Emotional Intelligence 'the capacity to be aware of, control and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically', sounds easy right?
At the base of it we are all emotional and social creatures. Our success across all generations depends on our capacity to perceive, understand, use and manage emotions in ourselves and others. EI underpins the development of these important employee attributes, critical to the sustained success of today's organisations.
For example Robert Gronbeck, a sports coach working with elite athletes, believes that emotional intelligence is also critical to peak performance. "Emotional Intelligence comprises a blend of social competence, ability to read people and regulate emotions, along with a masterful awareness of one's own emotional and mental state", he says. When you are aware of emotions you can use that information to direct your actions in accordance with your goals.
This rings true for a leader going into a critical meeting or delivering an important presentation, the same level of focus may be required, to show up in the right mental and emotional state when it counts, the key to successful leadership could indeed be Emotional Intelligence.
The true challenge then lies in how today's leaders can create an environment where employees are fully engaged and motivated to achieve organisational objectives through emotional intelligence.
Take a look at some of the interesting facts sourced from Genos International, to help understand emotional intelligence and leadership, (Genos International was formed in August 2002 by Swinburne University to bring to the market the first Australian model and measure of emotional intelligence, developed by Dr. Ben Palmer and Professor Con Stough).
The World Economic Forum has promoted the top 10 skills you need to thrive in the Forth Industrial Revolution. The second social skill set on the list is 'Emotional Intelligence'.
The Jobs of the Future report, from which these skills were identified, talks about emotional intelligence as a core competency for people entering the workforce and people in the workforce in the future. This encapsulates being able to; a) manage ourselves through complexity, high workloads, stress and high work demands | b) tune in to the needs of others in the workplace | c) respond when we experience strong emotions | d) express ourselves effectively, and | e) navigate through difficult conversations.
CBE recently reported that the average organisation has experienced five enterprise wide changes in the past five years, and that 50% of them are rated as complete failures. The CBE report highlighted poor leadership soft skills as the principle cause of change project failure. Change, by its very nature, causes stress and anxiety both for leaders and their teams. This means that having leaders with good soft skills underpinned by emotional intelligence, helps to ensure the success of change projects. Genos have examined the impact improving leaders EI can have on change projects, finding that leaders with high levels of emotional intelligence are better able to manage the stress and anxiety of change and motivate team members to deliver project outcomes.
When hiring or developing leaders, their ability to navigate through high demand, stressful working conditions and change in the workplace as well as to lead by example, is now a strong predictor of organisational performance. This is particularly applicable in industries where high emotional labour exists.
A powerful starting point in anyone's journey to become more emotionally intelligent in the workplace is to understand our own emotions, be reflective and gain feedback to understand how people are seeing our behaviour and what may be causing it.
This revolutionary information has already help improve the employee engagement and retention of over 250 organisations worldwide, and is now being offered by HR Coach Australasia. Being a great leader isn't always easy, but breaking down why leaders who use emotional intelligence are great is, and how you can become one yourself.
To gain your own valuable insight, take a look at the webinar around this very topic from HR Coach Australasia's own Peter McCleary; Emotional Intelligence and Your Bottom Line.
Emotional Intelligence is for us all. By applying some of these key attributes and learnings, you are only a step or click away from discovering how EI can better prepare you to manage, engage and retain your organisations employees and ultimately improve your effectiveness as a leader in the modern workplace.