How to Be a Better Leader with Emotional Intelligence

Photo Credit:  VICTOR TORRES  on Stocksy

Photo Credit: VICTOR TORRES on Stocksy

As the leader of the team, you’re always looking to improve your effectiveness and find new ways to make your reports better at what they do. Leadership is a skill, and there are lots of ways to enhance it, such as professional development, learning by example, or refining your emotional capacities.

When you deal with people, emotions are always present. Understanding how to manage yours, and dial up your strengths through emotional intelligence can help you become a more personal, and therefore, better leader.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Fundamentally, emotional intelligence (EQ) is how we cope with pressures and demands in our lives, like stress, dealing with change, and solving problems. EQ is composed of everything having to do with self-perception (self-regard, self-actualization, emotional self-awareness), self-expression (emotional expression, assertiveness, independence), interpersonal skills (interpersonal relationships, empathy, social responsibility), decision-making (problem solving, reality testing, impulse control), and stress management (flexibility, stress tolerance, optimism). All of these factors come together to make up how you exist emotionally.

It is possible to measure your abilities in these areas. Visualizing your emotional strengths and areas needing improvement can help you understand your traits as a leader. Everything from self-respect and confidence to communicating your feelings non-offensively to appreciating how others feel to coping with stress, impact your emotional DNA and how you interact with others.

Why is Emotional Intelligence Important?

People who can handle emotional situations, pressures, and demands with balance and composure are well equipped for the challenges any kind of job may bring. Leaders with high EQ are better able to work in and coach teams, adjust to change, be flexible, and tend not to take things personally.

Having the people skills to work well with your reports as well as other stakeholders is also a major factor that contributes to success. So much of our jobs is built on relationships, which means leaders with high EQ are great to work with and foster collaborative, effective teams.

In fact, emotional intelligence is ever more increasingly a topic of discussion in job interviews.

How Does Emotional Intelligence Relate to Happiness and Well-being?

Happiness, your indicator of emotional health and well-being, contributes to your EQ, but your happiness is also a product of your EQ. Happiness is defined as life satisfaction and contentedness. The key factors that contribute to happiness are self-regard, self-actualization, interpersonal relationships, and optimism.

Sound complicated? Think about it—having a lot of happiness in your life would likely mean you view yourself highly, you’re achieving what you want to do, you have great relationships, and you’re optimistic. All of these things contribute to your EQ. On the flipside, if you are emotionally intelligent, you will likely be happier and more satisfied with life.

Understanding your emotional DNA will help you reflect and see where you can shift your thinking to have a higher emotional intelligence, and ultimately lead a happier life.

How to Be a Better Leader with Emotional Intelligence

Building a team full of emotionally intelligent individuals begins with you. Through assessment, reflection, learning, and new behavior adoption, you can become the emotionally intelligent leader your team needs you to be.

Sound like something you’re interested in? Join me for leadership development coaching, a 6-month individualized program designed to help leaders improve their effectiveness and achieve peak performance using the science of emotional intelligence. We begin with determining your priorities and desired outcomes and then analyze the results of your EQ-I 2.0 assessment. From there, we work through areas of improvement through 12 coaching sessions and observations.

Keep moving forward—talk with me about how leading with emotional intelligence will help you be a better leader.