The Importance of Emotional Intelligence
Leaders and managers who have high levels of Emotional Intelligence are widely regarded as being among the most successful, with most research stating that 90% of high performers demonstrate high Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify, understand, and manage our own moods and feelings and those of other people. It involves self-awareness, self-direction, interpersonal sensitivity, and organizational awareness. Leaders and managers who demonstrate high Emotional Intelligence are able to manage their emotions better, communicate more effectively, lead and manage change more successfully, and tend to have more efficient problem solving skills in order to make good decisions to achieve positive results.
The challenge with Emotional Intelligence is that it is difficult to know whether you’ve got any or, if you haven’t, how you can improve. Talent Assessment Tools, such as Personality Questionnaires and 360 Feedback Reviews can assist leaders and managers in identifying their key areas of strength, those requiring development and levels of Emotional Intelligence. The Strength Deployment Inventory Personality Questionnaire helps individuals to recognise different styles and personality traits and enables leaders, managers and team members to understand the reason why people do things rather than just observe and react to what is done, and to adapt their styles accordingly to different personality types. Coaching can assist in increasing levels of Emotional Intelligence in leaders and managers.
Recent research shows that only 36% of people can identify which emotions they are experiencing and this can lead to them making irrational decisions, whereas emotionally aware individuals are able to identify, understand and master their emotions in order to understand what caused them to feel a certain way and what can be done to change how they are feeling. This assists in making them more self-confident, open to receiving constructive feedback, and able to view mistakes as a learning opportunity. Emotionally intelligent people are able to distinguish between negative thoughts and facts and therefore manage their inner critic in order to maintain a positive attitude.
In order to be able to effectively manage others and build strong working relationships it is important to be able to manage one’s own emotions and display empathy with one’s team members. Once leaders and managers are able to read other people they can adapt their style accordingly, which can lead to higher employee engagement. Unfortunately in many organizations employees still complain that often they are unable to approach their line manager because they are ‘in a bad mood.’ Being self-aware and assertive are key to being emotionally intelligent, as well as being self-disciplined and comfortable in saying ‘no’ assertively. Emotionally intelligent managers are able to approach situations and team members more rationally, avoid anger and effectively manage conflict and stress.
One of the main reasons that leaders and managers with high levels of Emotional Intelligence are so effective is that not only are they able to adapt their style to people and situations, but also they are adept at embracing change, which is key in today’s fast moving business world.