The human mind is complex, and in an age when everything is driven by technology, it’s harder to decode human emotions and behaviours. That’s where the role of Emotional Intelligence(EI) comes in.
EI is the ability to understand the emotions and respond to it in the right manner.
Emotional Intelligence has become a key point when one talks about leadership. It’s necessary for every office and organizations where teams work collectively to achieve their goals and targets, also known as vanguard leadership.
The Correlation between Emotional Intelligence and Effective Leadership
The term Emotional Intelligence was coined by the cumulative effort of Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer in 1990. They described it as a form of social intelligence that helps in controlling one’s emotions and understanding the emotions of others. I
t is the collection of abilities used to identify, assess and control the emotions of the self and others. Emotional intelligence is a useful tool for developing leadership skills. It’s a critical component of establishing order and discipline in an organization.
There exists a significant relationship between EI and effective leadership. It is crucial for a leader to have EI to be able to relate with problems that require human understanding.
A leader must be able to gauge the requirements of the ones working under them and make them feel comfortable at the workspace. That’s how a leader constructs an exceptional team.
The necessity of EI is not only restricted to leaders but also the subordinates. The subordinates need to have EI to be able to assert control themselves and function with better productivity.
Transactional versus Transformational Leadership: Where Emotional Intelligence is necessary?
There are two kinds of popular leadership theories that are dominantly applied in organizations. One the transactional and the other, transformational.
Transactional leadership revolves around creating a strict line between the leaders and the subordinates. It focuses on rewarding or punishing the subordinates, and it’s driven by individual interests.
On the contrary, transformational leadership focuses on the needs of the team members and work as a unified whole. It is more emotion-based and therefore, enhances organizational performance. It a proactive form of leadership, unlike the transactional one. In any case, it is a better form of leadership.
To execute this form of leadership efficiently, knowledge of Emotional intelligence becomes mandatory.
When a leader thinks from the perspective of others, he can make decisions for the team; it is an application of EI. Abandoning the bureaucratic approach is the first step towards EI.
The increasing importance has led to the training of students with the same skill through Emotional Intelligence Leadership courses.
The key elements of Emotional Intelligence
Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist, helped to popularise this concept by introducing 5 key elements to it:
EI begins with controlling your mind. It’s the first step towards being active. If you can avoid erratic decisions and manage your responses, it sets you as a good leader.
Understand yourself critically to understand the world around you.
After self-awareness comes the regulation of the self.
EI requires you to scrutinize your strengths and weaknesses and work on them. You don’t need to stop reflecting your emotions but show them appropriately in a way that your work gets done and no interests of others are harmed.
When you are good at self-regulation, you can adapt to new changes quickly. You have to keep welcoming the change that comes your way. Keep evolving because rigidity hinders progress.
It takes a lot to become a source of motivation for others. Emotionally intelligent people carry the ability to spark motivation in others.
You have to become a leader who can drive their subordinates by instilling motivation in them. Set goals and involve the entire team, create a sense of togetherness and achieve.
If you can think from the perspective of the others, you are empathetic. Understanding the situation is an immensely beneficial quality. It helps you to relate and take better decisions.
When you have empathy, you are compassionate, and that’s how you become a great transformational leader.
To be able to interact well with others is the core of EI. Social skills are essential to figuring the emotions of others and understanding your own. It comes from interacting and communicating with people daily. These skills involve communication, leadership, persuasiveness, listening and understanding.
All of these put together with help in creating a shared sense of purpose in an organization. Not following the same can serve the contrary. It creates bitterness, frustration, and most importantly, confusion amongst the employees.
Emotional Intelligence can Encourage Optimism
These are the salient elements that help leaders to develop collective goals and objectives, appreciate and appraise the work of subordinates, to maintain enthusiasm and optimism. They also encourage flexibility in the decision making and establishing a sound identity of the organization.