7 Reasons Why Contemporary Leaders Must Excel in EQ

Reasons Why Contemporary Leaders Must Excel in EQ
7 Reasons Why Contemporary Leaders Must Excel in EQ

“Leadership is not about titles, positions, or work hours. It’s about relationships.” – Jim Kouzes

In the contemporary world, leadership has new implications and definitions. Gone are the days when leadership was all about getting work done. Today, most successful leaders are those who can effectively collaborate with their people and lead by example.

As a business leader, you now need to approach leadership from new perspectives. This also implies that in contemporary times, wholesome leadership is about a new host of skills and expertise. With the implications of effective leadership, the prerequisites of leadership have also changed.

Having said that, we could talk about various skills that determine leadership efficacy in contemporary times. Among these skills, emotional intelligence is gaining great traction.

Today, emotional intelligence has become a necessity in the workplace. To substantiate, PR Newswire concludes that 95 percent of HR managers expect employees to have high EQ in current times.

Speaking of leadership positions, in particular, EQ becomes far more essential. Simply put, in this highly competitive business environment, leaders with emotional intelligence will go far. In this blog, we emphasize why it is vital for modern leaders to hone the skill of emotional intelligence.

To begin with, let us first explain what EQ is to be on the same page. So, let us get started.

Defining Emotional Intelligence

Also known as EQ, emotional intelligence refers to the ability to recognize, understand and manage emotions and feelings. It also takes into account the way one manages personal emotions and perceives others’ feelings. The theory of emotional intelligence was first coined by two researchers, namely John Mayer and Peter Salovey in 1990.

It was later on popularized by Daniel Goleman, a psychologist who stressed EQ’s significance in leadership. In a Harvard Business Review, the psychologist explains that as much as IQ (Intelligence Quotient) may be essential in learning new information, EQ is an additional vital trait that helps leaders deal successfully with others.

The importance of emotional intelligence is crucial in leadership regardless of the type of leader one is. Good leaders with EQ influence others towards an intended goal, empower, and are more inclined toward employee wellbeing. They also lead by example, motivate, and ensure to foster team spirit which sets them apart from their counterparts.

Generally, emotional intelligence highly influences the type of relationships leaders form with their teams. Quality EQ skills lead to quality and reliable relationships whereas the opposite is true. EQ as a soft skill helps leaders to accommodate and work excellently with others despite personality differences.

The Core Dimensions of EQ

Emotional intelligence as a soft skill is characterized by four fundamental pillars and these include;

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Regulation
  • Social Awareness
  • Relationship Management

EQ training will largely focus on these four aspects as explained below;

1. Self-Awareness

Self awareness is a vital aspect of EQ. It refers to the ability to understand one’s self and how personal emotions and feelings affect others or the set standards. It helps one understand personal strengths and weaknesses and how they affect others. Being self-aware allows leaders to align their behaviors with the set rules.

2. Self Regulation

When individuals are self-aware, they are more able to regulate and manage their emotions or feelings thoroughly. They step back and think about the influence of their emotions. They are also able to understand and regulate their emotions and act rationally.

This ability allows them not to act out of their feelings, but can primarily think about the possible consequences of their actions.

3. Social Awareness

Many times our emotions and thoughts influence the way we act or respond to a situation. Acting impulsively commonly brings about the downfall of many good leaders. With the attribute of social awareness, leaders can also recognize others’ emotions. They primarily try to decipher why an individual acted in a certain way or try to understand the trigger for a mishap.

Social awareness also promotes empathy. Empathetic leaders put themselves in other people’s positions before making a final decision.

4. Relationship Management

As earlier explained, good leaders seek the welfare of their employees, promote team spirit, and are highly reliable. Emotional intelligence is a soft skill and it may prove more crucial in some areas of leadership than many hard skills.

That’s because it brings people into the picture. It’s not all about citing rules for employees and compelling them to abide by them.

The relationship management aspect of EQ allows leaders to build and maintain relationships because they understand the value of people. Leaders in this case aren’t afraid to admit, resolve and apologize for their mistakes. They are also highly accountable for their actions and those of their team.

Contemplating the skill of EQ as a leader?

7 Compelling Reasons Why EQ Skills Are Vital For Modern Leaders

1. Enhances Self-Awareness

Successful leadership isn’t solely determined by one’s qualifications, management capabilities, or technical skills. A good leader puts great value on the adopted leadership style and analyzes its impact on the people.

In this case, self-awareness is a definite ticket. Self-awareness is an aspect that can act as an add-on to one’s leadership qualities and potential.

It is an ability to understand and focus on how your emotions and thoughts affect others. Leaders who are self-aware know how to identify and manage their emotions in all circumstances. They take time to understand their triggers whether negative or positive and control themselves accordingly.

For example, leaders who are highly self-aware about what angers them are able to exercise patience in case of a conflict. They reflect on their emotions and possible side effects and take necessary action. They can either take a walk to reflect on the matter or investigate the root cause of a problem.

The skill of emotional intelligence via self-awareness training also helps leaders understand how others view them. Whether good or bad leaders. Transformative or autocratic leaders. Reliable or unreliable leaders and this helps them make necessary changes.

The modern world presents a variety of leadership styles and theories, but being more self-aware regardless of the leadership style you adopt can highly influence outcomes.

