When asked to identify the necessary traits for leaders, most would propose answers that fall within a wide range of topics. Charisma, purpose, determination – these are just a few of the traits that are typically used to define a leader. However, many leaders have a single quality in common. In short, what distinguishes the best leaders from the majority is their level of emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is defined by the ability to understand and manage our emotions and those around us. This quality gives individuals a variety of skills, such as the ability to manage relationships, navigate social networks, influence and inspire others. Every individual possesses different levels, but in order for individuals to become effective leaders, they’ll need a high level of emotional intelligence. In today’s workplace, it has become a highly important factor for success, influencing productivity, efficiency and team collaboration. The following are important reasons why leaders should cultivate their emotional intelligence:
Leaders with emotional intelligence are self-aware and able to recognize emotions as they happen. This is a vital skill for leaders, as it helps them obtain a clear understanding of their strengths and weaknesses without any obstruction. In addition, great leaders are able to perceive emotions as they arise in response to an action or situation. As a result, they are able better able to address problems and handle any future complications.
2. Emotional Management
The prior skill gives leaders the ability to stay aware of their feelings. The next step is learning how to manage those emotions. Leaders with high emotional intelligence are able to regulate themselves and stay in control. These individuals are unlikely to rush headlong into hasty decisions or let their anger take over their behavior. It is vital that individuals in managerial positions keep their emotions in check, as it will help them stay in a respected position.
3. Effective Communication
What is the benefit of emotional awareness and management if you are unable to clearly express your thoughts? Luckily, individuals with emotional intelligence also have the skill of effective communication. They are able to clearly convey directions and know what to say in order to inspire and motivate others. An important skill for leaders, communication can be a deciding factor in whether the team listens or not.
4. Social Awareness
Leaders with emotional intelligence are well tuned to the emotions of others and are able to pick up on what is going on around them. They are able to sympathize with others by putting themselves in the employee’s shoes and giving helpful feedback. This is a critical skill for leaders, who work closely to inspire and motivate a team. If the leader is unable to empathize with their employees, he or she will surely find it difficult to obtain respect or loyalty.
5. Conflict Resolution
In the workplace, there’s always the risk that emerging conflicts can threaten or disrupt efficiency and productivity. However, leaders with emotional intelligence are equipped to handle conflicts and provide resolution. With this skill, leaders can quickly placate any disagreements that arise between employees, customers, and other parties. In conjunction with the above skills, leaders can use their emotional intelligence to develop a more effective workplace.