If you aspire to be an effective leader, there’s an emotional element that will help you manage and influence your employees. Read on to learn how to develop emotional intelligence for effective leadership.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence (also known as emotional quotient or EQ) is the ability to perceive, use, understand, manage, and handle emotions.
Emotional intelligence is typically associated with empathy because it involves an individual connecting their personal emotional experiences with those of others.
Since it has become more widely discussed and researched, methods of developing emotional intelligence have become sought after by managers wanting to become more effective leaders.
How does Emotional Intelligence make Leaders more Effective?
According to the Harvard Business School, “emotional intelligence…accounts for nearly 90% of what sets high performers apart from peers with similar technical skills and knowledge.”
Emotional intelligence is comprised of 4 core competencies that when developed can make you a more effective leader.
Being self-aware of your emotions means being aware of how they impact not only your performance but also the performance of your employees.
95% of people think they’re self-aware, but only 10-15% actually are, according to research by organisational psychologist Tasha Eurich. The research also found that working with team members that weren’t self-aware cut the team’s success in half and led to increased stress and decreased motivation.
The most effective way to assess your self-awareness in a business setting, is to evaluate your performance and then compare it with the opinions of your manager, colleagues and employees.
Self-management is the art of controlling your emotions and impulses, especially in times of stress. Then allowing yourself to take time to react to situations appropriately rather than rashly.
There are a number of ways to manage your emotions in times of adversity, such as taking time out to go for a coffee break; getting some exercise by going for a short walk or speaking to someone outside the work environment.
Your ability to read others’ emotions describes social awareness. In a business setting this comes into play when accessing the dynamics at play within your team.
When you have a high level of social awareness you can be empathetic towards your team members, engaging and connecting with them more effectively. Better communication then leads to better coaching and decision making.
Effective relationship management comes into its own when managing conflict and resolving it in an efficient and timely manner before it impacts on performance.
According to research by VitalSmarts, “every unaddressed conflict wastes about 8 hours of company time in gossip and other unproductive activities.”
It’s vitally important to manage conflict within your team with empathy, to resolve problems quickly as they arise.
As you can see, working on these 4 aspects can develop emotional intelligence for effective leadership leading to higher employee satisfaction, increased performance and lower staff turnover.