How emotional intelligence impacts leadership
Many people view emotions as trivial from a business point of view, but emotions in the workplace have real and impacting consequences on productivity and the bottom line.
Essentially, leaders set emotional standards for the organisation. Good moods help people think clearly, better understand information, and be more flexible in their thinking. When workers feel good, they work at their best. Leaders who spread bad moods are bad for business. When they don’t realise they spread bad moods, it is even worse.
Your emotional intelligence can make or break your leadership career
Once you get to a certain level in your career, you’ll find that everyone is pretty much as smart as everyone else at that level. So, how do you set yourself apart as a leader when others have similar qualifications and experience? The key is to develop your emotional intelligence (EI) or emotional quotient (EQ) level.
An EQ level is a lot like an IQ level but focuses on emotional intelligence instead of intellect. Leaders with a higher EQ will most likely get the best out of their staff, and candidates with higher EQ will have an edge over other candidates when pursuing leadership roles.
Your EI can drive the success of your team
Employees who feel happy and upbeat will likely go the extra mile to please your organisation’s customers. Having happy customers usually improves the organisation’s bottom line. For every 1% improvement in the service climate in your organisation, there is a 2% increase in revenue (Spencer, 2001).
The same happens in reverse. When morale is low in an organisation, your direct reports will be more likely to treat customers poorly. Low morale also leads to high staff turnover. These things may well lead to a decline in your revenue. The more emotionally demanding the work is, the greater the need for leaders with high emotional intelligence.
How do you know if you have high emotional intelligence?
There’s a couple of things you can do:
- You can do some self-guided reflection. Do you recognise what types of moods you are in, when you are in them? Do you notice how people respond to your moods and emotions? Have you ever said what you thought or felt without weighing up the consequences? Or, do you recognise when you are not in a great mood and take steps to manage it and avoid taking it out on others? Do you know how to respond as a manager when you have to have a difficult conversation with your staff, and they respond with high emotions? Do you freely share when you are happy or excited about a project or a successful outcome?
- You can complete a guided self-assessment. For example, Leadership Directions’ EIQ16 assessment measures different aspects of emotional intelligence and looks at them in relation to management competencies. We also provide a personalised report that gives you development advice on how to improve your weaker areas.
Your level of emotional intelligence impacts your leadership skills. Emotional intelligence will separate the most successful leaders from the average leaders, and isn’t that what all organisations want – successful leadership?