• Janine Williams

The Importance of Emotional Intelligence for Leaders

Updated: Nov 24, 2021

When you think of a good leader, what comes to mind? Is it their ability to meet a deadline on time? Their dedication to working long hours? Probably not. You will often remember their ability to remain calm and successfully navigate difficult situations.

Being able to process a situation and work with others to get the best out of them is a component of emotional intelligence (EI). This skill set can often be overlooked during professional development but is essential to becoming a successful leader.

Not only does a strong grasp of EI help you work better with others, it has a knock-on effect on many areas of work, including critical thinking, problem-solving, motivation and collaboration.

These skills are critical in a business environment when we are often faced with scenarios that may cause heightened emotions.

What is emotional intelligence?

Put simply, it’s the ability to manage your own emotions and those of the people around you. If you have EI, you can establish how you feel about certain situations, what those emotions may mean and how they affect those around you.

Emotional intelligence can be categorised into four components:

  1. Self-awareness: This is the ability to recognise your own emotions, but also the ability to assess your strengths, weaknesses, goals and understand the effect of those on the people around you.

  1. Self-management: A form of discipline and the ability to control emotions in the workplace. If able to manage your emotions, you will be able to think clearly and make better business decisions.

  1. Social-awareness: Having social awareness in the workplace, such as empathy and compassion, is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand how they may feel or react to a certain scenario. This can help you understand why staff are reacting badly or underperforming in certain circumstances.

  1. Relationship management: The final component of EI is the ability to communicate and connect with those around you. Miscommunication is often the primary source of disagreements and mistakes and can lead to frustration, bitterness and confusion within the workplace.

What happens to an organisation when its leader is emotionally intelligent?

There are a range of benefits that come with an emotionally intelligent leader. They will create a safer environment, encouraging their team to voice their opinions, work collaboratively towards goals and succeed as a team. It will provide:

Increased productivity and efficiency

There is a clear connection between emotional intelligence and higher levels of employee engagement, respect, and the ability to work towards a common goal. When leaders and employees are aligned, deadlines are met, better work is produced, and fewer mistakes are made.

Increased staff retention

A leader with EI will be able to address their employee’s needs and concerns, allowing their voices to be heard and giving them the tools to meet their goals. It’s at the centre of healthier relationships, and when an individual feels respected and motivated, they are less likely to leave.

A positive workplace culture

A workplace that is made up of emotionally intelligent individuals has a company culture with higher morales, stronger connections and a collaborative atmosphere.

Anyone can be a manager, but not everyone can be a leader. Focus on improving your emotional intelligence and witness the positive impact you have on those around you.

At The Epiphany Group, we are dedicated to transforming businesses and people into success stories. Contact us today to get ahead of the game and lead your team and business to success. Find out more.

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