Did you know that there are 2 kinds of intelligence that help assess whether or not you will be successful in a leadership role? While your intellectual intelligence helps propel you through school and land a good score on your SATs, emotional intelligence is actually a higher predictor for how successful you will be once you score the job of your dreams. And if your dream job involves managing people, your emotional awareness and regulation are absolutely essential to doing so effectively.
What is emotional intelligence? Emotional Intelligence is the ability to sense, understand and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions to facilitate higher levels of collaboration and productivity, and is often cited as the fundamental difference in superior decision making and performance. Emotional intelligence, in essence, is the ability to effectively manage emotions. And unlike IQ, EQ actually increases over time, giving you an added edge. Therefore, EQ awareness and management can not only lead to you doing a better job in your current position, but can also be used to give you a boost when angling for a big promotion.
Emotional Intelligence is made up of 5 defining factors: Self Awareness, Self Regulations, Motivation, Social Awareness and Social Regulation. Each of these factors plays a key role in your ability to effectively lead a team.
The ability to recognize and understand your moods, emotions and drives as well as their effect on others. Have you ever been angry or upset at a situation or person and not truly understood the source of your anger? Misplaced emotions can be disastrous in a work environment, especially if you are in charge. Self-awareness is the ability to slow down and be introspective, and find out what is really bothering you about a situation.
The ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and the propensity to think before acting. Self regulation can be absolutely critical when acting in a management position. Self control – when projects are behind, when people are ignoring responsibilities, when employees are fighting- is what keeps leaders in check when everything is falling apart.
A passion for work that transcends money or status. Motivation reflects the amount of energy and persistence you apply to an activity. We all appreciate our weekly paycheck- but just working for a paycheck won’t get you too far. Without pride in our work and team dedication, we can’t be the glue that moves our team from good to great.
The ability to understand the emotional makeup of others. This is essential piece of the DNA needed to be a great leader. Leaders must fully understand and appreciate the emotions and motivations of their employees to help them grow within their roles. Additionally, social awareness helps managers avoid inner-team conflicts by preventing situations and personality-conflicts that can lead to failure.
The ability to proficiently manage relationships and build networks. Easily one of the most important components of leadership, the ability to manage social settings (such as meetings and organizational presentations) can help ensure favorable outcomes. For instance, confidently and accurately demonstrating your teams success to stakeholders can help you achieve your desired success. Increasing your emotional intelligence can be one of the best ways to help you not only move up in an organization, but also thrive in your personal environment. Better understanding yourself is the cornerstone of better understanding the actions and motivations of those around you. And one of the most assured ways to increase your effectiveness as a leader is to be honed into the needs and success of your people, because successful teams are driven not just by great leaders, but the thriving employees that work with that leader.