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What are the Signs of an Emotionally Intelligent Leader?

“75 percent of careers are derailed for reasons related to emotional competencies, including inability to handle interpersonal problems; unsatisfactory team leadership during times of difficulty or conflict; or inability to adapt to change or elicit trust.” This is according to the Centre for Creative Leadership.

In the current work spectrum, we find ourselves dealing with IQ (Intellect), EQ (Emotional Intelligence) and AI (Artificial Intelligence). Book smarts or a high IQ alone, will not get you a job, help you retain your job or even help you grow in your current job. You need to combine IQ with EQ which alongside an education is vital to success and growth, especially in the workplace. Eric Jensen said: “There is no separation of mind and emotions; emotions, thinking, and learning is all linked.” And if you are emotionally intelligent you are automatically prone to be a good leader by default. Then, Artificial Intelligence is now too changing the work spectrum a lot. Amit Ray explains that “As more and more artificial intelligence is entering into the world, more and more emotional intelligence must enter into leadership.” 

So how do you know if you are an emotionally intelligent leader

5 Signs that you are an Emotionally Intelligent Leader.

When you are a leader, you take responsibility for your team. You help and guide them through changes and hurdles. However, a lot of leaders tend to shy away from negative confrontations. They don’t want to sort out emotional matters at work and they think it is much easier to avoid problems than to face them head on. Organisational leaders need to manage their subordinates with emotional intelligence which also means that they need to “keep it together” when everyone else is freaking out. To be an effective leader with a high EQ you need to have the following 5 characteristics:

1.      Be Authentic and Self-Aware

To be an authentic leader who is self-aware, means to know who you are and be your true self around others. Easier said than done, right? Although we think that authenticity should come natural to us, people don’t really know who they are and what their strengths and weaknesses entail. They are afraid people won’t like them and they genuinely don’t know how to handle their own emotions and reactions. Knowing who you are means you know your values, emotions, and your abilities as well as how others perceive you. You should be able to express yourself through effectively communicating with others. Leaders who possess a high EQ can precisely do this and can adjust their behaviour in themselves according to the feedback they get from others. 

2.      Self-Regulation and Adjusting your Behaviour

Self-regulation encompasses two types of which the first is behavioural and the other is emotional regulation. Behavioural is how you react to different situations when it involves your goals and values, whereas emotional regulation is how you control your emotions especially when you are experiencing challenges, trials and disputes and still be able to maintain a positive outlook. Leaders who are self-regulatory are adaptable while remaining optimistic. They commit and constantly self-reflect through monitoring their actions and aligning it with their inner core back to their goals. 

3.      Motivation and Self-Confidence

Leaders who are highly motivated and inspirational have learned not to take criticism personally. They would rather take the experience and learn from it. They set high work standards and goals. High EQ leaders not only know what motivates them, but also their team members. They are constantly optimistic and motivate their staff to commit to success. They have learned to walk the tightrope between having confidence and being arrogant and this is what gets their peers to listen to them and follow them as leaders. They gather information by asking open ended questions and practice active listening to improve and deal with difficult situations efficiently. They don’t challenge or argue. Instead, they remain motivated through self-confidence ultimately achieving their success. 

4.      Empathic Leadership

At the very core, having empathy means that you are able to see a situation through someone else’s eyes. You can put yourself in their shoes. An empathetic leader responds to their subordinates’ non-verbal body language and give them a chance to express themselves. Again, good active listening comes into play when staff members talk to you about their challenges. You, as a leader oversees the navigation of your team through difficult situations and unforeseen changes. How they respond and adapt is determined upon your empathy towards them. Empathetic leaders know how to create win-win situations and build trust with their peers.

5.      Social Skills

EQ leaders have various social soft skills like persuasive skills, communication skills, change management skills, teamworking skills etc. EQ enriched leaders know that the people who follow them, make them the leaders they are. They know that they need to gain their trust. This means that highly emotionally intelligent leaders respect other people’s needs and wants as well as their hopes and fears.  With the right social skills in place, leaders won’t sweep the problem or conflict situation under the rug. They will focus on resolving the conflict with constructive reasoning and discussions.  

Leaders who have high Emotional Intelligence embrace a combination of authenticity, empathy, social skills, self-awareness, self-regulation, inspiration, and motivation. These are all soft skills that can be taught and are the focus of our EQ and Leadership courses presented both online and in person.