Emotionally Intelligent Leaders

Click for the PDF Version (includes strategies and descriptions)

Before you can dive into the fundamentals of leadership, it is best to gage how much you truly “care” about people. Another way to look at the leadership development challenge is to ask yourself what do you value more: the product or the process? the destination or the journey? Emotionally intelligent leaders understand more than anything that people matter most in any organization. As an officer in the US Army I was taught very early: mission first, people always.

When it comes to leading teams, developing leadership skills or increasing your effectiveness, always start with yourself. Know the purpose of your team: what goal(s) are you trying to achieve? What is your mission? Know your position in the team: what authority do you have and what are your responsibilities and boundaries. Know your people: that includes you and all those you interact with in your team and those who support your team, not to mention those your team may serve.

Emotionally intelligent leaders understand the importance of healthy relationships. How to start them, how to sustain them and how to create even stronger bonds through building trust and team chemistry.  Here are four components of emotional intelligence that will give leaders an advantage in building relationships and leading teams.

Component #1: Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is the ability to understand one’s emotions as they happen. Emotions like: happiness, sadness, surprise, fear, disgust, anger, etc. Self-awareness involves learning where your emotions come from, the reasons behind them and how they are displayed. Improving self-awareness is essential to mastering the other three components of emotional intelligence (EQ).

Component #2: Self-Management

Self-management is the act of managing your emotions. This allows you to manage how you may react or behave. After becoming self-aware and understanding your basic emotions, self-management tools allow for self-control, which can lead to stronger relations, better communication and providing oneself the opportunity to act rationally and reasonably.

Component #3: Social-Awareness

Social awareness is removing focus from you to pay attention to others and their emotions. This includes observing environments and people and requires the ability to actively pay attention to and even accept the tones and emotions of others.

 Component #4: Relationship Management (or Social-Management)

Relationship management combines all other EQ components to allow for maintaining positive relationships. This involves building trust, engaging in healthy and appropriate communication, and intentionally interacting with others to achieve positive results.