Leading with emotional intelligence

By Terine Lott-Cupido

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In an era where competition is tight, leaders of the organisation play an even more critical role in business, in ensuring its survival.

Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, stated that: “Research shows convincingly that EQ is … many times more important than IQ, in leadership roles.” The Emotional Quotient (EQ) may be described as the measurement test of an individual’s capability to understand and actively apply their emotions.

What is emotional intelligence, you may ask?

Daniel Goleman, a thought leader on Emotional intelligence (EI) in the workplace, describes emotional intelligence as the ability to identify, evaluate and control one’s own emotions, emotions of others and that of other groups. With this in mind, emotional intelligence may assist you in enhancing your leadership skill in the workplace.

Let us review some tips for you to consider in the future:

  • Understand yourself

As a leader, you need to be self-aware. Understand your strengths and weaknesses. Place emphasis on being able to identify and understand your emotions. Make a concerted effort to continually improve yourself, in how you react to the emotions of others. This may enable you to communicate and relate better both personally and professionally.

  • Control your emotions

Emotionally intelligent leaders are able to control their impulses and emotions. Do not react out of emotion. Take a deep breath. Walk away if needed. Most importantly, think before you respond to a negative outburst, comment or situation.

* Display empathy

Listening skills arekey here. Allow others to share their viewpoints in an attempt to understand their wants, needs, concerns or views. The aim is to find a common ground and solution together. Do not judge or stereotype others. Be honest, factual and mindful of others feelings.

* Collaborate

Leaders with high emotional intelligence collaborate well. This can be attributed to their ability to understand others. In addition they value and use the strengths and contributions of others well. Promote collaboration.

  • Self-driven

Emotionally intelligent leaders are self-driven and motivated. Research indicates that they enjoy being challenged, are highly productive and often focus on longer term success, instead of immediate gains.

  • Display high integrity

Be honest and ‘walk the talk’. Do as you say and behave ethically. This will assist you in building trust.

  • Strong interpersonal skills

Leaders with high emotional intelligence have strong interpersonal skills. They communicate well and are able to inspire and motivate others. They handle conflict and difficult situations well.

  • Team centric

Emotionally intelligent leaders are team players. They build and maintain relationships well. Their focus is on others, rather than a self-centered approach. These leaders also build their team members, through support and training.

Handling emotions within and around you can become quite intense and can challenge you as a leader. Unlock your emotional intelligence by getting to know who you are first. Then, take it a step and tip at a time. Hopefully these tips, together with other available online articles on this topic, will further enhance your existing leadership skills set.

For more tips, inspiration and advice, read the free digital issue of Your Business magazine https://bizmag.co.za/april-may-2019-edition/#aprmay20191

Terine Lott-Cupido is the Managing Director at EmpowerLink Services, a Human Resources consulting company, focused on providing HR solutions to small business. For more information visit www.empowerlinkservices.co.za.

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