Why Leaders Need Emotional Intelligence

One way to grow your emotional intelligence, a crucial trait for successful leaders, comes by reading broadly. One of the best leadership bloggers today and my friend, Dan Black, just released his new book, The Leadership MandateHe is offering readers of my blog an extended chance to receive 6 special bonuses (valuing over $85) when they purchase his book and forward the Amazon receipt to [email protected]. (Be sure to include the word “Mandate” into the forwarded email.) You can see the bonuses by clicking here. You can purchase the book through Amazon by clicking here.

Dan truly understands leadership and you’ll love this book (and grow your emotional intelligence). To get a taste of his writing, I’ve posted one of his blog posts here about emotional intelligence. 

The ability to lead with emotional intelligence is a must for leaders. A leader needs to be able to be aware of their people’s emotional condition. Then have the ability to lead them in their current state. The Bar-On model which was introduced by Daniel Goleman defines emotional intelligence as,

Being concerned with effectively understanding oneself and others, relating well to people, and adapting to and copingwith the immediate surroundings to be more successful in dealing with environmental demands” (Bar-On, R. (1997). The Emotional Quotient Inventory).

The first thing we need to understand about leading with emotional intelligence is that it starts with an understanding of self, which is all about being aware of your emotions. This includes understanding the positive and negative emotions we go through at any given time and for any given reason. The second is being aware and understanding other people’s emotions, which is about being other’s focused.

This is something we need to remember because understanding yours and other’s emotions closely relates to actions and productivity. The tendency to act either in a positive or negative way or being productive or unproductive is largely determined by the emotions of the leader and team. This means the emotions we have will lead to action. Daniel Goleman in Emotional Intelligence says,

“All emotions are, in essence, impulses to act, the instant plans for handling life that evolution has instilled in us. The very root of the word emotion is motere, the Latin verb “to move,” plus the prefix “e-“to connote “move away,” suggesting that a tendency to act is implicit to every emotion.”

The key is to be able to lead (While not manipulating) your people’s emotions, so they produce the results that are conducive to the team and organizational goals. This is why leader’s need to be aware of their own and their team’s emotions. Being an effective person or leader in your field requires having emotional intelligence.

You can connect with Dan on Twitter and Facebook.

Question: What are your thoughts on emotional intelligence and leadership?

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