Leadership is ultimately about holding yourself responsible for the people you lead--not just their productivity but their teamwork and imagination and commitment. And the more responsibility you have for others, the more important your emotional intelligence becomes.
We're learning more every day about the importance of emotional IQ, or EQ, across the board. Drs. Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves find a direct link between EQ and earnings and say that EQ accounts for up to 58 percent of performance in all types of jobs.
Leadership, in particular, is a "people business," and emotional intelligence is the missing link.
So what how does one fill in the missing link? They must become leaders who lead with emotional intelligence.
Here are six ways proven ways to spot and become an emotional intelligence leader:
1. They have self- awareness. Emotionally intelligent leaders understand their own emotions and know how to manage them. They don't speak out of frustration or anger; they control their emotions and wait to speak up until their feelings have settled and they have processed their thoughts. They don't react in the heat of the moment but wait to respond.
2. They respond to criticism and feedback. Every leader faces feedback, some of it negative. Emotionally intelligent leaders don't become defensive or take it personally. They listen, process, and genuinely consider other points of view, and because they're always looking to improve, they know how to accept sincere critiques.
3. They know how to generate self-confidence. Emotionally intelligent leaders share a healthy dose of confidence but never cross the line into arrogance. When they don't understand something, they ask open-ended questions that aim to gather information, not challenge or argue. They know how to give and take in a way that generates confidence.
4. They know the importance of checking their ego.Leaders who have to demonstrate their own importance or value are not yet connected to true leadership or emotional intelligence. Those who are know how to speak and act out of concern of others. They don't always have to be the center of attention, and they would never take credit for the work of others. Secure in their own abilities, they're generous and gracious to others.
5. They know how to embody empathy. Leaders with emotional intelligence can put themselves in others' shoes. They listen with genuine interest and attention and make it a point to understand, then give back in a way that benefits themselves and others. They know how to create win-win situations.
6. They know how to engage with empowerment. The best leaders--the ones with the highest EQs--make it their mission to believe in others and empower them to believe in themselves. Instead of focusing on themselves they know it's the power of the people that makes leadership successful, so that's where they focus their efforts.
The more you can encourage emotionally intelligent leadership--in yourself and in others--the better you can advance your organization's mission and thrive in all you do.