We’ve all had a boss that we loved to work with and got the best from us…and a boss that we disliked, a toxic boss, to whom we gave the minimum to stay “alive”. The first one inspired us, encouraged us to take risks, and valued our work and ourselves as human beings. The second, the toxic boss, related to us in an environment of fear, threats and therefore did not fully engage our best qualities and our best efforts.This is what emotional intelligence in a leader is all about. An emotional intelligent leader will create a certain culture or work environment that will be high in information sharing, trust, healthy risk taking, and learning. In this type of environment people think better, are more creative and contribute more to the company. On the other hand, a cranky, ruthless boss will create a toxic organization filled with fear and anxiety and will foster negative underachievers who ignore opportunities, who would leave the company if they could, and if they can’t, would leave psychologically.
The fact that emotional intelligence in leadership is directly related to increased operating profits has been proven incessantly through research. It is a fact that the leader’s mood and behavior is a potent driver of business success.
Emotions are LITERALLY contagious and since the leader is so visible and important to his employees, his mood spreads quickly and inexorably throughout the business.
So the development of emotionally competent leaders must be and should be high in the agenda of your company, not because it is “nice to have” an emotionally positive environment, although we can relate to it because we are all human beings and are predisposed to prefer this, but because it is simply good business.
A leader should do an analysis of how his emotional leadership drives the mood and actions of others and should be able to adjust accordingly. He or she should be able to control his impulses and emotions or self-manage. SELF-MANAGEMENT is one of four key components of emotional intelligence in action. It is simply the ability to control your emotions and act with honesty and integrity.
But, you cannot self-manage if you are not mindful, aware of your own emotions. Thus, SELF AWARENESS is a second component of emotional intelligence. You should be in tune with your mind, body, be authentic, transparent .
SOCIAL AWARENESS is the next component. Emotionally intelligent leaders are able to sense other people’s emotions and show that they care. Truly care. They are empathic and have organizational intuition…they know what’s going on around them.
Once you are socially aware, you must act upon it, you must be able to MANAGE RELATIONSHIPS. You do this by communicating clearly and convincingly, by being able to disarm conflicts and build strong personal bonds. Effective leaders use these skills to spread enthusiasm (hope for the future) and solve disagreements, often with humor and kindness.
If you are not an emotionally intelligent leader, can you become one? The truth of the matter is that the person’s emotional skills are NOT genetically hardwired, but are very deeply embedded in our neurology and have a genetic component. Even though emotionally skills are partly inborn, experience plays a big role in how the genes are expressed. They are pretty much set by mid-20’s and its behaviors become habits, in many instances habits that are not conducive to emotionally intelligent behavior.
So, the answer to the question is that YES, we can rewire the brain towards more emotionally intelligent behaviors with a process of introspection, practice and support; all of which are very hard to do objectively on your own. This is why working with a coach is crucial to the development of emotionally intelligent competencies, since she will guide you in the process of breaking automatic unconscious routines, opening yourself to new ideas and scanning the business and social environment successfully. By engaging in a productive and continuous relationship with a coach, you can become the inspiring leader that brings the above average operating profits to the table. And in today’s competitive environment, where mostly everyone is already intelligent in the traditional sense of the word, companies whose leaders develop sustainable emotional intelligent competencies are well ahead of the game.