Emotional Intelligence: The Importance for Leadership

When a regular person is asked what makes a true leader, they are most likely to answer that it is determination, toughness or intelligence. However, Daniel Goleman has found that the most successful leaders all have one crucial quality in common – and it is neither of the above-mentioned; it is a high degree of what he defines as emotional intelligence. Goleman states that, while having been trained and possessing an analytical mind is important, none of it matters for a leader as much as being intelligent emotionally. According to his study, this has direct effects not only on an employee’s personal success, but on a company’s numbers as well.

There are five components that emotional intelligence is comprised of: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skill. Self-awareness is a person’s acknowledgment of their desires as needs as well as strengths and weaknesses. Self-aware people understand their values and goals and are honest with themselves and everyone around them. They examine the impact that their feelings can have on the job that needs to be done and try to reduce it. This component is closely related to the next one: self-regulation. Essentially, it is a person’s ability to control themselves and be the master of their feelings, rather than let the feelings get the upper hand. It is important for a leader, because, first of all, when a person behaves reasonably even in situations of great frustration or anger, that creates an atmosphere of trust and fairness in a group, which leads to higher productivity. Secondly, it helps to be acceptive of change and know how to adapt rather than panic and stress over the potential disturbance of comfort.

The third element constituting emotional intelligence is motivation – according to Goleman, a trait that inherently all leaders are supposed to have. However, great leaders are determined to achieve – not to be paid generously or reach a status that comes with having a high position in an organization, which is the case with many people. Truly motivated employees are passionate about their work itself – they take pride in overcoming obstacles and find ways to track progress. They are always optimistic – even when facing failure, they learn from it rather than simply lament what happened.

Another component of emotional intelligence is empathy – the most easily recognized one. Even though this word may seem out of place and unbusinesslike, that means taking other employees’ feelings into consideration in the process of decision-making. It is important for a leader for a few reasons: first of all, nowadays teams are used more extensively – thus, it is crucial to know how to work with one. Additionally, increasing globalization may cause misunderstandings in dialogs between representatives of different cultures and empathy is to help solve them. Moreover, when retaining talent – especially in modern economy – there is not a better way to keep people than being empathetic. Closely related to it is another dimension of emotional intelligence – social skill. Being the culmination of all the other components, social skill in business makes people persuasive, adept at team management and great motivators. Leaders need to effectively manage relationships and this skill is helpful in doing just that.

In conclusion, a great leader must possess a number of various qualities. What I have learned from this article is that it is important to be thoughtful and reflective, constantly working on myself to overcome challenges. For example, when I react to something negatively, it is wise to step back and evaluate my feelings in order to not let them influence my work. It is also crucial to maintain good relationships with people around and consider their feelings in the course of the work. That is, screaming at my employees when they make a mistake will not only result in a discouraging environment but will make them want to steer clear of me, which is the opposite of what I want to achieve. Great leaders are those who strive to be mindful of everything – that is why success comes to them.

In conclusion, a great leader must possess a number of various qualities. What I have learned from this article is that it is important to be thoughtful and reflective, constantly working on myself to overcome challenges. For example, when I react to something negatively, it is wise to step back and evaluate my feelings in order to not let them influence my work. It is also crucial to maintain good relationships with people around and consider their feelings in the course of the work. That is, screaming at my employees when they make a mistake will not only result in a discouraging environment, but will make them want to steer clear of me, which is an opposite of what I want to achieve. Great leaders are those who strive to be mindful of everything – that is why success comes to them.

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BusinessEssay. (2022) 'Emotional Intelligence: The Importance for Leadership'. 17 October.

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BusinessEssay. 2022. "Emotional Intelligence: The Importance for Leadership." October 17, 2022. https://business-essay.com/emotional-intelligence-the-importance-for-leadership/.

1. BusinessEssay. "Emotional Intelligence: The Importance for Leadership." October 17, 2022. https://business-essay.com/emotional-intelligence-the-importance-for-leadership/.


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BusinessEssay. "Emotional Intelligence: The Importance for Leadership." October 17, 2022. https://business-essay.com/emotional-intelligence-the-importance-for-leadership/.