Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. It is prominently the ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem-solving in a situation and at the same time the ability to manage emotions of self and others in that particular situation. Unlike IQ, you can learn the skills of emotional intelligence at any age. However, it’s not as easy as growing your emotional intelligence takes practice and commitment. An entrepreneur must have it because emotional intelligence in leadership is essential.
Improving the emotional intelligence in leadership or in general is similar to altering your habits. Brain circuits that carry certain habits have to unlearn the old ones and replace them with the new. As the behavioral sequence is also repeated more and more, the underlying brain circuits become stronger and at some point, the new neural pathways become the brain’s default option.
Emotional intelligence in leadership consists of four fundamental things: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social skills. Each capability, in turn, is comprised of specific sets of competencies. Below is a list of the capabilities and their corresponding traits.
- Emotional self-awareness – The ability to read and understand your emotions as well as recognize their effect and level of impact on work performance, relationships, and the environment. It’s an integral part of emotional intelligence in leadership.
- Accurate self-assessment – A realistic evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses so as to be in sync with them.
- Self-confidence – A strong and positive sense of self-worth which also assists in overriding a series of other negative emotions like fear and doubt.
- Self-control – The ability to keep disruptive emotions and impulses under control especially in abnormal situations.
- Trustworthiness – A consistent display of honesty and integrity throughout good and bad times.
- Conscientiousness – The ability to manage yourself and also your responsibilities irrespective of the situation at hand.
- Initiative – A readiness to seize opportunities and derive the most out of them.
- Adaptability – Skill at adjusting to changing times and overcoming obstacles.
- Achievement orientation – The drive to meet an internal standard of excellence and keep raising the bar.
Social Awareness –
- Empathy: Skill at sensing other people’s emotions, understanding their perspective, and taking an active interest in their concerns.
- Organizational awareness: The ability to read the currents of organizational life, build decision networks, and navigate emotions to derive results in the organization.
- Service orientation: The ability to recognize and meet customers’ needs and service them in the best way possible.
Social Skill –
- Visionary leadership: The ability to take charge and inspire the team with a compelling vision.
- Influence: The ability to wield a range of persuasive tactics for binding the team together and driving them.
- Developing others: The propensity to nurture others through feedback and guidance.
- Communication: Skill at listening and at sending clear, convincing, and well-tuned messages steering clear of any confusion.
- Change catalyst: A leader should be able to initiate new ideas and lead people in a new direction. Emotional intelligence in leadership is all about being able to bring out the change by creating a win-win situation for all.
- Conflict management: The ability to de-escalate disagreements and orchestrate resolutions out of negative situations.
- Building bonds: Proficiency at cultivating and maintaining a web of relationships and converting them into the symbiotic network.
- Teamwork and collaboration: Competence at promoting cooperation and also building teams for driving better results.
Emotional intelligence in leadership is necessary for entrepreneurs as changing business dynamics requires them to handle and come out of challenging situations in quick time and at the same time are looked upon for developing the emotional intelligence of the workforce as well.