How Emotional Intelligence Creates Effective Leaders
Research indicates that Emotional Intelligence (E.I.) – how
we handle ourselves and our relationships – can determine
success more than I.Q. In fact, E.I. may determine as much
as 80% of a person's life success. Cognitive ability or
what we call I.Q. is only about 20%. Quality leadership
training is a combination of E.I. and cognitive ability.
More specifically, Daniel Goleman (along with two E.I.
researchers: Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee) explains the
role of E.I. in leadership in Primal Leadership, Realizing
the Power of Emotional Intelligence ( 2009). They found the
most effective leadership and management styles work
through emotions which evolve from the limbic system in the
The limbic system is responsible for sending information to
the prefrontal lobes for analysis and decisions. This
system is an open-loop design which means other people can
and do change our physiology by altering our hormone
levels, cardiovascular function, sleep rhythms and immune
function. A leader's primary task is to drive emotions in
a direction which has positive impact on motivation,
strategy and productivity.
Since emotions are at the heart of effective leadership,
the key to being an effective leader lies in learning to
handle yourself and your relationships in a positive
manner. Emotional Intelligence competencies include:
by Maurine Patten
• Social awareness – empathy
• Relationship management
Important new research clearly indicates that we rely on
connections with others for our emotional stability and
motivation. Who is the most likely person employees will
be watching? The leader of a group has the strongest
impact because people take emotional cues from the top
which ripple throughout the organization's emotional
climate. In addition, it is not just what another does but
how it is done that registers in our limbic system.
Our emotions automatically shift to match the person we are
with, even if the contact is nonverbal. This is called
"entrainment" and can take place in a couple of minutes in
some situations. The more cohesive the group, the more
likely moods will be shared – positive or negative.
A Yale study on moods found that moods influence how
effectively people work. A primary factor in how well an
organization functions depends on how the leaders manage
their moods. We know upbeat moods increase cooperation,
fairness and business performance. Cooperative and
harmonious groups reflect a higher expression of every
person's best effort and ability.
Furthermore, how people feel about working at an
organization (the climate) can influence productivity. Low
morale and lack of cooperation predict high turnover and
lower productivity. In addition, distress and worry
decrease mental abilities and E.I. This makes it difficult
to read the emotions of other people accurately – a skill
necessary for empathy.
In addition, research indicates that the emotional state
and actions of leaders set the climate. They create the
conditions that determine the employees' ability to work
well. In general, leaders need to be more supportive and
empathetic as work becomes more emotionally demanding.
When leaders are negative and unmotivated, there is anxiety
and dissonance which undermines morale. When leaders are
out of touch with the feelings of employees, they create
dissonance. This causes people to feel off-balance, be
easily distracted, and perform poorly.
In contrast, emotionally intelligent leaders create
resonance or harmony. Resonant leaders rally people around
a worthy goal. They are self-aware, in touch with the
truth about themselves and their feelings. They use
self-management to express emotions appropriately and are
able to empathize with others. Without empathy, resonant
leadership is impossible. When leaders are energetic and
enthusiastic, an organization thrives.
The most effective leadership and management style will use
a combination of Emotional Intelligence and cognitive
ability. While cognitive ability tends to be set, E.I. is
learned through practice, feedback and repetition over
time. Although learning to improve Emotional Intelligence
is self-directed, it cannot be done in isolation.
Coaching is an ideal way to provide a safe context for
change to occur and to better prepare people to be resonant
leaders. Some leaders find it difficult to get honest
feedback as they are promoted into management positions
because employees instinctively want to please their boss
and are hesitant to give negative feedback. This can
decrease self-awareness and effective leadership
development. The coaching process provides essential
feedback for continued awareness and skill building.
In summary, to effectively lead and manage relationships,
leaders must continue to:
• be self-aware
• manage themselves appropriately
• have empathy with their employees
Leaders need a safe space for learning and feedback which
is focused on emotional and intellectual learning. Change
occurs through a process which affects individuals, teams
and the organization's culture. Coaching supports and
enriches the process.
3 Secrets to Developing Superior People Skills
The secrets are: If What You Are Doing Is Not Working Change Your
Approach, Learn From People Who Get Results, and Invest In Your
Leadership: Taking Responsibility for Our Choices
It happens to all of us. We realize that things at work or
in some aspect of our personal lives are not going the way
we want them to go. Deftly we find other people or outside
circumstances to blame for our dissatisfaction. Thus, we
avoid taking responsibility for personal choices that
perpetuate the problems we face.
The Top 10 Ways To Improve Your Leadership Skills
If you desire to lead a passion-filled life wherein you are a positive influence to everyone, you will enjoy incorporating the following practices to assist you in consistently living your life as a conscious and strong
How To Develop An Attitude for Success
Let me take you back a few years when I first started life
as an Internet Marketer. Upon encountering my first
experience with a site that actually sells products on the
Internet, sparks ignited and cogs turned in my mind as to
how I could replicate the same procedure and start
developing my own products and services on the 'Net.
Achieving the Impossible?
If life's getting you
down or getting your business going seems impossible, here's just some small
things you could do.
About the Author:
Copyright (c) 2007 Maurine Patten
Maurine Patten, Ed.D., CMC, Maximize Your Possibilities
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