Intellectuals and creatives abound. In a corporate setting, for instance, there is no scarcity of talented and intelligent people who adequately know their trade and efficiently accomplish their tasks. But the most curious thing happens when some of these people are given a managerial role; for some reason, not all of them are able to successfully take on leadership duties. Now how exactly do we explain this phenomenon?

Psychologist Daniel Goleman

Psychologist Daniel Goleman

Daniel Goleman, a noted author, science journalist, and psychologist came up with a name for the seemingly elusive attribute that separates effective leaders from inefficient ones. He called it emotional intelligence—a concept made even more popular after the release of a 1995 Time magazine article, which labelled it as the most reliable predictor of success.

According to Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence is comprised of five major components and they are as follows:

Knowing one’s emotions – Emotional intelligence starts with proper recognition of one’s emotions. If in the past, discussing emotions in a workplace set up was considered taboo, these days it is generally considered as an essential factor in maintaining healthy and productive office dynamics.

Managing emotions – It is not enough to merely have a precise name or label for one’s emotions. The next challenge is to be able to manage these emotions in a way that they do not unfavourably affect one’s leadership duties.

Self-motivation – Arguably, one of the most important of emotional intelligence’s components is the ability to keep a healthy work pace or momentum, especially during demanding circumstances.

Recognising other people’s emotions – Teamwork is compromised when a member, or a leader specifically, is too absorbed with his/her own emotions to recognise that he or she is working with individuals who themselves succumb to the same emotional bouts and triggers. Therefore, sensitivity – the kind that allows people to know the needs and concerns of those around them – is a crucial ingredient for successful team shepherding.

Keeping rapport – Lastly, emotionally intelligent leaders are aware of how to maximise a team’s potential through exceptional management of each of its member’s strengths and weaknesses, and consequently, fostering mutual trust and respect from his or her colleagues.

People who possess an advanced level of emotional intelligence are able to maximise such aptitude and translate it into practical exercises such as proper communication with team members. Communication skills in congruence to emotional intelligence have three basic indicators: active listening, proper utilisation of messages, and conflict resolution. These indicators are closely related and tend to overlap hence it is important to ascertain where their boundaries lie in order to ensure improved understanding of their key concepts.

Individuals can learn or hone their emotional intelligence though emotional intelligence training courses. Although how it is measured is still widely debated over, emotional intelligence is already an accepted and valued principle in relation to leadership. This has led to the development of leadership training modules and exercises especially directed toward educating participants concerning the basic tenets and pragmatic application of this leadership essential.

copyright © Nicholas Hill

The Hill Consultancy Ltd

The Hill Consultancy runs UK wide public training courses in leadership and management development. Training centres are located in London, Exeter, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow. Courses include High Performance Leadership, Self Management, Conflict Management, Advanced Communication, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership Styles, Performance Management, Change Management, Presentation Skills, Time Management, Senior Management and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).
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