Emotional intelligence

Now, more than ever, emotional intelligence is being recognised as a major contributor to business success. Arguably, components of emotional intelligence have always existed in business – however, the term itself has only gained prominence in the past twenty years, following the release of Daniel Goleman’s bestselling book ’Emotional Intelligence’ in 1995.

Why is emotional intelligence a vital attribute for business owners? Because, with a growing number of organisations embracing flat rather than hierarchal structures, the role that emotional intelligence has to play in fostering workplace productivity is becoming even more evident. 

What is emotional intelligence?

According to Mayor and Salovey, emotional intelligence is “the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth." 

Numerous studies have demonstrated that emotionally intelligent leaders are better equipped to motivate and relate to employees, and also navigate organisational change and conflict. Through being able to understand their own emotions as well as the emotions of others, these individuals have a superior ability to lead their staff towards productivity and success. 

How can leaders develop their emotional intelligence? Here are three key tips:

1. Develop an awareness of your own emotions: in order to be emotionally intelligent, you first need to be in tune with your emotions. That is, you need to be able to identify whether you are happy, sad, stressed, confused etc; because unless you are able to effectively pinpoint your own feelings, your emotions will likely lead you, rather than you leading them; 

2. Manage your emotions: If you aren’t able to control your emotions, self awareness is effectively redundant. Self management enables you to stay in control of your emotions and develop logical responses, which in turn can improve not only communication channels and staff morale, but also foster a workplace that emphasises constructive action, rather than conflict. 

3. Become socially aware: social awareness can enable a business owner to better perceive and empathise with the emotions of their employees. This is important because it means that the owner can better understand their staff’s motivations, sensitivities and personalities – an awareness that can enable them to adapt leadership styles to get the most out of each of their employees. 

Posted by George Tarbey on 07/12/2012 at 12:00 AM | Categories:


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