Why Emotional Intelligence skills (EI) are a leadership essential

Emotional intelligence skills (EI) are our ability to understand and manage our emotions, and interact effectively with those around us.

Emotional Intelligence a leadership essential High EI skills help us a manage relationships, navigate social networks, influence and inspire others. We all have different levels of EI, but the good news is this is a skill we can develop. For leaders to be effective we need to develop a high level of emotional intelligence.Emotional Intelligence a leadership essential emotional intelligence skills

Emotional Intelligence skills (EI) leaders need to cultivate to build successful teams:

1. Self-Awareness

A vital skill for us as leaders is to become more self-aware, and to be able to recognise our (and other’s) emotions as they happen. This helps us discover a clear understanding of our strengths and weaknesses. As effective leaders we need to learn to perceive emotions as they come up in response to an action or situation. This allows us to address problems and handle any future complications as they arise.

2. Emotional Management

Next is learning how to manage those emotions as they come up. Leaders with high emotional intelligence are able to regulate themselves and stay in control. These leaders take a moment to think before acting, and are unlikely to rush headlong into hasty decisions, or let their anger take over their behaviour at inappropriate times. It is vital that as leaders we keep our emotions in check, as it helps us stay in a respected position.

3. Effective Communication

Emotional awareness and management builds a foundation for us to to clearly express our thoughts and emotions appropriately. Individuals with emotional intelligence are able to clearly convey directions and know how to inspire and motivate others as they understand emotional drivers. Effective communication can be a deciding factor in whether the team listens or not.

4. Social Awareness

Leaders with emotional intelligence are able to pick up on what is going on around them, and are well tuned to the emotions of others. These leaders are able to empathise with others and give helpful feedback. This is a critical skill for a leader who is working to inspire and motivate their team. If a leader is unable to empathise with their team, they will find it difficult to garner respect and loyalty.

5. Conflict Resolution

Conflict in the workplace can potentially threaten efficiency and productivity. Leaders with emotional intelligence skills are equipped to handle conflict more effectively and help guide parries towards resolution. EI skills help leaders quickly deal with any disagreements that arise between employees, customers, and other stakeholders. In conjunction with the above skills, leaders can use their emotional intelligence to develop a more effective workplace.

Emotional Intelligence skills (EI) leaders need Infographic

Studies have shown that a high Emotional Intelligence skills (EI) boosts career success, leadership effectiveness, health, relationship satisfaction, humour and happiness. EI is an essential antidote to work stress, and it matters when dealing with people as high EI people are more rewarding to deal with.

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Richard Riche

Change Communication and Employee Engagement specialist at One Clear Message Consulting
Richard specialises in helping you build real human communication skills. Employee Engagement / Experience, Emotional Intelligence skills, building high performance teams and a great place you want to work. TED style speaking and presentation skills. Training, consulting and coaching.
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