“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.”- Daniel Goleman
Emotional intelligence is critical to our success. Daniel Goleman, a psychologist and author of the New York Times bestseller – “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ”, explains that there is a direct relationship between emotional intelligence and positive achievements. According to him, “The most effective leaders are all alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant. They do matter, but…they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions”. He went further to state that even if one has the best training in the world, an insightful and analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, you won’t still make a great leader if you are without emotional intelligence. Therefore, it is highly indispensable for our success.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
This is the ability to understand and manage your emotions with other people’s emotions. It involves understanding the messages your emotions pass across and using this to guide your thoughts and behaviour. When you are able to demonstrate this, you can manage relationships positively and avoid conflicts. This produces an effective work environment for you and your team setting you all for success.
Emotions are very powerful because they drive decision making. Even when we think we are being rational, our decisions are still based on emotions. Also, to motivate people to achieve certain things, we must engage their emotions. This is why in our everyday tasks which involves us communicating, networking, negotiating and collaborating with various stakeholders of our businesses, our emotions play a major role. Without applying a high level of emotional intelligence, these tasks will prove difficult or not yield the desired results.
Let us take a look at 5 elements of emotional intelligence established by Daniel Goleman. Use this elements to assess yourselves. The more you are able to manage each of these areas, the higher your emotional intelligence.
Being self-aware helps you to reflect on who you are and your emotions to better understand yourself, your strengths and weaknesses and how your actions affect other people. When you know this, you become mindful of your actions and develop skills to help direct your emotions and make improvements where required.
This means using the awareness of your emotions to positively guide your thoughts and direct your behaviour. By doing this, you are able to control how you react to situations. You are also in a better position to communicate with your team and keep them moving in a positive direction. This is simply means you think before you act.
When you are self-motivated, you consistently work towards your objectives. Even when disappointments arise, you remain optimistic and driven by your passion and inner drive to achieve your goals. With this attitude, you can influence those around you positively.
This is the ability to recognize how people feel or react to certain situations by putting yourself in their shoes. The more we can do this, the better we can relate with people and understand what motivates or sets them back. Successful leaders know this and are never afraid to take ideas or opinions from their subordinates. This even helps to develop and challenge your team as you respond to them
It is important you are a good communicator. The inability to communicate effectively leads to frustration and confusion amongst your employees. By communicating well, you are able to manage interactions successfully and encourage better working relationships.
Begin to utilise the power of emotions to work for you and not against you by responding to your environment with emotional intelligence.Watch an animated summary video on Emotional Intelligence below:
- Emotional Intelligence Books on the SME MarketHub