2. Optimizes Leadership Qualities

Being a leader and perhaps managing people has never been easy. Technological advancements, access to information, and a better understanding of human rights have brought a dramatic change to the corporate world. Employees are more aware of their rights and how they deserve to be treated.

Apart from delivering services, they also want to know what their leaders or organizations can add to their careers.

Similar facts in the corporate world make leadership a challenging field. Nowadays possessing hard skills and qualification papers isn’t enough to render one a good leader because that is not all when it comes to managing people. Emotional intelligence skills enable leaders to better align their capabilities and demands with people’s expectations.

It’s not all about commanding and micromanaging employees. Employees love freedom and can work better with employees who prioritize their welfare and work-life balance. There are so many scenarios where individuals showed to be quality leaders but failed and the main reason was a lack of EQ.

EQ positions leaders to be more aware of employee feelings, expectations, and hardships. In return, this helps a leader to become more rational in all undertakings.

3. Enhances Team Management

It takes a range of skills to effectively manage teams. Apart from key skills like problem-solving, decision-making, collaboration, and effective communication, emotional intelligence is another vital catalyst.

The skill of emotional intelligence is an epicenter of all soft skills that modern managers and leaders must possess. With EQ, leaders can better understand and manage their emotions which enhances communication and collaboration within the team.

They are more able to tame their emotions and exercise empathy. EQ also helps leaders to focus on developing quality social skills that call for frequent interaction with team members and solving conflicts professionally. In return, this helps leaders to lower and manage their stress effectively.

4. Improves Company Culture

Many job seekers assert that healthy company culture is essential and in the modern world, millennials stress that company culture is everything when choosing a job. We can define company culture as a set of values and traits of an organization. These can include the work environment, guaranteed employee development opportunities, and leadership style.

Leadership skills are far more determinant in employee behavior and interactions within an organization. Unfavorable leadership skills where there is no respect for employees, recognition, and promoting self rather than team render a company’s culture bad.

The skill of emotional intelligence equips leaders with the ability to understand employee expectations better. That is, they form norms and rules that positively impact employee welfare, performance, and work-life balance. In this way, leaders will mind the tone they use while addressing employees and maintain an upper hand on ethics.

5. Boosts Employee Engagement

The modern corporate world has become a fierce battleground for top talent. Hundreds of HRs and managers stress how it has become easier to hire employees, however difficult to retain them. To substantiate, one research shows that over 63% of companies in the US stress that retaining employees is now harder than hiring them.

Employee engagement defines the employees’ inner connection they feel towards their jobs and the company at large. Highly engaged employees are more dedicated to achieving the set goals and are more comfortable at their jobs.

Leaders with high EQ skills are more likely to keep their employees incredibly engaged because they prioritize human relationships. Emotionally intelligent leaders endeavor to provide constructive feedback or appreciate and motivate their employees.

They are also more likely to give positive feedback to the top management about their teams than leaders without EQ skills.

6. Helps Leaders Exercise Empathy

Some people in leadership positions may view empathy as a weakness, but it is one of the most desirable social skills today. Leaders who are emotionally intelligent exhibit higher social skills regardless of their personality or leadership styles. Empathetic leaders are good at understanding others’ situations.

They put themselves in others’ shoes before making a decision and always try to attain multiple perspectives about a scenario.

This cognitive ability helps them cultivate quality relationships, and become socially viable, and dependable. In return, leaders who exercise empathy are normally happier and have fewer chances of suffering from work-related chronic stress.

There is also inner satisfaction that is derived from exercising empathy. Leaders looking for self-improvement tips can also consider EQ and empathy among the most actionable approaches.

7. Promotes Mental Well-Being

The core elements of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, self-regulation, social skills, and relationship management. Closely, all these aspects contribute dimensionally to one’s mental health. Managing businesses is associated with a range of challenges, including mental health issues, yet employees’ mental health is more prioritized than employers’.

Ensuring work-life balance, delegating tasks, and staying positive are some of the immediate approaches to enhancing mental well-being in leaders and managers. However, tapping into the power of EQ can optimize outcomes. Being keener on others’ feelings and emotions doesn’t mean overlooking yours.

However, it helps leaders make sound decisions that will in the long run eliminate regret and stress. It is also an excellent approach to emotion regulation and self-motivation, knowing that you don’t have to act the way you feel. Leaders with EQ skills are also more likely to effectively interact with people.

Bottom Line

Emotional intelligence is a type of soft skill that can effectively complement one’s leadership qualities. Whether you’re a transformational leader, authoritative, participative, or transactional leader, EQ skills can optimize your efficiency and effectiveness in managing people and project outcomes.

It can also dimensionally impact personality, leading to happier leadership experiences.

Author Bio:

“Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.” Wayne Dyer’s thoughts are well suited to Kiara Miller. She has been working as a content marketing professional at ‘The Speakingnerd’. Her passion for writing is also visible in the innovative joys of material she provides to her readers.

This post was proofread by Grammarly. Try it – It’s Free!

Millions trust Grammarly’s free writing app to make their online writing clear and effective. Getting started is simple

Promoted Did you know that brands using Klaviyo average a 95x ROI?

Email, SMS, and more — Klaviyo brings your marketing all together, fueling growth without burning through time and resources.

Deliver more relevant email and text messages — powered by your data. Klaviyo helps you turn one-time buyers into repeat customers with all the power of an enterprise solution and none of the complexity.

Try Klaviyo for free right now ➜

Similar Posts