The Importance of Emotional Intelligence
There are several traits that successful business leaders embody, including intellectual capability and technical skill. But one trait that sets a great leader apart is what is known as emotional intelligence or EQ. This is the ability to understand and use emotions in a way that positively impacts the organization, such as through managing stress and overcoming challenges. In this article, we will discuss why emotional intelligence is important and how you can implement practices to improve your EQ.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
As mentioned, emotional intelligence affects how people manage their emotions and how their emotions affect others. This impacts our stress management, focus, and ability to work in a team with others. Contrary to IQ, which is relatively set, emotional intelligence is dynamic, and you can actively improve upon it throughout your career. This is especially important in the workplace where it is normal to interact with many different people with varying levels of stress throughout the day.
How to Improve Emotional Intelligence
There are four key aspects to emotional intelligence: self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, and relationship management. All four are things that you can work on to improve your emotional intelligence.
Self-awareness is the ability to recognize your emotions and realize how they impact both your thoughts and your behavior. This includes having confidence in your skills and abilities and realizing your weaknesses. While self-awareness focuses on internal reflection, social awareness addresses your empathy toward others. This means actively listening to the problems of your employees and colleagues and engaging with them, as opposed to focusing on yourself. Try asking your colleagues how they are doing and genuinely listen to their response.
Similar to self-awareness, self-management is the ability to control impulsive feelings and behaviors and apply your emotions to discover and reach your goals. To work on your self-management, you may want to start journaling to discover your aspirations. Similarly, reflection or mindfulness will also help you define your goals and become more at ease with yourself and your feelings.
Finally, relationship management is the ability to develop and maintain good relationships with others. This is crucial for working in a team and following a common goal for the organization. This also means having the ability to diffuse any conflict that may arise within your team or organization, so it is important to practice viewing conflict not as a threat, but as an opportunity to encourage a conversation within your team.
While emotional intelligence may seem complex it is an important part of being a successful leader. Despite the many facets of emotional intelligence, it is something that you can learn and improve upon throughout your career. We hope that this article has given you some insights into the topic and that it inspired you to learn more about emotional intelligence.
Are you curious about your own EQ and how to improve it? We can help! Reach out to schedule a time to chat and we can go through our options with you.