Just as Theodore Roosevelt put it, “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” One critical character requirement in leaders, especially in a place of work, is Emotional Intelligence (EQ).
- What is emotional intelligence (EQ)?
- Why is emotional intelligence important?
- How to improve your EQ?
What is Emotional Intelligence (EQ)?
Emotional intelligence is related to heightened awareness: It’s your ability to recognize emotions and, as a result, effectively deal with them and relationships. It reflects your ability to manage your emotions and your ability to connect with people.
For instance, a person may be highly qualified and well-experienced for a particular job profile, but if he / she is not able to emotionally connect with people and situations, then it is highly unlikely that he / she would be a successful leader.
Contrary to popular belief, emotional intelligence is both psychological and physiological. EQ uses core feelings and sensations as the source of our emotional sensitivity and therefore our emotional intelligence.
It is thought that our core feelings, emotions, and sensations are probably conceived in the womb and begin to be developed in the second month after birth. They are the center of our uniqueness, our individuality, our personality and our very natural instincts, such as those of survival, security, competitiveness, independence, decisiveness, and anxiety, to name a few.
In other words, for you to become an effective leader at your place of work, they will need a high level of emotional intelligence. With EQ, you’re able to understand, express and control your emotions. You’re also able to read and respond to the emotions and needs of everyone around you, including partners, subordinates and customers. EQ gives you the capacity to experience more empathy and better judgment.
Why Is Emotional Intelligence Important In Your Workplace
Since the 1990s a lot of research has been done on emotional intelligence. Research show evidence of positive relationship existing between intelligent leadership at work and employee performance, retention and satisfaction. Also, research has identified emotional intelligence as a combination of the following skills:
- perceiving and expressing emotions,
- understanding emotions,
- using emotions, and
- managing emotions
Employers are now more aware that skills like maths, logical reasoning and analytical abilities need to be supported with a high level of emotional intelligence for a successful leadership role.
How to Improve Your EQ
Work on Heightening Your Self-Awareness
You must learn to be aware of your own feelings, that causes them and how you react to them. Segregate your emotions into strengths and weaknesses. This self-awareness will develop great skills which will help to manage your own emotions, allowing you to respond properly to situations which show up. Individuals with a healthy sense of self-awareness are “comfortable in their own skins”.
By enhancing your self-awareness, you’re able to understand your limitations, strengths and emotions and then self-manage. With self-awareness, you can reduce negative leadership traits and express yourself better.
You’re also more likely to have higher stress tolerance and restraint. You’re less likely to lose control and cause workers distress when you’re frustrated or dealing with stress and/or change.
Display More Empathy
The more leaders enhance their self-awareness at work, the higher will be the emotional awareness of those around them at work. Understanding of personal feelings, how they are formulated, and how these emotions influence people will teach you not to take others feelings like anger at a personal level. of others, such as anger, personally. This will develop your ability to empathize and connect with people.
At this state, you’re able to understand the needs, wants, and feelings of your subordinates and their situational issues. With empathy, you’re more likely to know what motivates workers to be more productive and pleased with their jobs.
You also have more of a team mindset, which means you’re more open to improving team relationships and environmental issues that affect health and productivity. You can also better recognize desired traits in job candidates.
Enhance Your Listening Skills
The emotions ignited by verbal expressions are often more crucial than the actual words spoken. Do not think of how you will respond to others while they still are speaking. Instead, cultivate the habit of listening.
This will keep you focussed and enable you to gauge the speaker’s feelings. A good way to improve listening skills is to summarize what you think you heard the speaker say and ask for clarifications if need be.
Awareness Of Body Language
The ability to understand body language and other non-verbal communications will help you to tune into others’ feelings and emotions. Watch for facial expressions, eye movements, and tone of voice. Learn to stay tuned into the feelings of the workplace for you to represent the said and unsaid needs of your fellow colleagues or employees.
Ability To Anticipate Reactions And Respond Effectively
Be More Flexibile
Self-awareness and empathy make you more flexible. These aspects of EI prevent you from existing in a vacuum — your mind isn’t closed off to new ideas or people’s needs.
Increase Your Assertiveness
Workers often put out more effort to impress leaders who are confident and well-organized. EQ automatically makes you a more confident and organized leader because you go into situations with higher overall awareness, which improves your ability to respond and plan. When you feel more confident and organized, workers perceive you like a stronger leader.
As you’ve seen, people and relational issues that interfere with self, worker, and team performance are usually connected to emotions. By training yourself to have higher emotional intelligence, you can improve every area of performance.
To be a successful leader you have to master your own state of being before you try to lead others.