You can combine the five components of emotional intelligence and leadership to become a more effective manager. But what is high emotional intelligence, also known as emotional quotient (EQ), and how can women leaders understand their EQ levels?
EQ is the human ability to recognize, understand, exploit, and manage one’s emotions in positive ways. Leaders with high EQs are less stressed, better communicators, more empathetic, and more easily overcome challenges. Moreover, they know precisely how their mental state influences the emotional reactions of those around them.
The effectiveness of emotional intelligence in leadership is no small thing, it is a primary concern in climbing the corporate ladder as technical skills only go so far. The actual difference between a good leader and a brilliant one is the emotional element. This article looks at the five core components of emotional intelligence for professional growth.
5 Components of EQ that Boost Leadership Skills
The American psychologist and science journalist Daniel Goleman first coined the term emotional intelligence. He wrote for the New York Times for over 12 years, reporting on the complexity of the human brain and behavioral sciences .
Goleman’s EQ theory comprises five core components: empathy, effective communication or social skills, self-awareness, self-regulation, and motivation.
It doesn’t take much to familiarize yourself with the skills that make up EQ. However, knowledge alone is of little use until you apply it to your life. What sets great leaders apart is their ability to understand and manage their emotions and actions through the lens of EQ. That’s how you become a better, more compassionate, and inspirational leader.
EWF International provides a comprehensive leadership development ecosystem to equip and empower female leaders. Our corporate programming holds workshops on proven, actionable leadership development to improve EQ skills and build trust.Learn more about EWF leadership development here.
#1 Empathy (I Sense Your Pain)
Emotionally intelligent leaders can walk in another person’s shoes. Knowing what someone is going through helps to understand them better. It’s why empathy is a key component of successful leadership. Understanding managers are approachable, and they listen. The upshot of that is engaged teams and harmonious workplace cultures.
EQ Strength or Weakness?
Contrary to old beliefs, empathy shows strength, not weakness. It’s a skill and a trait that helps leaders bond with their teams through compassion and understanding. Relating to others at the human level brings about mutual respect, making it easier to solve workplace issues or disagreements in a calm and constructive manner.
Empathic Leadership Works A study by the global nonprofit Catalyst found that companies that cultivated empathic leadership found it an effective strategy for responding to workplace crises and managing teams.
7 Empathy-Building Strategies
Start listening to others more without interrupting
Put yourself in someone else’s shoes, especially during a disagreement
Recognize and show your appreciation for your team members
Be open to sharing your feelings where appropriate
Volunteer for a role in a worthy cause, e.g., a community project
Practice loving-kindness meditation or mindfulness
Work on your body language and reading that of others
#2 Effective Communication (Social Skills)
Comfortable interaction is another core component of EQ. Leaders with good social skills are very approachable, easy to talk to, and therefore strong team players. Effective communication is important for leaders as it helps build meaningful, mutually respectful relationships.Here are six more advantages of workplace social skills:
Sociable managers carry more persuasive influence
Cultivates an awareness of yourself and your team members
Adept at both conflict and relationship management
Enhanced social awareness
Better leadership and mentorship for helping develop rising talent
Expert at collaboration and cooperation
EQ Triumphs IQ Reports Study of Ph.Ds Emotional and social skills are 4X more significant than intelligence quotient(IQ) when looking at success and prestige in professional settings.
Some leaders are born with effective social skills but don’t worry if you struggle. Any human characteristic labeled a skill means it is learnable. It doesn’t take long, providing you’re willing to step outside your comfort zone and address the insecurities that can hold you back.
7 EQ Strategies that Improve Social Skills
Show interest in other people
Enhance verbal and non-verbal(body language) communication skills
Observe and learn from the social skills of others
Practice confident eye contact
Ask open-ended questions(cannot be answered with a yes/no)
Develop a repertoire of icebreaker questions to start conversations
Listen more and practice active listening
Leadership Nonverbal Behavior Studies show that 55% of the speech effect results from body language, 38% from the voice, and only 7% from the actual content.
To be self-aware means you have a thorough recognition of your personal strengths and weaknesses. You know when to step back and question your emotional state and thoughts before acting. This critical component of EQ helps you quickly understand why you feel a particular way and how it affects the people around you.
The more you practice this essential leadership skill, the more natural it becomes. Having the power to influence outcomes boosts confidence, makes you a better decision-maker and improves how you relate with your team(s).
7 EQ Strategies to Develop Self-Awareness
Be mindful of your strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, and emotions
Identify your triggers to help manage your own emotions
Keep a journal so you can reflect and learn from your experiences
The secret here is to stay focused and track your progress. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for constructive feedback from those you trust.
EWF Executive Forums bring female leaders together in a safe, confidential, supportive, interactive space. Our non-compete forums help women sharpen their critical skills and gain invaluable peer feedback. You will find answers to impossible questions and learn how to handle the problematic issues impacting your role as a senior leader.Learn more about EWF’s Executive Forums here.
To self-regulate is to turn negative thoughts and feelings into positive ones and know when to pause between emotions and subsequent actions. A leader who self-regulates can channel negative emotions in a productive rather than a destructive manner. This positive outlook makes it easier to solve problems with a cool head.
Self-regulation is a critical skill for effective leadership, allowing you to express yourself appropriately and calmly in front of your team. And the more resilient you become, the faster you recover from setbacks. You become more conscientious, flexible in your approach, and comfortable with change .
Develop distress tolerance skills to handle negative emotions
Learn to view every new challenge as an opportunity
Know that there is always a choice on how you respond
Prepare to take responsibility for your actions
Stay mindful of your moral values while leading your team
Self-regulation doesn’t mean you suppress your natural emotions or hide true feelings. It’s simply a skill used to express yourself more appropriately. The goal is to avoid panic and manage stressful situations in a composed manner.
Self-motivation is a critical component of emotional intelligence for leaders. No team will be at its best if its leader lacks internal motivation. A driven manager is passionate, dedicated, and highly focused on achieving goals. Motivated managers exude an optimistic disposition, and optimism is infectious, lifting employee morale and drive.
A self-motivated leader is very action-orientated. They continuously set high goals and have a genuine desire to achieve them. That means you never graduate or reach the top of your tree because you have a constant internal strive to be more and do better.
7 Strategies to Develop Self-Motivation
Set small, measurable, and realistic goals
Introduce interesting challenges to keep up momentum
Celebrate incremental achievements as well as end goals
Find intelligent ways to turn obstacles into opportunities
Be mindful of your role as a leader and its direct effect on your team
Reflect on your progress and look for ways to do better
Be open to change
The Best Leaders Have the Right Mindset Those with growth mindsets are more mentally prepared to approach and tackle challenges. Also, a growth mindset embraces feedback and adopts the most productive problem-solving strategies to accomplish goals.
To succeed as a leader, you must visualize yourself in a positive light even when things don’t go well, viewing complications as setbacks and learning opportunities instead of failures. You keep a clear vision of what you want and how to achieve it. And to maintain motivation, you continually set new goals and relish new challenges.