Does emotional intelligence play a role in leadership?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage ourselves and our relationships effectively. This consists of four fundamental capabilities: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social skill. Each capability, in turn, is composed of specific sets of competencies. This has a major role in leadership since based on emotional intelligence, will be his / her way to communicate with his / her stakeholders; this will also determine his / her leadership style. A stable EQ (emotional quotient) brings about calm/peaceful/purposeful communication, where all involved in this channel of communication feel secure and safe to share/connect verbally or non-verbally. A transparent and safe communication leads to a shared focus to complete/deliver a task at hand

Self-Awareness – This will include the basic following competencies:

  • Emotional self Awareness is the ability to understand your own emotions as well as recognize their impact on work performance and personal relationships
  • Accurate self-assessment is a realistic evaluation of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Self-confidence is a strong positive sense of self-worth

Self- Management contains:

  • Self Control which is the ability to manage and control disruptive emotions and impulses
  • Trustworthiness is a consistent display of honesty and integrity
  • Conscientiousness is the ability to manage oneself and the responsibility 
  • Adaptability is the skill to overcome obstacles and navigate changing situations
  • Achievement-oriented is the drive to meet a certain standard of excellence
  • The initiative is the readiness to seize the opportunity

Social-Awareness conisders

  • Empathy which is the skill of sensing other people’s emotions, understanding their perspectives, and taking an active interest in their concerns.
  • Organizational awareness is the capability to read the current organizational life, build networks and navigate politics
  • Service orientation – always recognizing customers’ needs and meeting them

Social Skills encompasses

  • Visionarythe ability to take charge and inspire people
  • Influence -the ability to wield a range of persuasiveness
  • Developing human skills  – the propensity to encourage the abilities of others through feedback and guidance
  • Communication – skills of listening and the ability to send across clear, concise, convincing messages
  • Change catalyst -proficiency in initiating new ideas and leading the team in this direction
  • Conflict Management -the ability to de-escalate disagreements and orchestrate resolution
  • Building bonds -cultivating and maintaining a web of relationship
  • Teamwork and collaboration-ability at promoting cooperation and building teams

Research found six distinct leadership styles, each springing from different components of emotional intelligence. The styles, taken individually, appear to have a direct and unique impact on the working atmosphere of a company, division, or team, and in turn, on its financial performance. Most importantly, the research indicates that leaders with the best results do not rely on only one leadership style; they use most of them in a given week—seamlessly and in different measures—depending on the business situation. 

Research has also been made to connect emotional intelligence with business results. It has been proven that leaders with strengths in a critical mass of six or more emotional intelligence competencies were far more effective than peers who lacked such strengths. For instance, when it was analyzed about the performance of division heads at a global food and beverage company, it was found that among leaders with a large mass of competence, ~87% were placed in the top third for annual salary bonuses based on their business performance. Their divisions on average outperformed yearly revenue targets by 15% to 20%. Those executives who lacked emotional intelligence were rarely rated as outstanding in their annual performance reviews, and their divisions underperformed by an average of almost 20%.

It is therefore increasingly clear a high EQ results in leadership being more focused, and secure helping to deliver the vision/goal of the organization, consistently.

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