5 Secret Traits of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership

What comes to mind when you think of the “ideal leader”?

You might think of someone who, despite his troubles, never loses control of his temper. You may also picture a boss who is completely trusted by her employees, who listens to them, who is approachable, and who always makes thoughtful, educated judgments.

These are the characteristics of an emotionally intelligent person. In this post, we’ll examine the significance of emotional intelligence for leaders and how you, as a leader, can develop your emotional intelligence.

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Understanding and controlling your own emotions as well as those of those around you is referred to as emotional intelligence or EI. People who possess high levels of emotional intelligence are aware of their feelings, what they signify, and how they may affect others.

Emotional intelligence is crucial for leaders to succeed. Who is more likely to succeed, a leader who loses control and yells at his team while under pressure, or a leader who maintains composure and quietly evaluates the situation?

The American psychologist Daniel Goleman, who contributed to the popularization of emotional intelligence, identified five essential components.

  1. Motivation
  2. Empathy
  3. Social Skills
  4. Self Regulation
  5. Self Awareness

The better your emotional intelligence, as a leader, the more effectively you can control each of these areas. So let’s take a closer look at each component and see how you might develop as a leader.

1. Motivation

Self-motivated leaders are dedicated to achieving their objectives and hold themselves to the highest standards.

What are some ways to increase motivation?

Reconsider why you are performing your work.

It’s simple to overlook the aspects of your job that you truly enjoy. Recall your motivation for applying for this job for a while. Try the Five Whys technique to identify the cause of your dissatisfaction in your position if you are having trouble recalling why you sought it in the first place. You can frequently gain a fresh perspective on your situation by beginning at the source. Additionally, make sure your objective statements are upbeat and new.

Embrace optimism and seek for the positive

No matter the challenges they face, motivated leaders typically maintain their optimism. It could take some practice to develop this mindset, but the work will be well worth it. Try to look for at least one positive aspect of every difficulty or failure you encounter. It could be something simple, like making a new friend, or something with lasting ramifications, like understanding a crucial lesson. But if you look for it, there’s nearly always something good.

Recognize your position.

Determine your level of leadership motivation. You can clearly observe how motivated you are in your leadership job with the aid of our Leadership Motivation Assessment. It points you in the direction of helpful resources if you need to enhance your motivation to lead.

2. Empathy

Empathy is a quality that leaders need in order to successfully lead a team or an organization. Empathetic leaders are able to imagine themselves in other people’s shoes. They support the growth of the team members, confront unjust behavior in others, offer constructive criticism, and show empathy for those in need.

Showing your colleagues you care by being empathic will help you win their respect and loyalty.

What are some ways to increase empathy?

Pay attention to how you’re acting.

You might cross your arms, tap your feet, or bite your lip while listening to someone. This body language conveys to people your true feelings about a circumstance, and the message you’re sending isn’t good! In a leadership position, being able to read someone’s body language will help you better understand their true emotions. You now have the chance to react appropriately.

Put yourself in the shoes of others.

Supporting your own viewpoint is simple. After all, you own it! But spend some time considering things from other people’s viewpoints.

React to emotions

Once more, you request that your helper stay late. He agrees, but you can detect the disappointment in his voice despite that. In order to respond, speak to his feelings. Inform him that you value his willingness to put in extra time and that you share his annoyance at staying up late. Find a solution to make future late nights less of a problem, if you can (for example, give him Monday mornings off).

3. Social Skills

Effective communicators are leaders who perform well in the social skills component of emotional intelligence. They are adept at rallying their team behind them and getting them excited about a new mission or project, and they are equally receptive to receiving both good and bad news.

Leaders with strong interpersonal skills are adept at handling disagreement and implementing change. Even while they rarely accept things as they are, they don’t just sit back and let others handle everything; instead, they lead by example.

How then do you develop social skills?

Learn how to resolve disputes

Conflicts involving their team members, clients, or vendors must be settled by leaders. It’s vital to develop conflict-resolution techniques if you want to succeed.

Boost your communication abilities

How well can you express yourself? You need to master the techniques on how to treat people and use the right words and the right time, but also keeping in mind that you do not affect their feelings because if you hit the nail wrongly here, you are sure to wound them for life, and eventually lose your respect in their eyes. Communication is key wherever you do, or wherever you work.

Learn how to give others compliments

Simply by praising your team members when they deserve it, you can encourage their loyalty as a leader. It takes fine skill to learn how to compliment others, but the work is well worth it.

4. Self Regulation

Effective leaders rarely openly attack others, act rashly or emotionally, stereotype others, or compromise their moral principles. The main goal of self-regulation is maintaining control.

According to Goleman, this aspect of emotional intelligence also includes a leader’s adaptability and dedication to personal responsibility.

How then can you strengthen your capacity for self-control?

Know your morals

Do you know exactly where you won’t be willing to compromise? Do you know which principles matter to you the most? Examine your “code of ethics” for a while. If you are aware of what matters most to you, making the proper decision when faced with a moral or ethical dilemma is likely to come naturally to you.

Keep yourself responsible

Stop blaming people if you frequently do so when something goes wrong. Make a commitment to accept responsibility for your errors and to deal with any resulting repercussions. You’ll probably get a better night’s sleep and gain the respect of those around you rather fast.

Become more composed

Be highly conscious of your behavior the next time you find yourself in a difficult circumstance. Do you yell at other people to get rid of your stress? To relax, engage in deep breathing techniques. Additionally, attempt to put out all the unfavorable things you want to say before ripping it up and discarding it. It is better to write down these feelings than to verbally express them to your team (while keeping them to yourself!). Additionally, by doing this, you can make sure your responses are fair by challenging them.

5. Self Awareness

Being self-conscious means you are always aware of your feelings and how they may effect the people around you. Being self-aware while you’re in a leadership role also entails acting modestly and having a clear understanding of your talents and flaws.

What can you do, then, to raise your level of self-awareness?

Keep a diary

Keeping a journal might help you become more self-aware. You can develop more self-awareness if you take just a few minutes a day to write down your thoughts.

Reduce speed

Slow down and consider the source of any intense emotions, such as rage. Remember that you always have a choice in how you respond to any given scenario.

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