The definition of leadership has changed in the past few decades. In the past few years, there has been an emphasis on the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership. Emotional intelligence, or EQ, has been recognized for its correlation with success at work, personal life, and overall well-being. People with high emotional intelligence often become desirable employees and enjoy multiple advantages at work.
If we turn our gaze towards history, we will find several influential people with high emotional intelligence. From Abraham Lincoln to Martin Luther King Jr., emotional intelligence plays a huge role in how individuals perceive themselves and the people around them. However, despite being a good indicator of an individual’s ability to lead and contribute, most organizations often ignore it. This article will look at the importance of emotional intelligence in business.
What Is Emotional Intelligence
The ability of an individual to identify, evaluate, control, and express their emotions is what can be defined as emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence represents complete emotional control and management with respect to your surroundings and situation. Since such people understand themselves and can engage and empathize with others in a better manner, EQ should not be taken lightly.
According to psychologist Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence comprises the following five components:
Emotionally intelligent people recognize and understand their strengths and weaknesses. They are aware of their emotions and moods and how those affect others.
Being emotionally intelligent means that you express your feelings in a mature way and with some restraint. You think before doing and can control your impulses and emotional responses.
Emotionally intelligent people pursue goals for self-development and self-gratification instead of materialistic prospects. Such people are self-motivated and are driven by passion rather than money.
Empathy is another trait of an emotionally intelligent person. Empathetic people can share the emotional experience of another person. Such people can understand others and respond to their needs.
Read Also: Leading with Empathy: The Most Important Leadership Skill
Emotionally intelligent people can quickly develop trustworthy and respectful relationships with others. Such people are skilled in networking and avoid power struggles to create genuine friendships.
What Is Emotional Intelligence in Business
IQ often overshadows emotional intelligence at work. Since it is considered a quantifiable intelligence ranking, organizations and businesses prioritize it over EQ. However, in the long run, this can negatively impact the organization. Even as entrepreneurs, it becomes essential to understand and manage one’s feelings to empathize with employees, coworkers, and customers. Nearly 96% of employees feel that it is vital for their employers to display empathy.
Importance Of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership
Outstanding leadership is incomplete without emotional intelligence. If you know your strengths and weaknesses and can understand others better, you are better equipped to build meaningful relationships. However, it is crucial to understand that leadership EQ does not involve technical skills or knowledge. They do, but representing qualities that can help create opportunities, tackle challenges, and inspire others is what leadership EQ is all about.
Emotional intelligence at work can impact several aspects like challenges, hiring, business opportunities, sales, etc. Emotional intelligence in leadership does not lie in the fact that it affects relationships but is fundamental in your decisions and how you make them. Let us look at some ways you can leverage emotional intelligence in business.
- Managing even the smallest group of employees might be challenging if you lack emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence in leadership is about understanding your workplace’s diversity and responding to every challenge accordingly.
- If you wish to create a successful enterprise, you must also have empathy apart from being emotionally intelligent. This is because you need both to understand your client’s needs. To offer them the best possible solutions, you must understand their present and long-term business goals from an intellectual and emotional POV. Once you establish that connection, you will no longer have to ‘sell’ your services.
- Being emotionally intelligent allows entrepreneurs to perceive beyond their products and services and empathize with the customer. From recognizing the customer’s needs to addressing their questions and even taking note of their dissatisfaction, using emotional intelligence in business can help you provide a better customer experience.
Emotional intelligence in business has become an even more critical tool in the post-COVID world. People are responding with a lot of emotion during this crisis. They do what feels safe or normal without accurately assessing the risk factors. Hence entrepreneurs must use this as the starting point where they wish to take their business. Business EQ would require them to know their customer base and empathetically respond to their emotional needs.
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