Emotional Leadership: How to Use Your Emotional Intelligence to Be a Better Leader

emotional leadership

Do you have emotional high intelligence?

Signs of emotional intelligence include politeness, self-reflection, and awareness of other people’s feelings. These are great attributes to have in business.

In this article, we’ll explain how these characteristics are crucial for effective leaders. Read on to find out why emotional leadership is important in the workplace and how you can practice it.

How to Use Emotional Leadership

In order to be an effective leader, you need emotional intelligence. Here’s how emotional leadership can improve your business and interpersonal skills.

Regulate Yourself

Emotional intelligence is defined as “the ability to accurately perceive your own and others’ emotions and the ability to use this information as a guide to thinking and behavior. (John D. Mayer, Peter Salovey and David R. Caruso.)

According to these researchers, there are five components that help leaders connect with themselves and others. These include: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills to manage relationships.

Being your authentic self is important, and that means being true to your core values. Write down the values, ethics, and rules that guide you and hold yourself accountable to them. Use them as the filter through which you make decisions. Ask yourself important questions like, “How does this (decision, action, etc.) make me feel? How might it make others feel? How will I address the feelings of others?

Regulate your words, as well as your actions. Sometimes, emotion forces us to react, rather than respond. Using emotional intelligence, allows us to better process the initial reaction, think through the impact on others, and develop a more intentional response. Then, you can express the response in a more measured way.

Be Empathetic

According to Forbes, empathy is essential for moving forward in business.

Many people assume that showing leadership requires quick and decisive action. While that may be true sometimes or in certain situations, it can hold you back when you’re trying to lead a team.

If you practice empathy, you can better understand the people you work with and make better connections with them. If you’re aware of how other people feel, understand what they have experienced, and are able to put yourself in their shoes, you’ll be better-equipped the come to an agreement and a compromise that suits both of you, resulting in better relationships and higher productivity in the workplace.

Using emotional intelligence helps to gauge other people’s feelings before becoming annoyed, irritated or critical, and instead, thinking about why they act or feel the way they do, keeping other viewpoints in mind. This in essential when you’re trying to manage change in the workplace.

Be Self-Aware

When your emotional intelligence is high, you’re more aware of your own strengths and weaknesses, which means you can identify the areas in which you need to improve. You’re also more aware of how your actions and words affect others around you. This also means understanding what motivates you, and where you get in your own way. Sometimes that requires embracing the areas where you are vulnerable and where you might need to check your ego and demonstrate more humility.

To practice self-awareness, start by writing a journal. In a Harvard Business Review article, “Managing Oneself,” Peter Drucker wrote, “Whenever you make a decision or take a key decision, write down what you expect will happen. Nine or 12 months later, compare the results with what you expected.” Drucker called this self-reflection process feedback analysis. Writing down your own thoughts and feelings will help you to reflect and evaluate the impact of your leadership actions.

Ask for and be open to accepting feedback from others, and assess your own emotional intelligence using online resources and tools. Here are a few that we recommend: https://www.extension.harvard.edu/professional-development/blog/assessing-your-emotional-intelligence-4-tools-we-love

EI Assessments

Become a Better Leader

If you’re looking to enhance your leadership skills even further, consider taking part in a hands-on training course.

With our leadership training, you’ll learn how to increase your productivity, improve morale, and become more adaptable. You’ll also learn how to make stronger bonds with employees and partners, so you can retain connections and improve your employee turnover rate.

Contact us to see how we can make you a better leader.

Valda Valbrun

Ms. Valda Valbrun is an established Educational Leader known for passion toward inclusive, research-based, data-driven pedagogy, a systems change facilitator with a proven track record of supporting schools and districts to change educational practices and establish systems, and a dynamic Professional Developer, Teacher, Administrator, Entrepreneur, Advocate and Student Champion.

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