The Importance of Emotional Intelligence for Leadership
Nowadays, hard skills are no longer necessarily enough to achieve a leadership position in companies. The consulting firm Michael Page points out that out of 100 people hired, 13 of them fail or abandon during the trial period, and 1 in 3 new employees leave before their first year is over. The main reason to quit is due to the need to close the gap between the demands of the position and interpersonal skills such as the ability to adapt to change and flexibility. The rapid pace of technological change is forcing companies to keep up and for employees to adapt to these circumstances.
And that’s why in the #FutureOfWork, soft skills are vital to helping you lead teams successfully, promoting positive work relationships. Emotional intelligence, in particular, is the key leadership skill that will help you effectively train team members, solve problems and collaborate with your colleagues. Here are some insights about emotional intelligence and why it is an essential quality for leaders to possess.
So, what is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence refers to your ability to recognize, understand and manage your own emotions. It also refers to the ability to understand the emotions of those with whom you interact. By developing your emotional intelligence, you are capable of improving your work relationships and positively influencing your team.
Having high emotional intelligence means being able to recognize your feelings, what they mean, and how they can affect others. Leaders with high emotional intelligence can use their emotions appropriately to influence results positively.
This is an essential skill for leaders, as it helps them manage teams effectively without causing divisions or conflicts. Emotionally intelligent leaders can help their team members leverage their full potential and adapt their leadership style as necessary to accommodate their employees’ different personalities.
Emotional intelligence has the following essential components:
- Self-awareness: To maximize your team’s potential, you first need to maximize your own potential, which is why self-awareness is crucial for leaders. Self-awareness means understanding how you feel and how these feelings can affect others in the workplace. You must be able to recognize your strengths, weaknesses, and emotions.
- Self-regulation or self-management: Refers to your ability to manage and control your own emotions. Leaders need to control their emotions and maintain a positive attitude despite any obstacles they may encounter. This is particularly important in stressful situations, as leaders learn to respond to adversity calmly and appropriately.
- Social awareness: This has to do with your ability to empathize with others and understand their emotions. To communicate effectively with team members, leaders must be able to understand and appreciate their perspectives.
- Social skills: An effective leader must be able to communicate, collaborate, influence, train, and guide others. Social skills also refer to the ability to successfully resolve conflicts and handle difficult situations. Leaders with developed social skills can build and maintain positive relationships in the workplace for themselves and their colleagues.
- Self-motivation: This is a critical skill that managers or leaders must possess. Leaders should continuously work to achieve their personal and professional goals as well as the organization’s goals as a whole. Improving self-motivation will serve as a way of leading by example for the rest of the team.
By improving in each of these areas, managers or leaders can improve their emotional intelligence to become better leaders in the workplace. Emotional intelligence is important for a variety of reasons. Emotionally intelligent leaders can develop and maintain a positive, productive, and efficient workplace while constantly motivating their employees to give their best.
Leaders with this critical skill can create work environments where colleagues feel comfortable taking risks and sharing their ideas. They can make difficult decisions, resolve conflicts effectively, and adapt to changing goals and circumstances.
The lack of emotional intelligence inhibits a leader’s ability to collaborate and communicate effectively with others. When leaders cannot manage their emotions, there is a serious risk, as employees may feel inhibited or unwilling to share their ideas and are less likely to reach their full potential.
Emotional intelligence not only benefits you as a leader but also helps the company as a whole. A workplace where employees develop these qualities will result in a better overall environment, greater commitment, and a sense of belonging, and this will reflect in meeting the company’s goals.