Leading With Emotional Intelligence

The traditional concept of intelligence (Intelligence Quotient) is all about how good a person is logically, linguistically and mathematically. This particular concept of intelligence is definitely a very good predictor of academic success but can it predict success in practical life or at work? There is also another more modern concept of intelligence known as Emotional Intelligence (EQ). EQ is a greater determinant of real life success and can also help leaders to improve their performance considerably.

Multiple Intelligence:
Multiple intelligence is actually the combination of intelligence quotient (IQ) and Emotional Quotient (EQ). The traditional concept of intelligence or IQ is a combination of proficiency in linguistics and mathematics and the ability of being logically good. The IQ deals with visual and spatial sensations of a person as well as his bodily and kinaesthetic positions.

On the other hand, Emotional Quotient (EQ) incorporates the interpersonal and intrapersonal behaviors of any person. In fact, EQ is a measure of person’s level of Emotional Intelligence. This refers to a person’s ability to perceive, evaluate, control and express emotions. The Emotional Intelligence has become a hot topic these days in areas ranging from education and business development.

The Emotional Intelligence:
According to Daniel Goleman, the Emotional Intelligence is “the capacity for recognizing our own feeling and those of others —– and for managing emotions effectively in others and us.”  As it is evident from the definition, emotional intelligence is about management and awareness about us and others. In simple words, emotional intelligence helps us to self-manage more effectively and have more self-awareness.

It also enables us to have social awareness and cater for the needs of others in addition with improving our relationship management. This is very important, especially for corporate leaders and senior executives who have to deal with a lot of people on regular basis. Following diagram summarizes the concept of emotional intelligences quite explicably.

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Emotion Effects:
When it comes to emotions, there are two types of mindsets. There is a group of people who are of the view that emotions are actually harmful as they make a person stupid and curtail his ability to make right decision in the face of a crisis.  On the contrary, some people argue that emotions are not the enemy of the reason. According to them, it will be difficult for us to know what is important without emotions because they offer valuable information about ourselves and others. These people strongly believe that emotions actually help us to make right decisions.

Then there is another thinking skill set relevant to emotions. This skill set reveals that positive emotional state helps us to:

  • Make decisions more quickly.
  • Distinguish between relevant and required information better.
  • Absorb new information quickly.
  • See the big picture more easily and think more strategically.
  • Think more creatively.

Emotional Climate:

  • Effect on Performance of Leaders and Executives:
    Emotional climate can greatly help leaders to not only improve their own performance but that of their employees or as well.
  • Emotional climate positively affects the cognitive abilities of the team members.
  • Goleman estimates that emotional climate actually accounts for 20-30% of the organizational performance.
  • Emotional Climate also reduces staff turnover
  • Emotions in a Team are Contagious:
    There is no denying of the fact that emotions in a team are contagious. This helps leaders to control their teams better and bring the best out of them. A leader is able do the following when an emotional climate prevails in a team.
  • The more emotionally expressive you are, the more influence you have on your team.
  • A team will make its emotional cues from the leader in case of uncertainty.
  • You will have strong influence on emotional climate of your team as a leader even if you are not aware of it.

The above diagram also illustrates four skills to become an emotionally better leader. Following lines explain how you can master all these skills.

Self-Awareness:

  • You can increase self-awareness by keeping a journal and writing down all of your daily routines.
  • Receiving professional coaching is another method of improving self-awareness.
  • You should also ask for feedback from the people you trust.

Emotional Self-Management:

  • Stop and relax when you feel you are getting angry and distracted as well as when you start a new task.
  • Take a break every ninety minute to give some rest to your brain.
  • You will be more resilient when you are in positive emotional state.

Social Awareness:

  • Pay attention to the voice tone and body language of others.
  • Be mentally present where ever you are.
  • Your own body language should be responsive and open.
  • Put yourself in the shoe of other person.

Relationship Management:

  • Support and recognize people as individuals.
  • Encourage creativity and rewards efforts.
  • Have a clear vision to engage people.
  • People will follow your acts not your sayings and therefore, it is important for you to become a role model for them.

Applying Emotional Intelligence:
Following diagram shows how you can apply emotional intelligence to any issue both in your professional and personal life.

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