5 Reasons Emotional Intelligence Is so Important for Leaders

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Want to be a better leader? Who doesn’t, right? Consider working on what many great leaders have refined—emotional intelligence (EQ).

Emotional intelligence is the extent to which someone is able to understand, filter through, and leverage his or her emotions in order to accomplish a task.It is an interpersonal, intangible set of abilities. And whereas your IQ is a constant, EQ can be developed and increased.

Daniel Goleman identified five compenents of EQ. It is these 5 skills that can help make an man or woman with average IQ an excellent leader. They are self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.

  • Self-awareness – the understanding of personal strengths, weaknesses, values, and how they affect those around you.
  • Self-regulation – the ability to recognize and regulate disruptive desires and moods.
  • Motivation – the ability to drive oneself to achievement.
  • Empathy – the understanding of others’ emotions
  • Social skills – the ability to develop relationships and move them in a desired direction.

EQ is a big topic among leaders. And for good reason. Here are five reasons emotional intelligence is so important for leaders:

  1. You make better decisions. Leaders with high EQs are not driven by emotion. They are not reactionary. Those with high EQ are able to acknowledge their emotions but not let them drive their decision-making. Emotion-filled, reactionary decisions are often short-sighted.
  1. You treat others better. Leaders with high EQs are able to empathize, or understand another’s position better. They are able to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. The ability to shift their perspective can engender greater respect and a greater heart for others. The result is a team that is treated better by his or her leader.
  1. You regret less. Because they treat others better, and they make better decisions. If a leader is able to avoid making emotion-filled decisions, they tend to find themselves regretting those decisions less. Those with high EQ are less likely to look back and regret the time when they “just got caught up in the moment.” They are also more likely to treat their team members with respect, something that is never regrettable.
  1. You become more trustworthy. When team members feel respected and believe their leader does not make emotion-filled decisions, they begin to trust the leader more. They become a leader in which they can have confidence.
  1. You are more likely to experience success. Some researchers have demonstrated that those with higher EQ are more likely to experience success than those with lower EQ. This happens, at least in part, because of the four points above. When you make good decisions and have a team that trusts you, it is easy to see how success can follow.

The great thing about EQ is that, unlike IQ, it can be developed. Your genes do not dictate your EQ in the way they do your IQ. So let me encourage you—grow your self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. In doing so, you will grow your EQ and your ability to lead others.

If you want to explore ways to work on your emotional intelligence, check out this post. It provides a few, simple suggestions. You can start developing your EQ today.

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2 thoughts on “5 Reasons Emotional Intelligence Is so Important for Leaders

  1. Great blog because it is so counter-cultural. Our society is casting away logic increasingly as time progresses. Emotional decisions in all aspects are celebrated and unfortunately bad emotional decisions are minimized.