Emotional Intelligence and Leadership


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Describes why emotional intelligence is important for great leadership and underscores how we can develop our emotional intelligence skills to become better leaders than we are today, build meaningful relationships, and advance organizational goals.

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Emotional Intelligence and Leadership

  1. 1. Emotional Intelligence and Leadership “Effective Leaders are alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of emotional intelligence.” (Goleman, 1998)Goleman defined Emotional Intelligence (EI) as “the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those ofothers, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships” (Wilmot& Hocker, 2011). The real benefit of being emotionally intelligent is when you use this emotional awareness tomanage your behavior and relationships more effectively. Why should we place a strong emphasis onEmotional Intelligence in the workplace? Is it just another one of these concepts that we, as leaders, areexpected to be experts in? EI has been proven to have equal importance as the intelligence quotient (IQ), notas opposite phenomenon but as interchanging concepts that empower you to expertly use your emotions inthe workplace and at home.  90% of top performers have high Emotional Intelligence (EQ)  EQ is responsible for 58% of your job performance  People with high EQ make $29,000 more annually than their low EQ counterparts (Schmidt, 2012)“Emotional Intelligence can be a significant factor in helping us to become better leaders in today’sstressful working environment” (Lemke, 2009). The development of your EQ is not only necessary for solvinginterpersonal conflict, but also serves to increase leadership credibility, generate buy-in, help to buildconsensus and discover what is behind your high-performing employees. These statistics confirm the need toplace a strong emphasis on Emotional Intelligence in the workplace. As a leader, you must make a consciousdecision to embark on the lifelong journey of discovering how to become aware of, and seek to master, yourcompetencies. As you move forward in your self-development, it is important to remember why you becomeemotional in the first place. “We become emotional because something is at stake for us – our identity” (Wilmot & Hocker, 2011).You need to ask yourself, what is my identity? What life experiences have cultivated my identity so far? Doesthis identity really portray the person I truly am or want to be? It can be helpful to ask someone you trust andwho will give you an honest and direct answer about how you are portrayed in your daily life. Emotional Intelligence Concepts“Where do I need further development and how would improvements in my emotional intelligence affect my lifeand my work?” (Wall, 2007). Examining the following concepts from a leadership perspective can give you theguidance and focus you need to increase your Emotional Intelligence.© ARVis Institute, LLC 2011. All Rights Reserved. — (800) 901-1680 www.arvisinstitute.com www.arvoices.com
  2. 2. Daniel Goleman’s model of Emotional Intelligence describes the Five Components of EI. These five components are outlined here demonstrating benefits in the leadership context: Self-Awareness: as a leader, being self-aware will allow you to recognize your emotions and in turn, how your feelings affect your thoughts and subsequently your actions. This skill gives you the ability of self- regulation. You recognize that your feelings/urges or impulses are natural and indeed necessary, but that you have the control over what you do with your feelings. All actions result from a feeling or emotion. This does not mean that we do not have control over our actions. We always have control over our actions – in other words, we have “response-ability” a term coined by Steven Covey. True motivation to do something automatically results in passion. You need to exude passion to be an influential leader, therefore you must be truly motivated to achieve for the sake of achieving. Do you want to exceed expectations? Does your team? Can you see the link between motivation and commitment? You will be truly committed to an organization that allows you to do the work that you are truly passionate about. Why is empathy regarded as an important phenomenon for leaders to have? Do we not all naturally have empathy? This is the assumption. You would be surprised as to how empathy levels vary from person to person/leader to leader. Empathy is associated with being a “fluffy” emotion when in fact it is paramount in leading teams effectively and retaining talented employees. As a leader, the majority of your performance management and motivational conversations will be coaching conversations. So, as a coach, empathy is the number one driver to get buy-in from the coachee. To cultivate excellent relationships with your staff you will need to “thoughtfully consider employee’s feelings – along with other factors – in the process of making intelligent decisions” – empathy. “As a coach, you cannot give away what you have not first developed in yourself “(Wall, 2007). Do not confuse social skill with the ability to be friendly to others even those with very different personalities. It is “friendliness with a purpose”. Social skill is having the ability to influence. To inspire. Social skill is the outcome of the other components of Emotional Intelligence.© ARVis Institute, LLC 2011. All Rights Reserved. — (800) 901-1680 www.arvisinstitute.com www.arvoices.com
