For those of us aspiring to be leaders – or those who are already in a leadership position – what do we know about our emotional intelligence? More importantly, how does this impact our ability to be a leader?
Daniel Goleman has an excellent book, Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence, that explains what emotional intelligence (EI) is and how to improve/apply it. Some may argue that it is not really “intelligence” that Goleman is describing, rather maybe these are “skills” one can use in their leadership repertoire. Either way – I found this book both insightful and practical.
The four main components of leadership EI are:
- “Know thyself” = Having a deep understanding of your own emotions, strengths, weaknesses, needs, and drives
- Being neither overly critical nor unrealistically hopeful of your own abilities
- This can translate into others viewing you as self-confident
- Being able to find ways to control your moods or emotional impulses – eventually by channeling these into useful paths
- People who are in control of their feelings and impulses are able to create an environment of trust and fairness
- Being able to thoughtfully consider other’s feelings
- Using this consideration to make intelligent decisions/actions
- Social Skill:
- “Friendliness with a purpose”
- How you are able to move people in the direction that you desire
- Being able to build rapport with a wide range of people
The first two are self-management skills, whereas the second two relate to how a person is able to manage relationships with others. One can easily see how these go hand-in-hand. Goleman walks you through how these 4 qualities can translate into better leadership.
When we are able to understand and control our emotions and reactions, we can better empathize with the feelings of others – And this allows us to be more effective at managing relationships – – And, therefore, being the best leader we can be!
The infographic below is compliments of MindTools and adds in a fifth element of motivation – seems self-evident if one has found themselves in a leadership role. BUT – I suppose if you were forced to lead when you didn’t really want to, then by all means – start by working on your motivation. (Personally, forcing a person into a leadership role never ends in success…)