Being a leader requires you to have a certain set of skills and abilities which will help you stand out from the crowd. A big part of owing these skills is also being able to develop them correctly and of course learn new ones.
Knowing how to handle your emotions, your team’s emotions and their responses is exactly what will help you stand out and allow you to not only produce great results but also improve the way you lead. There are many other benefits to being emotionally intelligent in leadership and this article will help you get a better understanding of exactly why this is so important.
What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence or EI is a combination of your ability to understand, manage and develop your own feelings while still being able to do the same for the people you lead. In certain cases, emotional intelligence is referred to as EQ, an equivalent to the IQ, and this just comes to show its importance and need to a leader of any group.
In any case that you come in contact with people, your emotions and your actions fully affect the way they behave towards you and the group of people they interact with. By taking their emotions and perceptions into consideration, you will be able to bring people together and use this knowledge to create a positive impact on them and the way they work.
The five aspects of emotional intelligence in leadership
In order to make this skill work in your favor, you will need to know as much as possible about it. The very first thing you need to know in order to understand it better is its components. Emotional intelligence consists of the following:
This aspect of emotional intelligence relates to your ability to understand your own emotions, weaknesses and strengths as well as the impact of your actions on others. Being self-aware in regards to your emotions is exactly what will help you open up to accepting and understanding the emotions of the people you work with.
This will also give you a drive you need in order to continue improving any skills of yours that need improvement without considering change something negative. Accepting who you are and working on improving yourself can only come through self-awareness.
Being disciplined and knowing your boundaries is another thing which will help you better manage your emotions and help you be a good example for those you work with. Managing your emotions and your actions will help you adapt better to a new environment, new people and also in situations where change is inevitable.
Staying cool and collected even under stressful situations which might be out of your control is a big part of developing your emotional intelligence. The only way to achieve that is through managing yourself and your emotions in order to show those you work with that you have everything under control.
Being empathetic towards the people you work with, is a skill which will help you connect with the people you work with and allow you to put yourself in their positions. When working with others, it is only normal for you to come across problems that need solving and in some cases you need to be able to put yourself in the situation in order to provide good advice for the people you are leading.
The more you understand and can relate to the people you work with, the easier it will be for you to think ahead of them and save everyone from potential mistakes and difficult situations. And when problems do arise, empathy will help you show real interest and work hard towards providing a solution.
4. Relationship management
No matter the field of work you find yourself in, leading a team of people will require you to establish good professional relationships with them. A big part of any business relationship revolves around trust and a feeling of unity between the members of a team and emotional intelligence will help you work towards securing them.
A high level of emotional intelligence will allow you to build relationships with those you work which will help everyone communicate their needs better, ask for help when they need it and work in unison in order to achieve the results you wish.
5. Effective communication
The last skill that brings emotional intelligence together is being able to communicate effectively what is on your mind, and also being able to create a working environment where your team can do the same. Establishing good and effective communication between your team members will help work flow more smoothly and without issues.
Lack of communication can cause tension and misunderstandings between people. As the leader, you will have to be the example and not only show everyone that they should feel free to express their opinions, worries, problems and ideas in order to improve the team as a whole.
Establishing good communication between the people you work with will help everyone see how their individual work affects the common goal of the team and help them work better together in order to achieve it.
Reducing stress in your everyday work life
While the skills mentioned previously might seem like they should be a part of any leader’s character, they aren’t always easy to obtain and they can truly impact the way a person leads. There are different levels of emotional intelligence a leader can achieve and they greatly depend on the level they have developed these skills.
Being able to continue working towards increasing your emotional intelligence will help you become a capable leader who will always think ahead of their team. This is one of the most important things you can do in order to make sure that your everyday life at work is filled with less stress, no matter how many your responsibilities might be.
While you will never stop encountering problems at work, the one thing that sets an emotional intelligent leader apart from the others is being able to deal with them without letting the problems consume them.
Along with that, they will also be able to handle their emotions better and show their teams a collected side of themselves. This means that they won’t take out their thoughts and negative feelings out on their coworkers and therefore they will be able to make everyone’s life in the office and little more stress free.
Becoming an asset for your organization
Being an emotionally intelligent leader and achieving to use the necessary sets of skills to a high level has a lot to offer to not only the people you work with but also to the company that employs you. In this situation, the benefits you will bring to your company can consist of the following:
1. Increased team engagement
Having an engaged team truly relates to the level of comfort the members feel with one another and how effectively they can communicate with one another. As an emotionally intelligent leader you will be able to work on establishing effective communication by giving the right example and giving your team a new dynamic which will help everyone contribute to the achievement of your common goals.
2. Achieving a great company culture
While many companies tend to say that they have a diverse company culture and that they help everyone feel included and appreciated. Without emotional intelligence, you might not be able to identify whether a member of your team actually related with that statement.
In order for a company to work correctly, the employees need to feel like they belong in that large group of people, and they also need to know they are respected by everyone equally. As the leader, you will be able to give a good example to others and create a company culture which will motivate people to work harder and offer advice to one another instead of dragging each other down.
The culture of a company is just as important and unique as the logo it carries and in order to everything to run smoothly, you will need to make sure that everyone feels like a respected member of this big family.
3. Achieving the results you wish for on time
Another thing that sprouts with the help of an emotionally intelligent leader is the ability for a team to complete tasks correctly and on time. The better the communication between a team, the better their collaboration will be.
By making sure everyone feels included and appreciated by their coworkers, you will give even your shiest employees the chance to share their ideas and opinions. Some of these might come to save you in a time of need and help get you out of a jam.
Combining your team’s forces correctly will help everyone perform better in unison and as a result, you will be able to complete your common and individual goals on time and without a lot of struggle. This will also help push your team to perform better and to compete with their coworkers in a friendly yet effective fashion.
4. Educating other members of the company
Another thing that emotional intelligence will help you do is help other members of the company you work in become better at what they do. When working in a company, word goes around about effective strategies and everyone wishes to be part of that one team that always performs the best.
What you can do in order to help everyone perform better and work towards achieving the culture you wish the company to have is to hold educational meetings where you will show others how your teams works. Advising other leaders of your company to follow your path will help everyone improve and grow in order to make sure the work gets done effectively.
Making your working environment a space for collaboration
There are quite a few different sets of skills which can make a leader a great one. Being an emotionally intelligent leader also relies heavily on certain sets of skills which can help you be more empathetic and a better bonding agent for any team you lead.
The whole point in leadership is being able to make an impact on the people you lead and help them grow and become better versions of themselves. Emotional intelligence is the key to creating a team which will work well together and make every problem a little easier to manage. This way, your working environment will never become toxic and you will never lose your love for your profession.