What makes a great leader?
A talent for schmoozing?
An ability to work well with people and get the best out of them?
Over the years, plenty of research has shown that the world’s most successful leaders have one quality in common: Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient (EQ) is the ability of a person to understand and effectively manage his/her emotions as well as the emotions of the people around him/her.
Unlike Intelligence Quotient (IQ) which measures a person’s ‘native’ or ‘innate’ intelligence, EQ measures their ability to understand other people and their motivations, and how to work cooperatively with them for mutually-beneficial outcomes. A person with a high EQ has a high level of personal integrity and excellent communication skills. These qualities make her highly proficient at managing relationships and navigating social networks with ease. She can also influence and inspire others. That’s why people with high EQ make great leaders. And that’s also why a great manager who lacks EQ is unlikely to ever be a great leader.
Also read: 10 Strategies to Make Workplace Coaching Effective and Results-oriented [ADD HYPERLINK]
The importance of Emotional Intelligence for business leaders and organisations
For any organisation, the competence and availability of its workforce determines its business outcomes. Highly-trained employees who are engaged with their organisation and believe that their work is meaningful do better at their jobs. Consequently, they are more valued.
However, in many cases, an organisation may not have productive or engaged employees. This is when Emotional Intelligence comes in handy, in more ways than one!
- To improve workplace performance of employees
To understand the root causes of the company’s people problems and to find effective solutions, a high degree of EQ is required. Therefore, such a critical task cannot be assigned to a manager who lacks EQ. This is where emotionally intelligent leaders can bring the slackers up to scratch and re-align their performance with the company’s goals.
- For better teamwork
Emotionally intelligent leaders are excellent at fostering, nurturing and maintaining relationships. Their communication skills enable them to express their thoughts and ideas with clarity and passion. People listen to them and trust them. They even want to follow them. Furthermore, such leaders are highly empathetic so they can understand different points of view and address conflict in the workplace in healthy ways. All of these abilities of emotionally intelligent leaders help promote teamwork, and ensure great outcomes for the team as well as the organisation.
Applying Emotional Intelligence to leadership is not just natural, it is also critical. Without it, a so-called ‘leader’ will lack empathy, self-awareness, self-motivation and any number of other crucial skills required for great results in the workplace. It doesn’t matter how smart a person is. Without Emotional Intelligence, he will never get far in his ambition to be a great leader.
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Lion Amir Virani