Why Emotional Intelligence Matters?

Why Emotional Intelligence Matters?
Highlights

Anybody can become angry. That is easy but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose and in the right way. That’s not within everybody’s power and it is not easy.

Anybody can become angry. That is easy but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose and in the right way. That’s not within everybody’s power and it is not easy.

Aristotle Emotions influence everything we do in the workplace and emotional intelligence enables leaders to have more meaningful and effective relationships with their people.

Today’s work environment requires a leadership approach that recognizes and appreciates how decisions will affect people.

More so because in the contemporary times of today it’s the people who provide the cutting edge for the organizations, as all other resources are equally accessible,affiordable and available.

Why Emotional Intelligence is so important?

Leaders often claim: "Our people are our greatest asset."Further, good leaders have recognized the value of an engaged workforce. The real benefit of emotional intelligence is that it enables leaders to have more meaningful and effective relationships with their people.

Given the fact that management at workplace in essence is nothing but managing relationships, EI assumes added importance for leadership to be effective.

What is Emotional Intelligence (EI)?
EI is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. It refers to the principles and values that dictate the thoughts and feelings behind our reactions, which guide our responses in different situations.

Leaders who are emotionally competent are able to recognize the different emotional patterns in themselves and others and direct them accordingly.

For instance, leaders might want to ask themselves: how do I prepare myself as a leader to give feedback, and also how do I prepare the individual to receive the feedback?" The concept came in to prominence with Daniel Goleman’s internationally best- selling book Emotional Intelligence (1995).

Quite often we hear of employees being dissatisfied with the way in which they have received feedback on their performance or with the timing of the feedback. Instead of finding fault with the person’s behavior at that particular time/in that issue they point out the person as a whole, thereby disregarding all the good work hitherto done by the same employee.

Further, some leaders are unable to control the frustration and disappointment they feel about an individual’s performance. Others give feedback to an individual when that person is feeling at their most vulnerable emotionally.

Now the question might arise as to how leaders should prepare themselves to give feedback and also how they should prepare the individual to receive the feedback?

Leading without Emotional Intelligence?
A leader who leads without emotional intelligence might not be aware of the negative or de-motivating effect that their style of leadership has on the people they are leading.

The leader may get results, but those results could probably be much better if he or she adopts a more flexible/situational leadership style.

As we all know, a leader’s level of emotional intelligence is often made apparent in the way they communicate with people.

Have they given any consideration to

  • How to address people when delivering key messages?

  • The time, place, format (face-to-face, email, telephone)?
  • How people might respond or feel about the message being communicated?

Further, does the leader really listen to what is being communicated by their people and do they really hear or care or do they just carry on regardless?

As a leader [or a manager] if you are not aware of what makes a person tick inside and outside work, how will you be able to motivate them to want to do their best?

Are the values of the people you are leading in line with your values as leader and with those of the business?

A leader might have the attitude that they treat everyone fairly by treating everybody the same.

However in today’s world, adopting that attitude and style of leadership will not meet the needs and expectations of todays and tomorrow’s working population. Gone are those days when you used to treat the people the way you would like to be treated.

But today the youngsters’ wants you treat them the way they like to be.
How to Develop a leader’s capability to lead with EI?
Emotional intelligence has a role to play while assessing a person’s potential for leadership and should not be used in isolation but along with traditional methods of selecting and developing leaders. Because, emotions influence everything we do in the workplace and if managed correctly, they can lead to enhanced team spirit and increased output.

One of the biggest challenges for a leader is gaining or having the respect of the people they are leading. Further, will they go the extra mile for their leader? There are always challenges and hurdles to overcome and to meet these challenges, leaders have to be aware of their own emotions and of the emotions of others.

For instance, observing the way a person interacts with their team members and other colleagues, on an emotional level, will give some indication of how they might act in a leadership role. This creates the opportunity to identify any development needed to boost skills and attributes, to increase their effectiveness as a leader and to help them learn how to modify their reactions to difficult and challenging situations.
Conclusion:
Employees are looking for work-life balance and for meaning in their work.

And to motivate and develop people in today’s challenging work environment leaders require an approach that recognizes and appreciates how decisions will affect people. So, leaders who use the concepts of emotional intelligence will have a strong impact.

And by understanding how and why people react emotionally to different situations in the workplace, you can implement change more effectively as you will be more responsive to the needs and expectations of the people you As warren Bennis rightly pointed out, “Emotional Intelligence, more than any other factor, more than IQ, or expertise, accounts for 85%to 90%of success at work..I.Q is a threshold competence.

You need it, but it doesn’t make you a star. Emotional Intelligence can. Let’s hope that leaders will make use of emotional intelligence, as it is the key to both personal and professional success.
By Dr A Jagan Mohan Reddy
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