Emotional intelligence allows us to be more aware of our feelings and behaviors and those of others. Because of this, it’s an essential trait of strong leaders. Here are four ways emotional intelligence is an asset in the workplace.
While the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of the term “emotional intelligence” may have to do with the ability to understand and empathize with others, it is critical first and foremost that you know yourself. A lack of self-awareness translates to a lack of capacity for growth; you must be conscious of your own strengths and worth as well as your own mistakes, flaws, and shortcomings. This will not only help you to understand which areas require your focus regarding growth but will affect how you navigate communicating and negotiating with others by being cognizant of your strengths and weaknesses.
Every Word Counts
People with emotional intelligence can use their intuition and what they know of their relationships with others to determine how they should approach different subjects with different individuals. Emotional intelligence allows for a gauge of different responses and how to calmly and effectively handle these responses. Besides knowing how to respond, people with emotional intelligence also know how to listen.
Control Your Emotions or They Will Control You
There’s much truth to be found in the timeless proverb, “Control your emotions, or they will control you.” This is especially true when conducting oneself as a leader. Once you can properly identify your emotions and standard responses to certain stimuli, you need to practice regulating them to prevent an accidental explosion. Being able to remain stoic and calm in a tense situation is important, but just as important is being able to process and release any negative emotions in a healthy way to avoid buildup.
Walk in Another Man’s Shoes
Emotionally intelligent people can pick up on cues, both verbal and nonverbal, that help them to understand how to interact with different people in different environments effectively. They can consider multiple perspectives and are thus skilled in authentically sympathizing. They have also learned to focus more on understanding than on hasty judgment. Because they understand viewpoints aside from their own, they can give more objective feedback. While ‘walking in another man’s shoes’ may not be possible in the literal sense, leaders who possess this tenet of emotional intelligence are valued for their abilities to listen and respond genuinely.