Emotional Intelligence: What Every Leader Should Know!

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Last updated on
20th Apr, 2021
Published
27th May, 2016
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Emotional Intelligence: What Every Leader Should Know!

It’s proven – intelligence is highly overrated! What REALLY matters, scientists now tell us, is your EQ- or Emotional Quotient. Till recently,
scores were often held as a predictor of potential achievements. IQ scores are now known to pale in comparison to EQ scores, and employers are looking to hire people who are emotionally strong.

It doesn’t matter how many degrees or academic accomplishments you have on your resume- unless you have a handle on your emotions, you are quite unlikely to succeed! People with average IQs, but high EQs, consistently outperform those who are on the top level of the IQ ladders but are not able to handle their emotions well.

Emotional intelligence is that intangible, unseen factor that makes or breaks success in the workplace. Effective leadership skills such as patience, perseverance, people skills and self control are all important when it comes to managing people and teams. Successful leaders and managers are those who have a good grip on their emotions, and are able to build relationships easily.

A study carried out by psychologist Dr. Carey Cherniss showed that businesses that hire people based on EQ levels show a significant uptrend. As an example, he cited the case of L’Oreal sales agents who were hired because they possessed a particular set of emotional skills. These agents outshone the regular agents by a mile – resulting in an unprecedented net revenue increase in this particular department.

90% of top performers are found to be high on emotional intelligence, and make more money…and these findings are true across all industries and geographies. The best part is, these leadership traits can be learnt! It has been established that EQ is considered to be the most powerful tool for success…so if you are lacking these skills, what can be done to boost your EQ levels?

The first step towards enhancing your EQ is simple – start to listen to your inner dialogue. Become aware of mental conflicts and negative thoughts. When you are troubled, angry or upset, take a step back and try to understand your feelings. Develop an inner sensor to control turbulent emotions, and do not react till you are calm – a harsh reaction only exacerbates the situation.

Stress is known to suppress your emotional intelligence, so you must learn to develop healthy techniques for coping with high levels of stress. A healthy mind contributes to a healthy EQ. Meditate, take time out for yourself, take some time out or go on a holiday. Even a short 10 minute break where you can sit alone, calm yourself and take deep breaths can help you to think more clearly.

Push pause before you make a big deal of something that’s small. People have bad days, and a perceived slight could have been caused because of some personal issues that the other person is facing. Give them the benefit of the doubt, and move on. It’s so easy for a trifling incident to snowball into a huge workplace fight.

Conflict is inevitable in the workplace. As a leader, you should have what it takes to defuse the tension. Learn some methods of conflict resolution that can cut down on escalated emotions and restore the peace. Practice mindfulness in a conflict- stay in the present, override negative thoughts and do not get intensely involved in the bad situation.

Emotionally intelligent leaders know that maintaining relationships is very important. Even if a deal doesn’t go through, it pays to keep in touch and keep the connection alive. You may strike up another, brighter deal in future, and you don’t want to lock horns too soon!
To support and raise EQ in your staff, the best way is to clearly communicate your expectations and express appreciation for work well done. Employees do not know what is expected of them unless they are told, in so many words. With clear directions, they have the confidence to move ahead and perform to their best potential. As managers rethink their old habits and leadership styles, team members will improve themselves as well.

The way you handle your clients also has a lot to do with your EQ. People would far rather do business with someone whom they like and get along well with; even if the competitor is offering a lower priced product or service. A successful business is hinged on successful people relationships. There are salesmen who, when they leave a particular office, take all the customers with them.
Even if you don’t have the best academic training or top grades at university, with a fully developed EQ, you can be far more successful than someone who has an impressive education but falls short on controlling his feelings. Sharpen your leadership qualities and hone your ability to communicate, negotiate and be an effective leader. Discover the power of EQ and put it to the task!

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Usha Sunil

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Writing is Usha's hobby and passion. She has written widely on topics as diverse as training, finance, HR and marketing, and is now into technical writing and education. She keeps an interested eye on new trends in technology, and is currently on a mission to find out what makes the world go around.