This past week in the leadership class we studied emotional intelligence and how it affects our lives. Whether we are in an official leadership position or not we are influencing others through emotions.
“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion.” -Dale Carnegie
Drawing heavily from Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman and Primal Leadership by Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee, our class talked about the importance of recognizing, understanding, and managing our own emotions. The students were able to give examples of when they’d felt a particularly strong emotion but failed to manage it properly. We were all able to see how emotions, when not managed, affect those around us, including the people we are intended to lead.
From there, we moved a bit further by discussing how we can recognize, understand, and influence the emotions of those around us. Sometimes this can be as simple as recognizing the sadness of a friend, understanding why he or she is feeling that sadness, and becoming the sensitive person your friend needs. In a leadership context, this means being aware of your team members and speaking authentically to resonate with their emotions.
Its tempting to fall into the rut of to-do lists, meetings, and budgets all the while believing that emotion has no stake in a board meeting or the day-to-day activities of running an organization. However, this simply isn’t true. Our emotions and how we handle them have everything to do with the success or failure of our leadership.
While it is often overlooked, Emotional Intelligence is the bedrock of leadership. If we can work on growing our E.Q., then we will see rapid improvement in all the other attributes needed to lead our companies, teams, and families.
To anyone reading, I highly recommend learning more about you E.Q., and if you already know, take the necessary steps to develop it. Read the aforementioned books and seek out an Emotional Intelligence self-evaluation (Like this ONE). Or, if you want the Works, visit http://www.thelionslead.com and request more information.