Are You an Emotionally Intelligent Leader?
For leaders, it’s not enough to know your facts or think critically. The best leaders also have high emotional intelligence. Here, we’ll discuss what emotional intelligence (EI) is and how it benefits leaders. We’ll also explore ways you can improve your own EI.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence addresses two main areas:
- Understanding and managing your own emotions, and
- Recognizing and responding to the emotions of those around you.
Research has demonstrated that emotional intelligence is a strong predictor of performance at work. While intellectual capacity and skills matter, star employees and leaders stand apart by how they implement their knowledge and skills through their emotional intelligence.
How Emotional Intelligence Benefits Leaders
High emotional intelligence helps leaders better understand those they lead. Better understanding, in turn, allows leaders to adapt their communication and guidance to get the most from their teams.
Managers and leaders with high EI:
- Lead their teams effectively, achieving the goals set for the team.
- Foster good relationships between employees.
- Reduce turnover by addressing problems before they lead to an employee leaving.
How to Improve Your Own EI
To improve your own EI, focus on the four main elements of emotional intelligence.
Self-awareness includes understanding your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as recognizing your emotions and how they affect you and others around you. One way to assess your self-awareness is to use 360-degree feedback to examine yourself directly and through others’ eyes.
Self-management focuses on how well you manage your emotions – especially when you’re under stress. High self-management allows you to respond rather than react in tense moments. To improve self-management, practice pausing before you answer a question or respond to a situation. Practice stress management techniques to lower your reactivity.
Social awareness looks at how well you “read the room,” or spot others’ emotions and interpersonal dynamics. To build social awareness, practice empathy. Work to understand the feelings and perspectives of others through active listening.
Relationship management engages your ability to influence others. It covers both mentorship and conflict resolution. Teaching and mediation are skills distinct from the skills required to do the task you’re teaching or mediating. Practice these skills to boost your relationship management.
High emotional intelligence helps leaders get the best from their teams. It also helps lawyers understand their clients and the impact of their work.
For help finding a legal superstar with strong emotional intelligence, give Avata Partners a call today!