6 Ways Emotional Intelligence Can Make You A Better Leader Now

Emotional intelligence (also known as emotional quotient or EQ) is defined as “a set of emotional and social skills that influence the way we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges, and use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way.”

Social and emotional competencies are emerging as the most essential skills for leadership success. The ability to develop and maintain positive relationships with teammates and clients at a distance and in person is critical to becoming a more effective and impactful leader. For leaders, enhancing adaptability, interpersonal skills, and empathy rank among the highest priorities for development.

These are the five key components of emotional intelligence:

1. Self-Perception

  • Self-Regard – Knowing how you are doing has a powerful and significant impact on your overall self-esteem. Receiving feedback on your strengths and areas for enhancement are important to measure your success.
  • Self-Actualization – Having a clear vision is paramount to leading through times of intense change. Be okay with not achieving goals right away, as long as you are moving towards your vision.
  • Emotional Self-Awareness – Understanding your own emotions puts you in charge.

2. Self-Expression

  • Emotional Expression – Knowing when and how to express yourself will help you get the most out of your emotions; from building authentic relationships to getting the work done. Emotions prioritize what you need to pay attention to.
  • Assertiveness – Words have weight; therefore, managing the message is a necessity. This is particularly important in virtual working conditions where context can be missing.
  • Independence – Embracing new ways of working can empower your team to truly own how they accomplish objectives, allowing you all to be a little more self-directed.

3. Interpersonal

  • Interpersonal Relationships – Building stronger, more meaningful connections while increasing the engagement and productivity of your team.
  • Empathy – Investing the time to truly grasp how someone is coping is to develop genuine compassion for their personal experiences. Especially when the pressure is on.
  • Social Responsibility – As a leader and responsive ambassador of the larger team, acting in the interests that go beyond yourself ensures you all succeed.

4. Decision-Making

  • Problem-Solving – When facing uncharted territory, the ability to detach emotions from addressing challenges confidently steers the team towards favorable outcomes.
  • Reality Testing – Maintaining a realistic perspective is a vital leadership skill to ensure you are a guiding compass for your team in a quickly changing environment.
  • Impulse Control – Intentionally taking the time under trying circumstances to weigh the pros and cons before rushing to a decision is an admirable leadership skill that boosts your credibility with your team.

5. Stress Management

  • Flexibility – When unknowns arise, showing interest in how people are coping or resisting those changes is critical to the team’s future success.
  • Stress Tolerance – Stress arises and shows up differently for everyone. Particularly when the pressure is on and the world is in major flux, leaders need to harness stress for its energy to remain resilient.
  • Optimism – Believing that a challenging circumstance is temporary and finding the bright side when you don’t feel in control is a super-strength that you can benefit from in times of uncertainty.

Strengthening these skills can make you a better leader in these 6 important ways:

  1. Enhanced social skills help leaders develop and strengthen interpersonal relationships. The ability to build stronger relationships and assemble more effective teams is crucial for leadership success.
  2. Emotionally intelligent leaders possess the ability to communicate effectively with a wide variety of people, maintain a high level of self-awareness (as well as an awareness of others), and motivate others.
  3. Leaders with strengths in emotional intelligence are better able to handle pressure, keep emotions in check, make rational decisions, and provide swift conflict resolution.
  4. Empathy, the ability for someone to understand and share the feelings of another person, is the cornerstone of emotional intelligence. Empathy allows a leader to put themselves in another’s shoes, understand the unique circumstances others are facing, and how those circumstances may impact their work. Leaders with empathy are better able to engage with their team, earn their respect, and lead them to greater success.
  5. People with a high EQ have been shown to have better mental and physical well-being, less perceived stress, and healthier relationships. Developing your emotional intelligence can have a profoundly positive impact on you and everyone around you.
  6. Higher emotional intelligence contributes to your overall happiness and satisfaction in life. Self-Regard, Self-Actualization, Interpersonal Relationships, and Optimism all contribute to greater happiness. Research shows the happiest people make the best leaders.

Emotional intelligence can change over time and can be developed in targeted areas. With a focus on developing a set of emotional and social skills, emotional intelligence can improve. Increasing your success with emotional intelligence is a three-step process:

  1. Self-Reflection. Evaluate yourself on the emotional intelligence subscales with the EQ-i assessment.
  2. Feedback. Review your results with a coach for further understanding and guidance to the subscales to focus on in your development plan.
  3. Development. Based on the subscales you have targeted for development, create a plan for improvement and success. Remind yourself often about your objectives and re-take the EQ-i 2.0 assessment to track your progress.

If you are interested in learning more about how to assess your own social and emotional competency, or that of your team, contact us at info@catapultsuccess.com. We offer best-in-class assessments and leadership development solutions designed to help our clients achieve their most ambitious goals.

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