Let’s start with a quick intro to set up the concepts straight. Since we were little kids in grade school, intelligence and therefore, our intellectual abilities have been measured by a number within the IQ range. IQ stands for Intelligent Quotient, which refers to the “relative intelligence” of an individual.
Don’t get me wrong, being intelligent is important but is not, by far the main driver for success. As leaders a key element for team building is empathy and the ability to create and foster human connections is paramount; that’s where EQ comes into play.
What is EQ and why do leaders need to care?
According to the HelpGuide.Org website, emotional intelligence aka EQ can be defined as “the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict”. Why is EQ important to leadership you ask? Great question! As leaders we need to be attuned with our environment and develop the ability to create lasting authentic relationships. Yet as previously stated intellectual ability alone won’t build the path to success, if leadership is your calling. On the other hand, your EQ allows you to deal with intangible things like stress and emotions that have a direct impact on your ability to perform as an individual, as well as as part of a team.
The following attributes are the most commonly linked as EQ:
Self-management – Your ability to control impulsive behaviors, reactions, or feelings as well as to the healthy management of your emotions, it also refers to your ability to take initiatives, adapt to changing circumstances, and follow through on commitments.
Self-awareness – Your ability to recognize your own emotions and understand how these affect your thoughts and actions. You are clearly aware of what your weaknesses are, as well as your strengths, and you manage to display self-confidence.
Social awareness – You’re empathetic. You are capable of putting yourself in others’ shoes and understand their emotions, needs, and concerns, you’re also able to pick up on emotional cues, feel socially comfortable, and recognize the power group dynamics within a team or group of people.
Relationship management – Your ability to develop and maintain good relationships, practice clear communication, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and successfully manage crises/conflicts.
Getting to know your team in a deep, personal level, will not only enhance the relationship and trust, but it will also allow you to understand the following:
- What matters them (individually, as well as collectively)
- What motivates them
- How do they perceive success
- How would they like to be recognized
These questions matter tremendously. Being attuned with emotional intelligence paves the path for honest human connection and; therefore, successful team-building.
Thanks for reading and God bless,