Emotional Intelligence in Leadership
Have you ever wondered why some leaders lead more effectively than others leaders? Well, the truth is, one cannot lead effectively without emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is a skill every leader should learn and always apply. Our emotion affects every area of our lives, we are all emotional beings. However, only people who are in charge of their emotions are ‘emotionally intelligent’. To be in charge of one’s emotion is to be in control of one’s life.
Majority of people allow themselves to be controlled by their emotion, so it becomes very easy for them to be led by their emotion. You may have heard this saying that goes; where emotion is high, logic is usually low. In a position of leadership, you need logic to direct competently and to lead almost flawlessly. Logic helps you get the job done not emotions. But knowing how to manage your emotions makes it even better. To be an emotionally intelligent leader, you first need to be aware of your emotions per time. It is only when you are aware of your emotions that you can manage them. You cannot manage something you are not aware of. Leaders who are emotionally intelligent are those who know how to lead their emotions first.
According to Eckhart Tolle, “Rather than being your thoughts and emotions be the awareness behind them” .
Emotional intelligence in leadership starts with emotional intelligence with self. As a leader, start with self. You cannot lead without, if you are not leading within. This leads to the next point, which requires that a leader must be capable of motivating himself. Motivation is key, it is important that a leader stays motivated even when things happening around him are not motivating. One key thing a leader must learn in order to keep him motivated is, to watch the way he explains or interprets situations to himself. The way you explain things to yourself, determines how you feel in the long run. When a leader is motivated, he finds it easy to motivate those he is leading. Empathy is another ingredient to emotional intelligence. Put yourself in the shoes of others, because when you do, you get to understand how they are feeling and how you would like to be treated when you feel the same way. To lead, you also need to know how to manage relationships with everyone around you.
An emotionally intelligent leader is also a leader that has the ability to identify and mange his emotions and that of others. A leader needs to truly connect on an emotional level to comprehend where others are coming from. The level of a leader’s emotional intelligence affects the organisational performance. You may know a lot as a leader, but you need to also know that you do not know everything. This is the more reason why you need to listen to what others think they know. When you do this, you make them feel like they are a part of the equation, not like they are out of the equation. As a leader, when you know how to manage your emotions, you can manage yourself. When you can manage yourself, you can tolerate others and also manage your relationship with them. It is only then, that you are leading with emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is an unavoidable ingredient to a successful leadership. Without it, leadership becomes difficult.