The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership
Do you know what your EQ is? Most people would agree that you need a certain level of intelligence to run a small business. But it may not be the kind of brainpower you’re thinking of. Successful leaders also need a high EQ or “emotional intelligence.” It’s the ability to take your business know-how and marry it with people smarts to make better decisions. Learn more about emotional intelligence in leadership and how to use it to grow your small business.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Not sure what emotional intelligence is? The term first surfaced in the 1990s when it was identified by two psychology professors, John Mayer and Peter Salovey. They defined it as “the ability to perceive and manage your own and others’ emotions.”
So how does that relate to business? You can have the smartest business ideas but unless you understand how your people might react to it, you may not achieve the success you crave.
For example, emotionally intelligent leaders can read the room during a discussion. They notice if one individual is frowning when a certain point is made. They also recognize that that individual may not be comfortable volunteering an opposing viewpoint. So the leader monitors their own behavior, stops talking, and asks that employee what they think. The conversation that results helps the leader make more balanced decisions.
Raising Your EQ
The good news about emotional intelligence is that you can learn how to improve it. Research suggests that these qualities are signs of a high EQ:
Running a successful business involves more than business know-how. It also requires emotional intelligence. Developing your EQ can be an important tool to create a healthy and productive workplace.