Emotional Intelligence and Leadership

According to Harvard Business Review, Emotional Intelligence or EQ is an essential ingredient for success as a leader. In a study of one company, leaders with high Emotional Intelligence outperformed the average manager by 20% while low EQ leaders performed nearly 20% lower than average.

What are the elements of Emotional Intelligence? There are five major factors:

  1. Self-awareness – defined as an awareness of who you are and your effect on others. People who believe they have no room for improvement are not self-aware. People who recognize, admit and work to overcome their shortcomings make better leaders. Self-aware people are:
    • Realistic about their self-assessment
    • Display a self-deprecating sense of humor
    • Are confident
  2. Self-regulation – defined as controlling one’s impulses and thinking before acting. Leaders with strong self-regulation tendencies create an atmosphere of trust resulting in higher productivity. They display:
    • Thoughtfulness
    • Comfort with ambiguity
    • Integrity
  3. Motivation – motivated people are driven to perform beyond expectations. Their drive to exceed goals is contagious. They are motivated by greater things than just money. Motivation is displayed by:
    • Passion for the work
    • Desire to continuously improve – Daniel Pink Calls this Mastery
    • Optimistism – everything is an opportunity
  4. Empathy – is essential to coaching, motivating individuals and creating cohesive teams. Empaths display:
    • Ability to read between the lines
    • Skill with group dynamics
  5. Social Skills – Friendliness with a purpose. Building bonds on a personal basis. As in:
    • Expertise with teams
    • Persuasiveness
    • Gift for collaboration

Emotional Intelligence may be genetic but it can also be learned through coaching. Acquiring EQ can be achieved but it requires the desire, discipline and often outside help.

In my CEO ThinkTank group wee discussed Emotional Intelligence. These CEOs discussed and rated themselves on which Emotional Intelligence traits were their strengths and weaknesses. The predominant weakness was Empathy or Self-regulation. As a group, we all committed to holding each other accountable to improve in these areas.

As a leader what are your Emotional Intelligence strengths and weaknesses?  Want to dig into that? Want to become a better leader? Let’s talk about EQ in an online, no-obligation, complimentary coaching session.  You can sign up for it here.