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Emotional Intelligence, often referenced as EQ, is a key component to effective leadership in businesses and organizational growth. Emotional Intelligence is, in simplest terms, described as possessing the knowledge of what is being felt, what emotions mean, and how those emotions can impact others. But great leaders know that EQ is more than that because they understand how emotions drive behavior and apply that knowledge to motivate those around them.

What is it?

We do not have a choice in whether emotions enter our interactions with others or not. The very structure of how our senses travel to the brain suggests that input is washed through the emotional portions of our brain before they ever reach the rational portions of our brain. But there is no indication that we should skip this process, but rather work on internal communication and proper acknowledgement of what these emotions mean. These very emotions, including the awareness of them, are the building blocks of numerous skills that carry leaders in business. Skills like time management, presentation skills, stress tolerance, flexibility, and many others all have their foundations in Emotional Intelligence. And, crucially, Emotional Intelligence can be managed.

Components of and Growth of EQ

Self-Awareness

Being self-aware is having intrinsic knowledge of how you feel and how those feelings, and the actions associated with those feelings, impact others.       Self-Awareness can be improved by asking for and applying         constructive feedback, regular journaling, and consciously slowing own in interpersonal interactions

Self-Regulation

Self-regulation is taking the knowledge of your emotions and actively choosing to act or not act upon them. Self- Regulation can be approved by finding an outlet, working through emotions and desired actions mentally, and practicing how to convey emotions for      specific goals and results.

Motivation

Possessing the knowledge of goals and maintaining extremely high standards for their work is also known as motivation. Motivation can be improved by understanding the underlying reasons for taking a job or a new project, finding positive aspects of any scenario, and understanding your role within the task at hand.

Empathy

Being empathic is the understanding of how others are feeling, and for a leader, the ability to acknowledge it while differentiating when to act upon those feelings and when to avoid validating it. Empathy can be developed by placing yourself in the shoes of another, finding ways to respond to feelings (with the differentiation above), and finding commonalities between yourself and those you interact with.

Social Skills

When you are actually focusing on the person you are interacting with, rather than predicting what you need to do next, you are using your social skills. The best way for this is to practice praise, practice communication, and practice conflict resolution. All three will raise your Emotional Intelligence and increase loyalty and productivity.

Why is it important?

Managing conflict, motivating and engaging employees, and validation of those you come in contact with have all become an integral part of leadership and the success of teams in our society today. Building Emotional Intelligence assists in each of these aspects of day-to-day tasks. In a practical application, Goleman contends that emotions are contagious and a leader with high Emotional Intelligence will provide the awareness to either diffuse issues before the compound or divert them before they grow beyond management. Additionally, a leader with no or little Emotional Intelligence can set a destructive example for an entire company, without any knowledge they are doing so. Conversely, because EQ can be practiced and improved upon, building your EI shifts your entire team, and thus your business, towards the path of success.

If you or your management team wants to improve, we can assist with growth in numerous aspects of leadership development. Whether it is working on Emotional Intelligence or other leadership practices that need attention, we are here to work alongside your team. To develop your business and your employees, contact Robert Winter at 832-483-5535 or contact us.

Sources:

https://hbr.org/201504/how-emotional-intelligence-became-a-key-leadership-skill. https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_45.htm. https://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2014/01/09/emotional-intelligence/#34bdf34d1ac0. https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/0318/pages/emotional-intelligence-is-key-to-outstanding-leadership.aspx

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