4 Reasons People With High EQ Make Better Leaders

Newsflash: we are all leaders

Are You Following The Right Leaders?

In today’s workplace, the importance of emotional intelligence, and its effect in the workplace is still not widely accepted by most leaders. Emotional intelligence today in the workplace is the equivalent of what digital cameras were to polaroids, unless you see the trend and adopt quickly and accordingly the workforce as we know it will become extinct similar to what happened to polaroids.

The effect of emotional intelligence, and its effect is all around us, however because of its lack of understanding it gets categorized under different terms of which the most popular is “soft skills”.

Studies have shown that major employers are turning to these so called soft skills, such as the ability to communicate, or the ability to be coachable, and being sociable instead of focusing solely on a person’s resume. The ability to get along with the group, and work together is trumping the days of hiring the person with the highest-grade point average or the person who finished top of his or her class. It is not to say that having a traditional education is not important, it’s just not as important as it used to be, and if you are a leader you need to recognize the trend.

What exactly is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a competency. It is the ability a person has in order to recognize, understand and manage their own emotions. It’s also the ability to recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others. Individuals with high EQ tend to be less stressed and communicate better than their low EQ peers because they empathize with others and manage their reactions to their own and others’ emotions.

Here are the four reasons why people high in emotional intelligence make better leaders.

1. Self-Awareness.

The ability to recognize your emotions, strengths and weaknesses, and how your emotions affect your thoughts and behavior, and more importantly being aware of those emotions at the right time. Self-confidence is an important aspect of self-awareness because you have to trust yourself to judge your own emotions. Self confidence in a leader is a great trait, and others will only follow those who are confident in themselves, and their abilities.

Being self aware allows you to be able to step back and look at yourself, and your actions, and be subjective. Being self aware doesn’t mean that you are always in control of your emotions, however it means that you are aware, and as long as you are aware you can control your reactions to the emotion. Leaders who are high in self-awareness have a clear understanding of what they do well, what motivates and satisfies them.

2. Self-Management.

Self management happens when you act or even when you do not act. Self-management is the ability to manage your emotional reactions to situations and people. Those leaders with a grasp on self management can put off or resist things that promises instant gratification, they are able to see things through and focus on the bigger picture, some may call this ability, self control. One of my coaching client is a leader in a network marketing organization, and this is a skill she lacks, and in order for her to become the leader that she wants to become she needs to master this skill. She ranks pretty well in self- awareness, because she is aware that she needs help in this area, and taking her through a few exercises has made a world of difference in her business, and how she leads people, now that she is better able to manage herself.

3. Social Awareness.

As a leader of people, it is imperative that you are able to pick up on the emotions of others, and understand what is happening. This often means being able to perceive what other people are thinking, and understanding how they are feeling. As a leader, it is important for those who look to you for guidance know that you hear their concerns, and you are aware of their feelings and emotions.

As I sit in a Starbucks writing this article on the next table is a group of four police officers, and listening to them talk about their interactions with the public on a daily basis I realize how important it is for police officers, and anyone who deals with the public or large groups of people to have this skill. As for police officers it could be a matter of life or death, even though it is not that critical for most of us, it does make a huge difference in how we are perceived in our social environment, whether that is on the job or at home with the family.

4. Relationship Management.

Relationship management is your ability to be aware of your emotions, and the emotions of those around you in order to manage interactions successfully. People who are high in this area of emotional intelligence are usually great at conflict resolution. People with strong relationship management skills tend to build long term bonds, because they understand how to treat, and nurture relationships.

As in the example of the police officers that I mentioned earlier no other skill is more important than the ability to be able to build relationships in a short period of time in order to defuse hostile situations, and turn what could become a conflict into a peaceful situation, and over the last few years we have been seeing a number of situations with police officers that has escalated because some of the officers involved did not possess this skill.

Unlike IQ which for the most part is fixed primarily in our early teenage years, EQ on the other hand is something that we can continually develop. So even if you are not high in emotional intelligence competencies right now you can develop your EQ, therefore you can have more control over your life, and as leaders the above skills are absolutely necessary not just for your growth, but also the growth of your team, and business.

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