Unlike other animals, Homo sapiens have one major quality – to act on our emotions. However, most of us choose not to do so. This is because we are guided or rather misguided, by our learned beliefs and values. Our pre-learned attitude gets in our way.
In earlier days, people used to do more physical work (pre industrial era). However, from last half a century, there has been more pressure on developing the IQ, or the mental work. So, over thousands of years, we kind of learnt that a leader is one who is physically strong or has an above average IQ.
Now, as we enter 21st century, a new definition of a leader is emerging. A good leader (whether it is to lead self or others) has to be a good communicator, a good team-worker, has good empathy, basically a people’s person.
As per Daniel Goleman, the author of “Emotional Intelligence”, being emotionally intelligent means being aware that emotions can drive our behavior and impact people (positively and negatively), and therefore one needs to learn how to manage those emotions – both of our own and that of others – especially when we are under pressure.
Pic Courtesy: Google
Emotional Intelligence integrates feelings, thinking and doing. All human beings have to feel, to think and to act upon things to survive in this world.
Emotional Intelligence, or if we say in educational terms, Emotional Literacy, comprises of beliefs, values and attitudes. It is changeable with time and experience. It is not fixed and definitely learnable.
As I mentioned in the beginning, people choose to behave in a certain way because of their learned beliefs and values. It has become more and more requirement of the day for someone to enable the Emotional Intelligence of people in general, by helping them to identify and learn to manage their belief system.
Emotional Intelligence is not a synonym for personality; it is how we manage our personality.
As per Daniel Goleman, there are four aspects of Emotional Intelligence:
- Self-Awareness: Here you recognize your own emotions, feelings and how they affect your thinking and behavior, you know your strengths and weaknesses.
- Self–Management: You are able to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiatives and adapt positively to changing circumstances.
- Social Awareness: You understand the emotions, needs and concerns of others, pickup on emotional cues, feel confident socially and understand the power of group dynamics.
- Relationship Management: You know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team and manage conflict.
The synopsis of an emotionally intelligent leader can be: a person who can monitor his/her moods through self-awareness, change them for better through self-management, understand their impact through empathy and act in a way to enhance others’ mood through relationship management.
Workplace impact is not anymore just about Performances, Payrolls, Power, Positions or Processes. It is also, very much about People. It is about how effectively you deal with people above, below and beside you.
A leader with high Emotional Intelligence in the organization will lead to increased staff satisfaction, better understanding of customers’ needs, growth of an insightful and intelligent workforce. Emotional Intelligence is just not a trend, but an opportunity to educate, strengthen and transform yourself and people around you.
Author – Dipti Taluja (firstname.lastname@example.org)