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Top 10 Emotional Intelligence Skills For Leaders To Improve Business Performance

Great leaders come in all shapes and forms. While various reasons make a leader stand out, one of the most common is a great capacity for crucial emotional intelligence skills. 

There are countless benefits of emotional intelligence abilities in the workplace, from being able to communicate more effectively, dealing with stress better to resolving conflicts efficiently. With the way the market has changed, IQ and technical expertise alone are no longer sufficient to be successful as a leader or to move up in an organization.

Of course, leaders do not start out with all of these skills at the beginning. They acquire them over time and master from experience constantly. These are the most essential skills that represent high EQ.

1. Sharpen self-awareness

By being self-aware – checking emotions and moving personal feelings aside – leaders and their teams can potentially experience more satisfaction and less anxiety. Self-awareness means leaders focus on listening, show empathy, and consider alternate perspectives. When leaders understand how employees view them, they tend to have better relationships and satisfied teams. 

2. Accountability thinking

Strong leaders approach problems with a “What is my impact on this situation?” mentality, while poor leaders adopt a victim mentality, point fingers, and assign fault. We use a management training exercise called “Victim Language Versus Accountability Language” to challenge our managers to turn a victim statement into an accountability statement. Leaders show their employees how to be accountable.

3. Move through disappointment

There will be moments when you encounter failures that leave you feeling terrible. To face disappointment, you need to take time to acknowledge and accept that what has happened has happened cause nothing can change the pass. Dwelling on what failed to materialize keeps you stuck and unable to move past the disappointment. After reflection, you have to move forward and think about what can be done.” Consider new ways of doing things with thoughts that begin with “It might help to…” or “I could… ” or “Now, I’m going to…” instead of “I should have… ” or “I shouldn’t have…”

4. Ability to understand dynamics

Leaders need to inspire and encourage others to follow them. Being able to influence others into moving in the same direction is a key skill an executive needs. To do this, one needs to be able to understand current dynamics and plan for future dynamics. Managers need to take a break from execution and learn to work on the business. The fastest way to develop such skills is to work with a mentor. 

5. Giving constructive feedback

Strong emotional intelligence enables a manager to bravely interact in times of conflict or negotiation. A good leader should be able to motivate others in various ways, and providing constructive assessments is a good example. This skill not only helps leaders revamp their communication and influence on team members but also supports leaders boosting individuals’ motivation, which ultimately builds a more positive and engaging team culture. Delivering constructive feedback can be honed by interacting daily with employees or having personal sessions. Interaction paves the way for a stronger, more trusting relationship, one where feedback can go both ways. 

6. Self-regulation

Self-regulation is the EQ skill that typifies strong leaders. Leaders who can be aware of, and manage, their emotions communicate their message clearly and give others confidence in their leadership. Managers can build self-regulation by being aware of how they use and display emotion, paying attention to employee reactions, and asking questions to ensure their message was received clearly. 

7. Ability to adapt changes

Strong leaders must possess the ability to not only accept change but embrace it, knowing that without change there can be no progress. One way that we specifically try to encourage change is by seeking advice from employees of all levels in the company and asking them what they want to be changed. Then, we help them to lead and enact the change. We make embracing change a positive experience. 

8. Relationship management

Many of us have heard that people don’t leave jobs, they leave supervisors. It’s no wonder then that relationship management is an emotional intelligence skill that goes with strong leadership. Being aware of the needs of ourselves and others and how to join them together to reach the needs of the company is a recipe for a healthy working relationship.

9. Assertiveness and compassion

Strong leaders know how to read a given situation and respond correctly. Some situations require assertiveness, while others require compassion. To improve in this area, managers should spend time studying personality types through DISC Assessment or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and engaging with people. Take time to read each situation carefully, while keeping the best interest of the employee in mind. 

10. Practice calm

Lots of leaders are likely to be feeling anxious and stressed because of the crisis at a time when the need for them to be calm and able to think clearly is more important than ever. There are a number of things leaders can do to increase their ability to maintain composure under critical circumstances, including maintaining their own personal well-being (rest, hydration, movement), using facts to reframe difficult situations, and mastering self-awareness of feelings and opinions that may bias their mindsets.

Bottom line

When you take the responsibilities of a leader, heightening your emotional intelligence is one of the best investments you can make for yourself and your organization. Being smart is not enough. If you cannot manage yourself well, your technical expertise is compromised, and team morale goes down. Mastering the ten skills above and you will be the leader who inspires others, boosting morale and thus increasing productivity and employee performance.

According to Forbes

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