Five Reasons to Build Emotional and Social Intelligence: Plus How to Do It
By Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., MCC
President, College of Executive Coaching
What do you believe are the top qualities of star performing managers and leaders? Holding people accountable? Being inspiring? Ability to work with different kinds of personalities? Hard working ethic?
Science shows us that what distinguishes top rated leaders from average leaders is their degree of emotional and social intelligence.
In this short article I will highlight the top five reasons your managers and leaders need to develop their emotional intelligence and explain the best way to help them to do this.
I typically define Emotional intelligence (EI) to the managers and leaders I am coaching as: EI is knowing yourself and managing yourself; and understanding others and managing your relationships with others.
Although every individual possesses different levels of EI, in order for individuals to be star leaders, they’ll need a superior level of emotional intelligence. EI is widely recognized as a highly important factor for success: influencing productivity, employee retention and development, as well as team collaboration. Here are five important reasons, building on the ideas of Sara Fletcher, why leaders should cultivate their emotional and social intelligence:
An individual who is high in emotional self-awareness knows what they are feeling and how their emotions affect their behavior. Leaders high in emotional self-awareness get information from their emotions, which helps them avoid projecting blame onto others. Such leaders are able to use emotional information to help them manage themselves well and the situations they encounter.
When an individual has high emotional self-awareness, the next step is to use that knowledge to conduct themselves masterfully in complex and emotionally charged situations. The leader high in self-management is unlikely to rush headlong into hasty decisions or let their anger lead to poor behavior. It is vital that individuals in positions of power do not lash out emotionally, as being perceived as out of control will cause them to lose respect.
3. Effective Communication
Individuals with strong emotional and social intelligence usually are skilled communicators. Their emotional self-awareness, empathy and their optimism help them communicate positively and comfortably with many kinds of personalities and they are able to clearly convey ideas and directions -- knowing what to say in order to inspire and motivate others. These emotional intelligence factors increase the chances that this is a leader that others will follow.
4. Social Awareness
Leaders with emotional intelligence are well tuned to not only their own feelings but also the emotions of others. They are able to sympathize with others by putting themselves in the employee’s shoes. They are capable of understanding other people’s perspectives and empathetically communicating their understanding; they are able to express that they care for their followers. If the manager or leader is not seen as empathizing with their employees, he or she will find it difficult to maintain respect or loyalty.
5. Conflict Resolution
In the workplace, there’s always the risk that emerging conflicts can threaten a positive organizational culture as well as harm productivity. However, leaders with high emotional and social intelligence are best equipped to help manage conflicts, be appropriately responsive and help craft effective solutions. Leaders high in EI use their emotional intelligence to develop an inclusive, engaged and effective workplace culture.
Four Steps to Develop Emotionally Intelligent Leaders
Step One: The first step to develop more emotionally intelligent leaders is to establish agreement between the coach and the employee that the leader is interested in becoming a peak performer. Then you show the leader that the research demonstrates that to be a peak performer means to have well developed emotional and social intelligence.
Step Two: Next, administer a valid emotional intelligence assessment to obtain a baseline and identify EI competencies to fine tune. Based on my research, presented by invitation to the American Psychological Association, the most valid and culturally fair of the emotional intelligence assessments is the Emotional Quotient 2.0 (EQI2.0).
Step Three: Once the EQI2.0 results are available, conduct a coaching session where the client selects EI competencies they want to fine tune, aligned with important values and organizational goals, and set up a coaching plan with action steps to move forward.
Step Four: Next help the leader develop an accountability process to make sure they practice the new, desired emotionally intelligent behaviors at every available opportunity.
How, When and Where:
EQI2.0 Certification Special for ATD-LA Members -- Register by March 3rd to save $100 on early registration.
ATD-LA has scheduled a special, discounted EQI2.0 Certification on March 24th and 25th in Culver City.
Attending the certification training will:
Allow you to administer the EQI2.0 Self-Report and the EQ360 Multi-rater report, generating a valuable 21 page report complete with thorough development and coaching suggestions tailored to the client.
Prepare you to teach a one-day workshop on Emotional and Social Intelligence.
Provide you with four free scorings of an EQI2.0 Workplace report allowing you to immediately recoup the cost of the investment in certification,
Benefit you with your own one-on-one individual coaching session to review your EQI2.0 report with a master coach.
Click here for more information on ATD-LA’s discounted EQI 2.0 Certification training being held on March 24 and 25.