The Importance of Emotional Intelligence Leadership Training in 2023
Which of these leaders would you follow to the ends of the earth: the one passionately committed to personally engaging you and your success, or the one who berates you for every little thing you get wrong? It’s not a hard question to answer.
Emotional intelligence in leadership is still such an overlooked skill, but one that the most successful leaders value above many others – and work tirelessly at improving. As we always say, ‘IQ gets you in the door, EQ gets your promoted.’
In our increasingly diverse, connected and complex world, a leader’s ability to navigate their emotions, the emotions of their team, and nurture relationships through emotionally intelligent leadership is essential. Plus, with the struggle to engage and secure talent (that has high expectations of how it expects to be treated)
- 90% of top performers have above average emotional intelligence (Forbes)
- Emotional intelligence is responsible for 58% of job performance (TalentSmart)
- 75% of the Fortune 500 use emotional intelligence training (TalentSmart)
- Emotionally intelligent people earn $29,000 more on average (TalentSmart).
What is Emotionally Intelligent Leadership?
“It is very important to understand that emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence, it is not the triumph of heart over head — it is the unique intersection of both.” — David Caruso
Emotionally intelligent leadership is not about therapy at work or cry circles in the office break room. It’s quite simply the ability to identify, regulate, and understand our own emotions and the emotions of those around us – and to respond to those emotions in constructive ways that allow us to better communicate, develop stronger relationships, empathize with others on a deeper level, and overcome challenges in a more positive way.
Psychologists Peter Salovey and John Mayer introduced the concept of emotional intelligence in 1990 and since then, how to lead with emotional intelligence has become an essential skill to develop, to help both employees and leaders advance in their personal and professional lives.
Emotionally intelligent leadership is what gives leaders an edge above competitors and is increasingly a factor in determining whether you do land that leadership promotion. Emotional intelligence leadership training enables you to model healthier behavior to employees to help them develop too. It also encourages open conversations around the topic and makes clear the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership to those who might not ‘get it’ yet.
However, upskilling is still mostly focused on hard skills (WEF’S The Jobs of the Future report). Less than 20% of companies qualify as emotionally intelligent, and only 42% provide specific emotional intelligence leadership training (Harvard Business Review).
How to Lead with Emotional Intelligence
As long as leaders are given the information and support in their development, emotional intelligence leadership training will be key to unlocking career-long success. According to Daniel Goleman, there are four different elements of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and social skills. Whilst taking these into account it’s important to:
Seek and Be Open to Feedback to Drive Self-Awareness
Without the ability to identify your emotions, strengths, weaknesses, and actions, how can you identify the impact and influence they have on others? Self-awareness is not self-created. We all need to know how others perceive us, so we can do more of what works, and less of what does not. Leadership is like artand golf – you can never perfect it; only improve.
Understand You Have Biases
As Alex said in his recent Forbes article on biases, “As culture is a mirror of leadership, we need leaders to be held accountable for treating their team members right. People are fed up with being mistreated.” Our brain’s primary purpose is to keep us alive, but leadership is about keeping your team alive. Biases are a result of brain shortcuts that are good for us, but not for your team. Being aware of those biases so you can counter them makes you a more effective leader.
Listen Closely and Don’t Judge
Focus on learning, through active listening and seeing things from new perspectives, to create a psychologically safe space. Carefully consider the feelings and values behind every word, ask thoughtful questions to gain clarity, and make it clear you’ve understood. Get curious and use your two ears and one mouth in that ratio. Give your team a voice and an environment in which to use that voice, to drive innovation, creativity, and engagement.
Connect with Employees Personally
When leaders know how to lead with emotional intelligence, they become better at reading different people, bonding, communication, and inspiring motivation. They can pick up on the mood of a team and adjust their communication to suit it. Demonstrating that you care builds trust, so emotional intelligence leadership training will encourage everyone to speak honestly and resolve conflict constructively too.
The Benefits of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership
Some of the most prestigious organizations struggle with employee turnover and unleashing potential because they don’t understand the importance of emotional intelligence leadership training.
Increased Team Engagement
Emotional intelligence in leadership gives everyone a voice and the confidence of feeling truly heard. If teams feel a negative or zero attachment to their leader, they will disengage, and you’ll miss out on all their potential and everything you got excited about them bringing to the table when you first met them during their interview.
Improved Company Culture
A lot of organizations boast about their amazing culture, but without emotional intelligence in leadership, employees might feel differently. Emotionally intelligent leadership creates a ripple effect and helps others to improve theirs too. It enables teams to better manage stress and conflicts, build trust, maintain healthier relationships, and make that dream culture a fruitful reality.
High-performance Driven Results
Think of your favorite boss of all time, and what you remember them for. I bet your answers fall into the EQ bucket of traits, rather than the IQ bucket. This sort of leadership is energizing, inspiring, and makes employees want to give 100% – and leaders are 100% responsible for igniting that flame. Emotionally intelligent leadership increases employee accountability, and when employees aren’t subjected to the negative, unfiltered emotions of their leaders, they feel more satisfied with the good work they accomplish.
Can you imagine a worse start to 2023 than disengaged employees and a rising turnover? Learn more about how The CARE Experience® stimulates a growth mindset and builds emotionally intelligent leaders who are more self-aware, more empathetic, can regulate their emotions, and have the interpersonal skills essential for the modern workplace.
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