Being an Emotionally Intelligent Leader

Leading With Emotional Intelligence

Intelligence. Being a leader within your organization, one assumes you have it. Intelligence, coupled with having “people skills” is certainly helpful in any leadership role. But what about Emotional Intelligence, also known as EI? As a leader, is this something you possess or is this an area you need to grow and nurture a bit more? 

According to Forbes, “emotionally intelligent leaders are better at managing their own emotions and better at understanding and influencing the emotions of others. If you want your team to be successful, a top-down emotionally intelligent approach works best with leaders who model EI behaviors to their team.”

Are You an Emotionally Intelligent Leader?

Emotional Intelligence is having the ability to “read the situation” so that you can perceive, manage and evaluate emotions of those around you. Our work culture looks different these days. With today’s ever-changing modes of doing business, leading with emotional intelligence can be quite challenging. 

In the past, most leaders led within the same building and worked under one roof, thereby making it easier to have face-to-face interactions with your team and effectively lead. Having employees work from various remote locations may put a different spin on how you’d normally lead. It may be a bit more challenging to assess and handle the day-to-day situations that typically guide you in understanding your team and effectively responding to what’s happening more successfully.

three people in a meeting

Dealing With the Everyday Situations

Since the nature of business looks different these days, dealing with everyday situations does too. However, the basics are still the same. Take these scenarios into consideration: your team meeting is running late; Zoom isn’t working properly, a vendor you must meet with just canceled, again. How do you react? What do you do?

The way you handle these types of everyday situations says a lot about your emotional intelligence and how effectively you lead. If your normal response to any of these situations would be to raise your voice or lash out at your team (or vendor), then that would not be desirable. Thankfully, emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, thereby aiding you in your leadership success.

Emotional Intelligence Centers Around Five Traits

At the core of Emotional Intelligence are five key traits that leaders should possess, or at the very least, be working their way towards mastery.

According to Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, the five key elements are:

  1. Self-awareness – allows you to understand the factors that contribute to your emotions; to knowing your strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Self-regulation – allows you to stay in control of your emotions. 
  3. Motivation – being motivated helps you move ahead and achieve your goals.
  4. Empathy – helps you to develop and manage your team.
  5. Social skills – communicating to your team and gaining their support.

Strengthening Emotional Intelligence

Not surprisingly, a leader who is able to manage as many of these five traits to the best of their ability is perceived as an emotionally intelligent leader. If you find yourself lacking in any of these areas, determining how you can grow in that particular area will help you lead your team. You may also find that it will serve to help your subordinates as well, as they may emulate you to assist in their own emotional intelligence growth.

Outside Help is Available

Emotional Intelligence plays a role in everyday life. Emotions are powerful and can live at the surface. So how can one become more aware of their own emotional intelligence? Just like everything you may do, it may take some practice. Looking to an outside source for some guidance may help you to improve your Emotional Intelligence. For more information, contact Deborah O’Donnell at Rodas Coaching.