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Increase Your Influence By Improving Your Emotional Intelligence

For any leader, the ability to lead and influence effectively hinges on a potent superpower: Emotional Intelligence (EI). Over our years working in learning and development, we have seen the transformative impact that honing emotional intelligence can have on leaders' effectiveness.


Here we’ll share the insights you need to know about EI, and how you can make a start on enhancing this crucial skillset.


The Power of Emotional Intelligence


Some people might think calling EI a superpower is overreaching a bit. But in the time poor, highly distractible, low-trust world we are surrounded by, it really is.


Well-developed Emotional Intelligence gives you two major competitive advantages as a leader.


1. Connecting with Others


Leaders with well-developed EI possess a unique ability to observe emotions, not only within themselves but also in others. This dramatically enhances their capacity to connect with team members, fostering a collaborative and harmonious work environment.


2. Friction Reduction and Improved Relationships


One large benefit of honing EI is the reduction of friction, which in turn leads to better relationships within the workplace. When leaders can accurately understand emotions, they help to pave the way for faster problem-solving and, by navigating interpersonal dynamics well, can create a workplace culture that thrives on mutual understanding and respect.


See what I mean? Superpower.



Four Steps to Elevate Your Emotional Intelligence


But EI still might feel like a big topic to throw your arms around. So how can you practically start to work on develop it as a leader?


By consciously reflecting on these 4 steps in your interactions with others you give yourself a big head start.


1. Perceiving Emotions (Noticing)


The foundation of emotional intelligence lies in the ability to notice and accurately perceive emotions. When leaders pay attention to their own emotions and those of their team members, they lay the groundwork for effective communication and empathetic leadership.


2. Understanding Emotions (Interpreting):


Once emotions are perceived, the next step is to interpret their meanings correctly. Emotions can convey a myriad of messages, and emotionally intelligent leaders will delve deeper to try and understand the nuances. This creates greater connection with team members, as leaders demonstrate a genuine interest in understanding the emotions at play.


3. Reasoning with Emotions (Thinking):


Rather than sidelining emotions, leaders with high levels of Emotional Intelligence integrate them into their decision-making processes. This not only enhances problem-solving but also brings a human touch to leadership, making it relatable and authentic.


4. Managing Emotions (Responding):


The ultimate test of emotional intelligence lies in a leader’s ability to regulate and respond to emotions appropriately. Leaders who excel at this can navigate challenging situations with composure and inspire confidence in their team. They also have a keen understanding of how their responses impact the emotional landscape of the workplace.



The Research Backing Emotional Intelligence


Renowned psychologist Daniel Goleman has stated that, "Emotional intelligence is the largest single predictor of success in the workplace." Extensive research supports this claim, underscoring the pivotal role EI plays in professional achievement.


This means that leaders who focus on mastering these four areas of emotional intelligence can significantly elevate success rates, both for themselves and their wider team.



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