  3. 3. To expand on the concept of emotional intelligence (EI) and further demonstrate the benefits to leadership, Mayer and Salovey developed a focused and specific Four Branch Model or the Ability Model of Emotional Intelligence. They define EI as having the ability to: 1. Accurately perceive emotions in oneself and others 2. Use emotions to facilitate thinking 3. Understand emotional meanings, and 4. Manage emotions The first branch is to have the ability to perceive non-verbal emotions. In other words recognizing what the other person is feeling by interpreting their facial expressions, tone of voice and body language. This is a skill that does not come naturally to some people. If that is the case with you, how would you overcome this? Could you ask the question instead? Are you self-aware? Could you practice developing your intuition? The first step to increasing your ability to accurately perceive others is being aware of the existing level of your skill. By tuning-in to your emotions you will naturally fine tune your ability to read the emotions of others. To inspire innovation, to be influential, inspirational, you can use your emotions to facilitate creative thinking. Being Emotionally Intelligent can give you the skills to transfer this intelligence on to your team through intelligent coaching. How are emotions represented? Through messages and actions associated with their meaning. Ask yourself: how do you reason with these messages and actions? Can you reason with your emotions? It can be more useful to be mindfully aware of your emotions until you can intelligently examine the underlying feeling before you respond on impulse. This begs the question, where is it best for you to manage your emotions? In your emotional comfort zone (Mayer) or the zone of effectiveness (Wilmot & Hocker). Wilmot and Hocker make the statement that conflicts will be more effectively resolved when settled within the zone of effectiveness. This is your middle ground, the time when you are calm and rational and not in an extreme state of feeling. Being ‘mindful’ or ‘living in the moment’ will help you to increase your rationality and perspective and allow you to think clearly and calmly when dealing with an emotional issue. Your team will benefit when you can guide the emotional tone of the group, collaborate and create rapport. Being Emotionally Intelligent will help you to articulate your team and the organization’s mission and values and will give you the skill to direct, guide and develop your employees. (Mayer, Salovey, Caruso & Sitarenios, 2001) (Wilmot & Hocker, 2011) (Goleman) Perceptions Emotions are an unavoidable part of being a human and serve many purposes of self-preservation. When you hear the phrase “emotional issue” what do you assume? Often we associate emotional issues with incidents that initiate an emotional reaction such as crying or raising your voice. In fact, emotional issues abound in the workplace. They are any verbal or non-verbal emotionally triggered responses, from levels of motivation in your staff, communicating, managing stress, enhancing or changing the office culture, poor performance issues, team leadership, and employee morale. Any time that you interact with a member of your human capital, emotions are at play. The list of emotional issues that occur for you as a business leader is endless. Leading researchers of Emotional Intelligence (Lynn, Goleman) have proven its significance in the workplace. Unlike the intelligence quotient, emotional intelligence is a fluid and changeable intelligence that can be improved, studied and generally improves with age and experience. This is what makes it such an important concept as a leader, because it CAN be improved, therefore potentially improving your leadership competencies, style and credibility. (Wall, 2007) (Wilmot & Hocker, 2011),© ARVis Institute, LLC 2011. All Rights Reserved. — (800) 901-1680 www.arvisinstitute.com www.arvoices.com
  4. 4. How do you express your Emotional Intelligence as a leader?To increase leadership capability and credibility we can examine our Emotional Intelligence through the development ofpersonal and social competence. The abilities and skills that are listed below can be used as a check-list to identifywhere your Emotional Intelligence leadership areas of strength and improvement lie.  self-consciousness  accurate self-evaluation  self-confidence  emotional self-control  trustworthiness  conscientiousness  adaptability  achievement orientation  empathy  organizational awareness  service orientation  initiative  developing others  inspirational and influential leadership  communication  change catalyst  conflict management  teamwork and collaboration (Goleman) Are you aware of, and constantly developing, these competencies?Measuring Emotional IntelligenceIt is recommended and necessary, to be self-aware and self-evaluate to allow for improvement and development of ourEmotional Intelligence. In regard to measuring Emotional Intelligence or “Personality’ this can be a rather more difficult/impossible thing to do. As humans we are constantly changing and evolving. As we become aware of our strong andweak points, we may take action to improve and change. Emotions, psychological, and personality traits can varydepending on the environment, the situation, level of maturity, awareness and of course depending on the strength ofthe feeling or emotion. To measure something so intangible may not have the results that we, as humans, desire. Byputting ourselves in a hypothetical box to feel some sense of control or satisfy some intrinsic desire to identify ourselves,may have detrimental effects on our ability to improve our EI. “Doing so tends to limit us to such labels...rather than help us become the real, whole, true, us” (Beasley).Highlighting the flaws of Emotional Intelligence measurement will direct the focus away from labeling ourselves to ourdetriment and help to address our Emotional Intelligence limitations through honest self-awareness and evaluation.Susann PrendervilleContributing AuthorARVis Institute, LLC© ARVis Institute, LLC 2011. All Rights Reserved. — (800) 901-1680 www.arvisinstitute.com www.arvoices.com
  5. 5. References/Bibliography Wall, B. (2007). Coaching for emotional intelligence. (First Ed.). Goleman, D. (1998). What makes a leader? 94 - 102. Lemke, W. (2009, June). Emotional intelligence: EQ vs.IQ. BARD Value Analysis & Standardization: Systematic steps to support system-wide change, Retrieved from http://www.crbard.com/uploadedFiles/ CorpSite/Healthcare_Professionals/emotional-intelligence.pdf Wilmot, W., & Hocker, J. (2011). Interpersonal Conflict. (Eighth Ed.). New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Schmidt, M. (2012). Emotional intelligence (EQ) stats. Retrieved from http://www.talentsmart.com/ Mayer, J. D., Salovey, P., Caruso, D. R., & Sitarenios, G. (2001). Emotional intelligence as a standard intelligence. Vol. 1. 232 - 242. Retrieved from http://www.unh.edu/emotional_intelligence/ John D Mayer© ARVis Institute, LLC 2011. All Rights Reserved. — (800) 901-1680 www.arvisinstitute.com www.arvoices.com