- Recognize, understand and manage our own emotions
- Recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others
- Self-awareness: knowledge of our own emotional state and how we are showing up in the world.
- Self-regulation: ability to control how we are showing up, and to keep our emotions in check when situations call for control.
- Motivation: (defined as “a passion for work that goes beyond money and status”): what moves us to do our best?
- Empathy for others: feeling for others when they are experiencing emotions (positive or negative) as a result of their own life experiences.
- Social skills: Proficiency in managing relationships and building networks with communication.
- Insensitivity: People who are insensitive are often perceived to be uncaring. Others are less likely to want to work with them or offer help.
- Arrogance: A mentor once defined arrogance as “unearned confidence.” Arrogant people project superiority and egotism. They are often closed off to feedback from others, and believe that their way of thinking is the only possibility. They do not make good team players.
- Volatility: Volatile people are disruptive, unpredictable, and not attuned to the emotional states and concerns of others. Their presence impedes and harms progress because their emotional state can distract and destroy the advancement of key relationships or initiatives.
- Rigidity: Inflexible thinking significantly impedes an individual’s ability to connect with others at a deeper level and establish trust because they are shut down to different perspectives. A relationship can’t develop when one person refuses to grow or accept new ways of thinking.
- Selfishness: The best leaders always subjugate their own personal agendas for the greater good of the organization or the team. When we are driven by our own selfish motives, others are unable to trust us because they know we do not have their best interests in mind.
There are many actions you can take to boost your emotional intelligence. Here are a few:
- Keep a journal. Create a list of situations or events that “trigger” negative emotions, such as anger or frustration. Then write out a strategy to deal with these situations in a positive and effective manner. Review these strategies often so you’re prepared to put them into practice.
- Practice being calm. The next time you’re in a challenging situation, be mindful of your response. Do you relieve your stress by shouting at someone else? Do you clench your teeth? Does your heart rate accelerate? Counting to 10, or closing your eyes and taking a deep breath, will help you control your emotions so that your emotions don’t control you. Remind yourself that a negative reaction to a stressful situation will likely make the situation worse, and will impact your relationships with others long after the situation has passed.
- Be positive. Emotionally intelligent leaders lead from a place of optimism. They find the silver lining in the storm, and view challenges as learning opportunities. As leaders, they are aware that their reactions will set the tone for how others respond to difficulty.
- Put yourself in someone else’s position. Strengthen your empathy muscle. It’s always easy to support your own point of view. Emotionally intelligent leaders always consider how decisions and situations impact others. Empathy tells others that you care about their well-being and success, and that they are not alone in their difficulty. They also communicate their support.
- Pay attention to body language. When you listen to someone, do you cross your arms or look around? This tells others how you really feel about a situation, even if you are speaking a different message. Learning to read body language can be a real asset in a leadership role, because you’ll be better able to determine how someone truly feels. This gives you the opportunity to respond appropriately.
- Practice gratitude. As a leader, you can inspire the loyalty of your team simply by showing appreciation. It tells people you are paying attention, and that you acknowledge that others are essential to your success.
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Please check out my Inc. Magazine columns on my Author Page too.
– In my latest Inc, article, I share The Essential Guide to Avoiding Workplace Text, Email, & Social Media Disasters.
– Learn about the 9 Leadership Behaviors that Lose Employee Trust & Respect here.
CEO, Successful Culture
“Taking Leaders from Triage to Transformation.”