Discover more from Scott Gulbransen | Thoughts & Musings
For Today's Leaders EQ > IQ
Over the past two decades, the workplace has changed significantly and emotionally intelligent leaders are showing why its the most essential skillset to succeeding today.
In today's fast-paced and rapidly changing world, emotional intelligence has become essential for successful leaders. Unlike in the past when leaders relied primarily on their technical skills and expertise, today's leaders must navigate complex emotional dynamics and effectively communicate and collaborate with diverse people.
Emotional intelligence, or the ability to understand and manage our own emotions and those of others, is critical for leaders who want to create a positive work environment, foster strong relationships, and drive results. It is crucial for building trust and inspiring commitment among employees, partners, and customers.
Self-awareness is the foundation of emotional intelligence, and it involves understanding our emotions, values, beliefs, and impact on others.
One of the key ways that leaders must lean on emotional intelligence today is by being self-aware. Self-awareness is the foundation of emotional intelligence, and it involves understanding our emotions, values, beliefs, and impact on others. Self-aware leaders can better regulate their emotions, control their impulses, and respond effectively to the feelings of others.
For example, a self-aware leader may recognize when they are feeling stressed or frustrated and take steps to manage their emotions before they react negatively. On the other hand, a leader who lacks self-awareness may lash out at employees, damaging relationships and creating a hostile work environment.
As someone who worked for a supervisor that lacked almost all sense of emotional intelligence, I can tell you it’s not fun. Although this boss was able to excel in managing up due to their experience and overall intelligence, almost every man and woman who worked for them walked on eggshells. If this executive was having a bad day, everyone knew about it and tried to stay out of the firing line. The lack of self-awareness was glaring and resulted in many of us deciding to move on despite our liking for one another. The leader was punitive and unyielding in making sure everyone felt their pain.
In addition to self-awareness, leaders must also be able to understand and manage the emotions of others. This involves empathy, or the ability to put oneself in someone else's shoes and understand their feelings and perspectives. Empathy is critical for leaders who want to build strong relationships, resolve conflicts, and motivate others.
A friend once lost an aunt to a sudden heart attack and immediately went to her supervisor to tell her and ask for a few days off. Instead of caring for and appreciating her condition due to her loss, the supervisor told her she could take the time if, and only if, she finished a project she was working on before she left. It was cold, and their relationship never recovered.
But this empathy and putting others before yourself can take other forms too.
An empathetic leader may be able to understand why an employee is feeling frustrated or overwhelmed and take steps to support and motivate them. On the other hand, a leader who lacks empathy may fail to understand the perspectives of others and come across as insensitive or unapproachable.
Leaders must be able to express their thoughts and feelings clearly, listen actively, and respond appropriately to the emotions of others.
Another critical aspect of emotional intelligence for leaders is communicating effectively. Leaders must be able to express their thoughts and feelings clearly, listen actively, and respond appropriately to the emotions of others. Good communication skills are essential for building trust, resolving conflicts, and motivating others.
Leaders skilled in communication can have an open and honest conversation with an employee who is feeling frustrated, helping to resolve the issue and improving the employee's motivation and engagement. On the other hand, a leader who lacks good communication skills may struggle to express their thoughts and feelings or come across as insensitive or unapproachable.
Finally, emotional intelligence also involves the ability to navigate and resolve conflicts. Conflicts are inevitable in any work environment, but how leaders respond to these conflicts can have a significant impact on the work environment and employee morale. Emotionally intelligent leaders can better understand different parties' perspectives, find common ground, and resolve conflicts positively and constructively.
A leader skilled in conflict resolution can bring together teams at odds, help them understand each other's perspectives, and find a solution that works for everyone. On the other hand, a leader who lacks conflict resolution skills may struggle to find common ground and may escalate conflicts, causing damage to relationships and the work environment.
Today's leaders must lean more on emotional intelligence than at any time in the past. Emotional intelligence, including self-awareness, empathy, effective communication, and conflict resolution skills, is critical for building strong relationships, creating a positive work environment, and driving results. As the world continues to change and become more complex, the importance of emotional intelligence for leaders will only grow.