Teams are only as good as the Emotional Intelligence of their leaders. Poor EQ makes it virtually impossible to lead a healthy team. Signs of poor EQ include anger, defensiveness, inability to listen well, micromanagement of team members, inflexibility, needing to have their own way, lack of empowerment, to name a few.

Understanding our own selves well and the ability to understand others is a critical skill in any leadership position and ought to be part of the development plan of every leader. The better we understand ourselves and others, the better we manage our emotions (a critical element in EQ), the greater our skill in negotiating conflict and the better we practice the twin issues of empowerment and accountability the better we can lead. Leadership is always about people before it is about strategy and process.

How do we grow in these areas? One is obviously to do personal study on the subject of EQ which can give us a knowledge base. Another is to do personal testing whenever possible that allows us to understand ourselves better. 

I believe, however, that the most helpful practice is to solicit feedback from trusted friends and colleagues about how we are perceived, what we do well with people and where we could do better. The reason feedback is so critical is that there are simply certain aspects of our behavior that we are blind to. Others, though, can reflect back observations that once we become aware of we can pay attention to. 

Because leaders traffic in relationships, people and teams growing our EQ is absolutely essential to our success as leaders and to the satisfaction of those who work with us and under our leadership. Our EQ impacts the whole organization or the part of the organization we lead. For this reason, boards ought to mandate ongoing personal development of their leaders (many businesses do) as well as pay for it. 

Professional development (our particular skill) is important but personal development which includes EQ is just as important for any leader because it impacts those they lead.

  • Nov 03, 2012
  • Category: News
  • Comments: 0
Leave a comment