Successful leadership is more than setting goals and delegating responsibilities. The future of business involved emotional intelligence,
When tempers rise, can you de-escalate the situation and find common ground?
When the shit hits the fan, do you react emotionally or respond with intentional action?
You’ve got the technical skills and business savvy of a successful leader–but do you have the emotional intelligence to back it up?
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence refers to a person’s ability to effectively recognize, understand, and regulate their own emotions, but it goes beyond that. Emotionally intelligent individuals are also able to recognize, understand, and influence the emotions of other people.
In short, it speaks not only to self-awareness and self-management, but also social awareness, and the ability to successfully navigate interpersonal relationships. This is why emotional intelligence is an essential quality of highly successful leaders.
“How you deal with conflict and setbacks, how you encourage people when they’re down, your ability to negotiate or get things done – all of those things touch on emotional intelligence.”
– Mark Craemer, author of Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace
The concept of emotional intelligence was introduced in 1990 by John Mayer and Peter Salovey. Initially considered highly controversial by the scientific community, further research has led to increased evidence and support validating their theory of emotional intelligence. In 1995, the release of Daniel Goleman’s book, “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ” took the idea mainstream where it’s been gaining increasing attention ever since.
Especially when it comes to effective leadership–and with good reason.
Why Emotional Intelligence Matters to Your Business
Human beings are social and emotional creatures. Competing demands, stressful situations, and unexpected obstacles are everyday occurrences in the workplace. Emotionally intelligent leaders are able to leverage the four pillars of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, sef-regulation, empathy, and motivation, to foster alignment, collaboration, and successfully achieve their objectives.
Research has shown that highly emotionally intelligent leaders are better equipped to:
⇒ Manage stress
⇒ Make difficult decisions
⇒ De-escalate situations and resolve conflict more effectively
⇒ Adapt to changing business goals and circumstances.
⇒ Foster trust and motivation
⇒ Create a culture of growth and belonging
After the global turmoil of the last few years, these “soft skills,” are more essential than ever before.
The Four Pillars of Emotional Intelligence
While some folks may demonstrate more innate emotional intelligence, the good news is that it can also be learned and developed. By understanding the defining characteristics of emotionally intelligent leaders, you can begin to actively and intentionally cultivate greater emotional intelligence in your own personal and professional life.
Being aware of and understanding their own emotions and personal triggers empowers leaders to be less reactive in responding to stressful situations and challenging decisions. By practicing regular self-reflection and seeking feedback from others, self-aware leaders not only expand their personal perspective, but also foster trust with their teams.
Because emotionally intelligent leaders understand their personal emotional responses, they’re better equipped to regulate them. As a result, they’re able to stay calm in times of crises, maintain their objectivity, and avoid impulsive decisions by responding with intention instead of reacting emotionally.
Emotionally intelligent leaders are more motivated and engaged in their work because they have a strong understanding of what drives and motivates not only themselves, but also the people around them. Through this personal lens, they are able to communicate and delegate more effectively, nurture stronger interpersonal connections, and inspire their teams.
Highly emotionally intelligent leaders aren’t just self-aware, they’re socially aware and invested in understanding others’ emotions and personal perspectives. By responding with empathy and curiosity, they foster a culture of trust and belonging which makes their team feel seen, heard, and valued.
Emotional intelligence plays a critical role in personal and professional growth, especially for business owners and leaders. By prioritizing self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, and empathy, you can build and improve your emotional intelligence to become more successful in the workplace and beyond.
Why the Future of Business Belongs to Emotionally Intelligent Leaders
“The most effective leaders are all alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader.”
– Daniel Goleman, Ph.D.
Underneath the technical solutions and strategic actions, a company is defined but its leadership. Leaders who are committed to understanding and developing emotional intelligence improve their awareness, communication, and decision making skills, leading to improved relationships, reduced stress, higher job satisfaction, and better business outcomes for their whole team.
These comprehensive results are the heart of the work I do as a high-performance business strategist and coach. With a background in neurobiology and over thirty years of building businesses and mentoring industry leaders, I’ve cultivated a unique context for understanding what companies and business owners need to thrive.
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