What is emotional intelligence (EI) and how can this quality be the key to strong leadership? We’ll explain how a leader with high EI can lead their team effectively, foster good employee relations, increase employee retention and even explain how you can improve your EI.
A bit of history of EI:
Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to understand and manage your emotions, as well as recognize and influence the emotions of those around you. The term was first coined in 1990 by researchers John Mayer and Peter Salovey but was later popularized by psychologist Daniel Goleman. Employees and leaders with high emotional intelligence are more likely to stay calm under pressure, resolve conflict effectively, and respond to co-workers with empathy—which is crucial these days.
Important components for emotional intelligence:
To identify if you are an emotionally intelligent leader, ask yourself this: Am I self-aware? Can I self-manage? Do I have social awareness? How is my relationship management? To develop your emotional intelligence, it’s important you master each of these elements.
The importance of relationship management:
Relationship management refers to your ability to influence, coach, and mentor others, and resolve conflict effectively. Some prefer to avoid conflict, but it’s important to properly address issues as they arise. Research shows that every unaddressed conflict can waste about eight hours of company time in gossip and other unproductive activities, putting a drain on resources and morale. It also tells your employees that you are not open to communication and don’t know how to see two sides of things. An emotionally intelligent leader knows how to weave resolutions together seamlessly and de-escalate a situation without offending one party or another.
Leaders set the tone of their organization. If they lack emotional intelligence, it could have more far-reaching consequences, resulting in lower employee engagement and a higher turnover rate. While you might excel at your job technically, if you can’t effectively communicate with your team or collaborate with others, those technical skills will get overlooked. By mastering emotional intelligence, you can continue to advance your career and organization.
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