Emotional intelligence (EI) means many things to different people. The universal definition describes the ability to obtain emotional intelligence as the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions. It is further defined as the ability to handle interpersonal emotions judiciously and empathetically. This trait is becoming increasingly valued in business practices, worldwide.
This quality is especially valued and looked for in leadership roles. Self awareness is ultimately the determining factor as to whether or not one has a high emotional intelligence. The more self informed, the higher one’s emotional intelligence is. Leaders with high EI understand their emotions and beyond their understanding, they are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Because leaders with high EI know exactly what they bring to the table, their passion drives them to constantly perfect their craft and work to improve their performance and other’s performance.
Empathy is another skill that is associated with EI. An empathetic leader is able to identify their own emotions and also identify other’s emotions. This is an extremely and effective skill to have in the workplace.
A leader who is able to exercise empathy has the power to define the culture and environment employees work in. Generally, an empathetic leader is able to make employees feel safe and valued. In the increasingly diverse world that we live in, emotional intelligence is a fundamental tool for providing social and economic solutions to people or employees of vastly different circumstances and needs.
The ability to execute empathy requires self management skills. Not only is self management important and related to EI, but it plays a big role in succeeding in business. Self management demands a leader to be able to master their internal self and their emotions. This translates as the ability to monitor and conduct oneself in a manner that is appropriate and suitable for all situations and encounters despite personal agendas. Once a leader conquers themselves, they are able to set a standard in the workplace for the overall atmosphere.
In many ways, EI is the demonstration of sensibility. A successful leader who has a high EI can be identified by three capabilities; the ability to recognize and access one’s feelings, mood, and impulses, the ability to read both individuals and situations effectively, and the ability to always respond appropriately given the context of a situation. Perfecting social and personal competence and integrating it into the workplace will impact the work climate dramatically as well as productivity.