How to develop your emotional intelligence as a leader?

How To Develop Your Emotional Intelligence As A Leader?

As we are now living in unprecedented times being in lockdown for Covid19 I am very aware of the strains people are going through either as a key worker or in isolation. Never before has it been important to practice some mindfulness and probably the most important by my reckoning is emotional intelligence. This blog is a mix of some of the work I have undertaken over the years, have a read, organise your thoughts and above all stay safe!

What is emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence, (sometimes referred to as EQ) concerns social intelligence, in particular the ability to understand and manage oneself and one’s relationships with other people. Daniel Goleman (1995) in his book “Emotional Intelligence” describes it as “the ability to recognise and regulate emotions in ourselves and others”.

n.b. EI should not be confused with IQ (intelligence quotient), which is a value that indicates someone’s ability to learn, understand and apply information and skills. The main difference between EI and IQ is which part of a person’s mental abilities they measure: understanding emotion (EI) or understanding information (IQ)

Low emotional intelligence vs high emotional intelligence leadership model.

Research shows that the most successful leaders are those who focus on developing their emotional intelligence. In a nutshell, you will be more effective if you can understand yourself, self-motivate and handle relationships better.

Based on Goleman’s original framework, here are five components and some points which can be focussed on to allow you to develop your EI:Add email to ensure you receive the weekly LRC bitesize blog

Knowing one’s emotions

The ability to identify and be aware of one’s emotions is central to emotional intelligence. Goleman argues that an inability to recognise emotions means that you are more likely to be at their mercy. In fact, the more you are aware of your emotions, the more likely you are to make informed decisions about your life.

  • How do I feel?
  • How did I feel before, during and after a specific event?
  • Is there a pattern to my emotional state?
  • How do I feel about myself?
  • How would someone else view my current situation?

Managing emotions

Having identified emotions, individuals should learn how to manage them effectively. Goleman suggests that this skill can be learned and developed. Without it, you are much more likely to feel out of control and unhappy. It is also a useful skill when dealing with other people, particularly during disagreements or conflicts. It needs to be noted, however, that self-regulation is more than merely “stuffing” or ignoring negative emotions. It is an active process that takes considerable training and focus to accomplish.

  • Is the way I feel a hindrance or a help?
  • Under what circumstances do I share my emotions with others?

Self motivation

Self-motivation allows you to use your emotions to affect positive change in your life through dedicated pursuit of your goals, no matter the obstacles in your way. This process requires you to employ your emotions toward near-complete positivity, optimism, confidence and persistence. It is essential that you release the negative emotional reactions to achieve self-motivation. The other key EI skill is self control. Goleman states that it “underlies accomplishment of every sort”.

  • What do I want and how can I get it?
  • What is in my way?
  • What motivates me in other circumstances?
  • How confident am I?

Recognising emotions in others

The empathy competency of emotional intelligence is the ability to feel what another person is feeling, and to see and feel life from their perspective. This allows you to rationally and effectively consider their emotional state and how best to guide them to a state of positivity and optimism. Managing relationships in your personal life or in the workplace cannot be successful unless you understand individual motivations.

  • Why did a person act or say something? What was the real reason?
  • Do people react to you in a consistent manner? What does their reaction tell you?
  • Do you pay attention to non verbal communication such as body language?

Handling relationships

Nurturing relationships requires you to sincerely demonstrate an emotional interest and compassion for others. Your actions and words must reflect a proper respect for the effort of others with the goal of compromise and teamwork at the heart of the endeavor.

  • How do I influence others?
  • How well can I judge reactions?
  • Do I think about how I want people to feel?

Key points

To be effective, leaders must have a solid understanding of how their emotions and actions affect the people around them. The better a leader relates to and works with others, the more successful he or she will be.

One of the trickiest things about EI is that it can be hard for you to assess your own levels. Why not take a look “13 Emotional Intelligence Activities and Exercises” . There’s lots of information and activities to help you understand EI in more depth.

Take the time to work on self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Working on these areas will help you excel in the future!

Why not take a look a the rest of the blogs in the LRC Bitesize series; Https://www.leadersretail.com/blog/

LRC Bitesize logo (Leaders Retail Consultancy)
LRC Bitesize

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Hi! I`m Chris Webb, I live in the South East and started Leaders Retail Consultancy in 2019. Before freelancing, I was a senior retail leader for a number of the UK’s top retailers gaining experience over 23 glorious years. When I am not coaching I enjoy spending time with the family or in the gym.

Click here for more information about Leaders Retail Consultancy


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