As I coach leaders in businesses across various industries, company sizes, and structures, I continue to see the successful leaders of today possessing strength in three core areas:

  • Competence in role or field
  • Adaptability
  • Emotional Intelligence

The third area is perhaps least understood and traditionally under-appreciated. But it is the key attribute that will serve our leaders and drive their success both today and in the future.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

The psychologist Daniel Goleman coined Emotional Intelligence as the “great differentiator” and it is evident in the most effective leaders that I meet and coach. But it is an abstract concept that many struggle to define or explain. So what is it? In my experience, leaders that have it frequently display:

  • High self-awareness
  • The ability to connect with others
  • The ability to understand different personality types
  • The ability to understand what motivates others and how they feel

What is the Importance of Emotional Intelligence in our Working Teams?

The reason emotional intelligence in leadership is so important is that when it is absent or lacking, it causes the following issues:

  • Low morale and poor performance
  • Poor connection and communication between workers and management
  • Lack of engagement
  • Workers who do the minimum with little to no discretionary effort
  • Employees who feel disconnected and describe a poor “culture”

Certainly not the characteristics of a high-performing team or how we would draw up a winning formula for tackling the challenging environment we face today. Are any of these present in your organization?

Can Emotional Intelligence be Developed?

Emotional intelligence is an attribute that can be developed, but it takes focus, effort, and a patient approach. It is not easy! The first step is to measure and assess where you currently are so we can calibrate and set our process to improve. A coach can guide you through an assessment process, gather balanced feedback, and establish the baseline awareness we need to start the journey.

The process of growth in this area includes some key steps:

  • Acknowledgement – establishing that Emotional Intelligence is important to you and you seek to improve it.
  • Awareness – getting a clear picture on your current state and deepening your self-awareness.
  • Study Behaviors – learning about your behavioral patterns and actions and how others around you are receiving them.
  • Input/Feedback – seek out input from teammates and others to deepen understanding.
  • Practice – trying new behaviors and approaches to your interactions, and learning from those experiences through reflection, observation, and feedback.

The Benefits of Emotionally Intelligent Leaders

When people feel connected to a leader and team through high emotional intelligence, the benefits are significant.

  • Improved performance
  • Higher levels of collaboration and teamwork
  • Greater creativity and willingness to share ideas
  • Stronger communication and alignment
  • Far higher levels of engagement and discretionary effort

Key Takeaways

  • Emotional intelligence is a critical component for successful leaders of the future.
  • Without emotional intelligence in our working teams, employees experience issues such as low morale, poor communication, and a lack of engagement.
  • Emotional Intelligence is hard to measure and improve on your own.
  • A trained coach can accelerate your journey to greater levels of Emotional Intelligence in your leadership and in your organization.

If your goal is to thrive as a leader, expanding your awareness and ability in emotional intelligence is directly on the path to success. Contact Ken Warman at The Leader’s Evolution today.