When Leadership met Emotional Intelligence
“Leaders make wonderful things really happen. They have a vision of what and also how. Leadership is not only just about the bottom line, but how you reach that line and impact of that journey on your people. The best leaders know it all comes down to the people eventually.
Leaders are also often more likable than Managers. Managers manage people. Managing a team is an outdated concept which inspires no one. Developing your people can not be outsourced to L&D department, while you focus on business. Rather it is Leader’s business to develop her/his team.
Most of the definitions of emotional intelligence describe it as the ability to recognize and manage your own emotions and also of others. It is also being aware of the non-verbal cues you send and receive. To me cycle of high EQ starts with one becoming aware of one’s own emotions and the ability to manage them. It is remaining calm when life happens, knowing your own strengths, blind spots and gaining self-confidence from that knowledge. Then comes empathy, a key differentiator of one’s personality. Be in someone else’s shoes, looking through their eyes, experiencing joys and pain with their soul takes your engagement at another level. One can automate the processes, decision-making, may be problem solving but can artificial intelligence replace empathy and connections? I wonder.
If you will look around, all the Leaders you admire have one thing in common. That is their equation with people around them. They just seem to vibe right! People find them interesting and inspiring enough to listen to them. They just know when to let go of control and instead support people. They know signs of burnout and rebel. They can read who needs appreciation and who needs support. They pay attention and listen. They learn to build stronger teams.
It is one thing to know about something and another to really apply the principles in daily life. Most people know what to do, they just have trouble doing it. Like we all know about being truthful, loving, forgiving, eating right and exercising every day. Just knowing it all doesn’t help with EQ too. Developing high EQ is a marathon and not a sprint. Being a boss takes you only so far. Be a Leader instead.
My favorite EI quote by Daniel Goleman – ‘If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.'”