonly detrimental to their personality and those around them.
Social Awareness: Emotional intelligence stretches from personal awareness to social awareness. Social awareness is the ability to recognize other people’s emotions or feelings and above all, to respect them. Understanding other people’s feelings and emotions can allow you to relate to them better. Commonly, people who are socially aware practice gratitude and empathy.
Relationship Management: People who are emotionally intelligent also know how to build and manage relationships. They understand that valuable relationships are worth maintaining. With that, they devise means how to address issues or put an end to anger and meltdowns.
In this way, they are able to maintain long-term relationships and effectively manage people within their workplace.
Precisely, emotional intelligence influences the way one traverses daily complexities makes decisions, or relates with others.
The Correlation Between Leadership & Emotional Intelligence
Unlike before, the impact of emotional intelligence on leaders is more evident in every aspect of life. Leaders who are emotionally intelligent have the ability to manage people better, collaborate, give feedback, and also cope with stress.
However, leaders who lack emotional intelligence are highly bent toward damaging their leadership prowess. That’s because they are more likely to act out of their emotions. In fact, the skill of emotional intelligence has been found to set good performers apart from their counterparts.
Today, there are many soft and hard skills that can help leaders secure top-paying jobs, however, it’s highly EQ to help them retain those jobs.
If you’re in a leadership position, managing your emotions is part of the equation.
Good leadership traits like EQ can help you inspire, motivate, influence, and direct people regardless of the leadership style you leverage. However, leaders must explore the different leadership theories and discover how to lay a foundation for EQ practices, especially with rigid leadership styles like authoritarian leadership.
Leaders who are emotionally intelligent are more empathetic toward their employees and are also good mentors.
Why EQ Matters Today
Emotional intelligence isn’t all about managing your emotions and closing your eyes to negative emotions. There are many instances where employees fail to adhere to the set rules and even end up behaving arrogantly.
However, it’s EQ that can help leaders act rationally and responsibly. Generally, the skill of EQ can positively shape a work environment since leaders define the tone of a workspace. Emotionally intelligent leaders allow employees to feel like they matter or are cared for.
Also, it gives them a sense of belonging which increases workplace engagement and also reduces employee attrition.
On the other hand, developing emotional intelligence can serve as an add-on to the different self-improvement mediums. Also, it can help leaders become happier. Leadership is challenging and there are many chances of becoming frustrated, angry, or experiencing many other negative emotions.
In this case, emotional intelligence can help cultivate motivation, empathy, positivity, and self-care.
EQ is a special soft skill with remarkable benefits. Unlike IQ, EQ can help leaders and other people develop a range of skills including critical thinking, active listening, and interpersonal skills. The skill can effectively build anyone to become a reliable decision-maker and leader. With that, consider cultivating the skill of EQ in case you lack it. Some of the best mediums for developing emotional intelligence are;
Engaging in self-reflection, practicing empathy, self-regulation, and learning how to control anger. In this way, you will be better positioned to lead and influence others effectively.
About the author
Jessica Robinson loves to write interesting and knowledgeable blogs regarding business management, education and life to satiate the curiosity of her lovely readers. Currently, she is serving as a content manager at the ‘Speaking Polymath’. Every piece of content that she writes demonstrates her immense love and passion for her profession.