Emotional intelligence is part of leadership

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LEADERSHIP is a talent like any other — some are born with it, most are not.

BY BLESSING DURI

Like any talent, leadership must be developed. Just like an athlete, a musician, or an artist, you are born with a talent — but it is up to you to develop it.

I am sure you have observed someone in your company who is extremely intelligent get promoted only to fail. Just because someone has great ideas, an analytical mind, or is incisive doesn’t make them a great leader. Leadership is more than just a high IQ, it is about emotional intelligence as well.

Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence: Why it can Matter More Than IQ, said, “IQ tells you what level of cognitive complexity a person can manage in their job: you need high levels for top management, the professions, the sciences, while lower levels work fine in lower echelons. Emotional intelligence sets apart which leaders, professionals, or scientists will be the best leaders.”

Emotional intelligence will help you develop your ability to lead and manage whatever the conditions may be. In order to be a great leader, you must understand and know how to manage yourself first. Being aware of the people around you will help you to be a skilled leader. Just because you may have a high IQ does not mean that you will be a skillful leader. A great leader should have a combination of both IQ and EI.

If you understand who you are and what your strengths are (self-awareness), and you know how to lead yourself (self-management), then you will be a better leader. You will know how to read others and empathise.

A good leader excels at leading himself first. If you can lead yourself first, then you will be better prepared to lead others. Being able to control your own emotions, being aware of your behaviour, and being able to manage yourself will allow you to maximise your potential. Self-management is about having the ability to display the right behaviours when your emotions are pointing in a different direction.

Good leaders should also be able to connect the people around them (others-awareness). Employees will follow their leaders if they are able to approach them and relate to them. If the leader has high EI, employees will feel more motivated and committed. Leaders with high EI generate excitement and enthusiasm within their followers, understand how their followers feel, and are able to lead and guide the emotions of employees.

Leadership is about relationships, which in turn is a highly emotional process. You can use emotional intelligence to build relationships. As a leader, having a high EI will allow you to be more compassionate, more understanding, and interact more effectively with others. You will be able to inspire, influence, coach, and handle conflict (others-management).

Be inspired, empowered and engaged.

Blessing Duri is the executive consultant and Certified Life Coach at Bleluk Consulting (Pvt) Ltd — +263 773 522 350 /+263 715 294 225, Email: blelukconsulting@gmail.com

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