What Is Emotional Intelligence?

If you were asked to visualise a true visionary or a leader who is loved by his/her people, what would the image be like?

Chances are that you would think of a person who looks confident, talks calmly and clearly. A leader won’t get ruffled when faced with challenges and won’t go mad with rage when opposed or criticised. He/she would be someone who is approachable, trustworthy and wise enough to discuss matters with. A true leader must be someone who cares for the people working alongside and their wellbeing.

If these are the kind of expectations you have from a ‘leader’ then we must tell you that these are all traits demonstrative a very high emotional intelligence.

What Is Emotional Intelligence?

By emotional intelligence, we refer to the ability of understanding and managing one’s own emotions and also those of people associated with the person. As an emotionally intelligent person, you must be capable of understanding how someone might feel, behave or react in a certain situation.

Achieving success in professional life and harmony in personal relationships requires a strong emotional intelligence. Someone who gets angry at the drop of a hat, doesn’t care about the feelings of others or panics under crisis situations can’t be a successful leader.

Thee are five key elements that one needs to inculcate in order to become emotionally intelligent. These are:

  1. Self-awareness

Self awareness means to understand your thoughts, emotions and how you are likely to behave in a given circumstance. Such people are well-versed with their abilities, social behavior, and weaknesses etc. Being self-aware enables greater control over own actions and reactions.

  1. Self-management

Being self-aware helps in regulating behaviour. By self-management of your emotions, you can avoid being nasty, hurried, unprepared or pushed into a compromise. By mastering self-management, you can stay in control of your actions and being accountable for the things you do.

  1. Self-motivation

Self-motivation is the reason why you do what you do. A leader doesn’t need others to inspire him/her to pursue life goals. Leaders are self-motivated and quite committed to maintaining high standards of quality in their efforts. It is not uncommon to face situations where you don’t find any inspiration. At such times, you need to remind yourself the reason why you are doing the job you do. What are the benefits the job provides you? Evaluate where you stand in your professional journey, and what are your goals. Remember that no challenge is daunting enough to deter a leader from trying. Keep moving ahead.

  1. Empathy

A leader has to be a people’s person. When you are expecting to lead people, you also need to be mindful of their emotions, needs and support expectations. Give constructive feedback, prevent unfair practices, listen to the concerns of your teams/colleagues or people. Show them that you care and be willing to do whatever you can.

  1. Social management

Leaders are invariably good at social management. Good or bad, happy or sad, you won’t see a leader behave in an undignified manner. The true leaders are emotionally intelligent enough to remain impartial and handle situations on their merit. They have the ability to resolve conflicts, delegate responsibilities and support others to achieve their objectives.

Since emotional intelligence is a behavioral skill, it can be imbibed and practiced with time. As a leader, you need to know the impact of your emotions and actions on the people around. This understanding gives the ability to modify the response to ensure positive outcomes in almost all situations. Go ahead and focus on improving your self-awareness, self-motivation, self-management, empathy and social management skills. This will surely guarantee you great results in your future endeavors!

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