Leadership Series: Emotional Intelligence

Posted on Dec 1, 2016 in Entrepreneur, Inspiration, Small Business, Success, Tips for Entrepreneurs | Comments Off on Leadership Series: Emotional Intelligence

Leadership series: Emotional Intelligence

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Today’s topic will be introduced by a thought provoking fact: people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70% of the time (source).

Wait, you got that backward, right?

So, if it isn’t smarts that drives success, what is it?

Research suggests that it’s emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically” (source).

This is an indispensable capability of any true leader. Leaders inspire, uplift, understand, guide, build and grow. They discover the natural strengths of others and invest in their success. And all of these things require emotional intelligence to make happen. A leader must be aware of his/her position and how they can help others along and know the delicate differences in those they work with.

If you don’t feel like you’re a very emotionally intelligent person, don’t worry, it’s not a “have or have not” like many might describe IQ. Emotional intelligence can be developed.

Here are two suggestions that you can start applying today:


Become self-aware

When you start to feel emotionally heightened, ask yourself, “What emotion am I experiencing.” Label the emotion with a specific term (i.e. I’m feeling…sad, frustrated, deceived, excited, happy, nervous, etc.) and accept the fact that you feel that way. At the same time, realize you don’t need to act out negatively (if you’re experiencing a negative emotion) according to how you’re feeling. As you do this you will feel empowered to address your emotions and control your own behavior. Denying the way you feel often evokes a more heightened sense of the emotion


Become aware of others

This step requires empathy, or “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another” (source). The ability to step back, put yourself in someone else’s shoes and feel how they feel is incredibly enabling and ennobling. It will help you to know what others need and feel empathically for them. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be soft on them, although you may need to, but it means that you’ll better address the situation with a more personal understanding because you have seen the situation from their eyes. You’ll then know if you need to be firm and direct or soft and encouraging.


As you begin to become self-aware and aware of others, you will develop emotional intelligence. And as you develop emotional intelligence you will become a more effective leader. We wish you the best in your pursuit of becoming the best you can be!