Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Effectiveness: Bringing Out the Best

Time for an honest self-appraisal. Would most people who you’ve worked with you say that you bring out the best or the worst in them?

When I reflect on my own career and the various reasons I either left companies or was willing to move laterally, it was always because of a poor relationship with a manager.

For most of us, it’s easy to name the individuals who have brought out the best in us — and maybe easier still to name people who have brought out the worst. These memories are significant because of the way these managers made us feel.

The late Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Leading With Emotional Intelligence

Whether we’re at home or at work, our emotions are woven into our every interaction. They influence how we react to challenges and opportunities. They determine whether or not we collaborate to resolve conflict. They prompt our willingness to forgive ourselves and others. As we move through our days, our emotions play a role in the amount of effort we demonstrate, what behaviors we display, our psychological health, and our moods.

Popularized by psychologist Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence is defined as our capacity to be aware of, to control, and to express these emotions. It enables us to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.

Read: Emotional Intelligence 2.0

by Travis Bradberry

Emotional intelligence has the following 4 key components:

  1. Self-Awareness: The ability to know your emotions, as well as your strengths and weaknesses, and recognize their impact on performance and relationships.
  2. Self-Management: The ability to control both positive and negative emotions and impulses and be flexible and adaptive as situations warrant.
  3. Social Awareness: The ability to have empathy for others, navigate politically, and network proactively.
  4. Relationship Management: The ability to inspire through persuasive communication, motivation, building bonds, and disarming conflict among individuals.

The managers who have had a strong impact on my job satisfaction had high emotional intelligence and leadership effectiveness. They brought out the best in me because they were strong communicators, they were empathetic, and they made me feel appreciated.

Why High Emotional Intelligence in Leadership Drives Employee Engagement

The ability to connect emotionally with employees is essential for leadership effectiveness. In part, that’s because the way a leader makes you feel can impact your engagement as well as your productivity. Emotions can weave through every work situation you experience, including:

  • Change and uncertainty
  • Interactions with colleagues
  • Conflict and relationships
  • Effort and burnout
  • Achievement and failure

According to Closing the Engagement Gap, a book by researchers Julie Gebauer and Don Lowman, only one-fifth of the global workforce is considered fully engaged. That’s especially problematic when organizations go through challenging times like the recent pandemic because, in times like these, employers depend on their employees to help the organization come through strong and equipped for the future.

If employees are committed and engaged, they’re more productive, which positively impacts organizational profitability.

Editorial Reviews

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is a fast read with compelling anecdotes and good context in which to understand and improve your score.”

“Surveys of 500,000 people on the role of emotions in daily life have enabled the authors to hone EQ assessment to a 28-question online survey that can be completed in seven minutes.”
The Washington Post

“Read worthy strategies for improving emotional intelligence skills make this our how-to book of the week. It’s nice to know that average IQ doesn’t limit a person to average performance. And who can resist an online quiz with instant feedback?”

From the Inside Flap

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 succinctly explains how to deal with emotions creatively and employ our intelligence in a beneficial way.”
The Dalai Lama

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