One of the key ingredients to winning over — and keeping followers — is reaching them on an emotional level. That’s the secret sauce. Without it, once people get a taste of your leadership style, they’ll chew you up and spit you out faster than you can say, “Hey, I’m in charge here!” But with the ability to connect to followers emotionally, great leaders flourish, followers faithfully follow and companies change, transform and grow.
Many leaders have intelligence. However, how far their reach extends is directly related to their Emotional Intelligence level. Some leaders have a super natural feel for people. Are you one of them?
On a 1-10 scale, rate yourself as a leader:
> I am a master at reading people and situations.
> I always know what to say and when to say it.
> I am equally proficient at giving someone a motivating kick in the butt or an encouraging shoulder to lean on when it’s needed.
> I am an expert at controlling my emotions and impulses
> I trust my intuition and don’t let my feelings rule me.
Now have someone else rate you and see if they feel the same. These are just some of the traits leaders with Emotional Intelligence possess. The more EI a leader has, the more success they see in everything — from people and performance –to– business transformation and growth.
Rumor has it that leaders who have high Emotional Intelligence levels are soft. Actually, people who say that are the one’s who are soft — in the head. Who in their right mind would label world-class business transformers like Jack Welch, Lou Gerstner or Steve Jobs soft?
Leaders with high Emotional Intelligence clean up well.
It’s mind-boggling how some leaders intuitively know how to clear clutter. They cut to the chase with ease. They say things simply and directly. They don’t have Chocolate Conversations — those incomplete conversations that get misinterpreted and misunderstood, which leave everyone trying to dig their way out of corporate quicksand.
No leader is in touch with their emotions and intelligence 100-percent of the time. But when misunderstandings do arise, leaders with Emotional Intelligence not only see it, they take immediate action and fix it. Being open to the worldviews of others instead of just your own helps inspire. Setting specific standards and laying out clear expectations allows executives to get the most of out their people. Soliciting feedback and addressing unmet needs of followers gives leaders the confidence to face concerns head on.
Emotional Intelligence is as critical as real intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence isn’t a passing fad that some business guru just thought up and wrote a book about. It dates back to 1996 when Daniel Goleman authored Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. With Emotional Intelligence, it’s not a question of either you have it or you don’t. It’s either you have it or you need it. The good news is that Emotional Intelligence can be learned — and leveraged— to extend your professional reach and give your leadership effectiveness a lift.
The business playing field is full of talented executives, managers, leaders and leader-wannabes. Many do brilliant work. Yet too often they fail to advance their visions — and careers — past a certain point. They put in the effort. They have the intellect. On the other hand, there are many other executives who are in a different league. Their ideas aren’t as brilliant. Yet they rise to levels of success that surprises others and even themselves. Why? Many factors come into play. Emotional Intelligence is one of the big ones.
Unfortunately, executives who lose out or feel their talents are either overlooked or underappreciated often only see the frustration. They can’t see why they’re being ineffective, losing the support of their troops or not achieving desired objectives. Sometimes, it’s a matter of refocusing and relying on their intelligence. Other times, it’s a matter of not having or not using enough Emotional Intelligence.
You can follow her on twitter @rosefass.