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Using Emotional Intelligence For Great Leadership
What makes a good leader? Experience? Vision? Knowledge? These traits are all traditionally associated with effective managers. Nowadays, there’s another factor that is slowly gaining reputation in the workplace: Emotional Intelligence. It’s been a big buzzword recently, but what does it actually mean? And how can we apply it to our organizations? Leadership among peers requires a certain emotional quotient. Being able to discriminate between employee’s feelings and label them appropriately is something that truly separates the mindset of a midlevel manager from that of a CEO.
Time and time again, research has shown that high EQ can work wonders in the workplace in virtually any field. A recent study found that employees who had managers with high EQ were four times less likely to leave their company and that more than 70% of their perception of the company culture resulted from these manager’s emotional intelligence levels. CEOs and politicians have harnessed EQ to achieve incredible results in their respective careers, and with the help of the infographic below, created by Norwich University’s prestigious Online Master of Science in Leadership program, your readers can discover the benefits and importance of Emotional Intelligence.
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Emotional Quotient vs. Intelligence Quotient
The debate regarding the importance of EQ and IQ has led to the emergence of countless studies comparing the two. Among the most interesting studies is one that focused on managers and their performance. It seems that what separates the most outstanding leaders from the rest of the field is their high emotional quotient. EQ played a role in enabling them to consistently outperform yearly revenue targets while their peers could barely reach company goals. This finding isn’t just isolated to managerial positions. Researchers from UC Berkeley found that EQ is 4x more powerful than IQ in predicting who would achieve success in their field.
Despite these findings, the educational system is more focused on increasing IQ levels and pays little attention to developing emotional skills. In recent years, the EQ scores among the young have fallen while IQ scores have drastically increased. This situation is potent for both employees and employers. Studies also show that companies are more interested in finding EQ competencies than anything else on their applicants’ resumes. They know that these are often more important when it comes to the actual working environment wherein people need to collaborate on projects and act as a team.
Habits of High EQ Leaders
Being the president of the United States is perhaps the most challenging job in the world. The demands on the chief executive are numerous and fast-paced. Solutions to problems are never clear-cut, so creativity and courage are necessary. Most of all, a president cannot do everything alone, despite all of the powers that come with the position. The public must be won over and political opponents must be engaged with caution. Studies say that the most successful presidents were ones that displayed high EQ. They picked their battles, became assertive when required, and showed courage in the face of daunting situations.
The best presidents are highly self-aware. They have spent a lot of time trying to understand their own moods, emotions and drives. They are able to control the way they are feeling about difficult situations and let their rational mind rule for better results. There is an acute awareness about the effect that they have on others. Among their most notable skills is the ability to align people towards a common goal, to inspire them to work together and fight for what they believe in. They have an extraordinary talent for recognizing what makes other people tick.
Common Organizational Problems that Can Be Addressed by High EQ Leadership
A leader that knows how to use emotions to their advantage can accomplish amazing things. For example, research indicates that Symbolic Management techniques are effective at making people feel inspired to perform according to team values and behaviors. These include the use of stories, the creation of ritual, and the delivery of inspirational speeches. Managers must pay more attention to what they say and how these can affect the mood of their staff. The best ones can energize those around them with their boundless positivity. They inspire enthusiasm and active engagement.
Leaders also do everything to prevent conflicts within their team. If conflicts arise, they are careful to resolve them using constructive methods from which all sides can learn from the experience. Both parties need to feel that they have been heard and not antagonized. Managers must establish an environment where team members can work with utmost trust to foster cooperation. Everyone has to be motivated to achieve the targets and recognize that they can only do this if they help each other. Excellent communication is vital to the enhancement of harmony and synergy.
Ways to Increase EQ
Understanding the importance of EQ, managers should strive to increase their emotional quotient to the best of their abilities. The good news is that EQ naturally improves with age because of life experiences. People can boost this further by making deliberate choices about their behaviors. Maintaining a positive attitude, managing stress, and staying cool in the face of difficult situations would make a good start. Staying proactive, developing resiliency in the face of adversity, and being assertive when necessary will also help. Lastly, managers may want to enroll in a well-designed coaching program specifically tailored to increase EQ.