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Leading with Emotional Intelligence

In a very real way, Emotional Intelligence, properly called Emotional Quotient, hence its abbreviation to “EQ”, regulates how we react to those things that may or may not be under our control.

According to the Oxford Language Dictionary, "Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically”. In a few words, it allows us to respond and react.

Emotional intelligence is a lot more than just a trending terminology. It is an essential set of skills that helps us recognize and manage how we express how we feel as individuals and how we respond to the behavior and choices of those around us.

For some people, this is a natural gift; for others, it is a skill that must be developed over time in order to achieve leadership success. Now, why do I say, "leadership success"? Because leadership is all about connecting with people, it is about building relationships and providing others with much-needed perspective in times of crisis.

So, if EQ is related to our ability to manage our reactions, and as leaders, our job is to connect and see situations from different angles, can you see how critical developing this still is?

In this short time, and while I have your attention, I will make my best attempt to give you a "Reader's Digest" version of what Emotional Intelligence is. I will walk you through how to improve it, leverage it, and if we have enough time and you are still on the other side; I will shed light on the best ways to teach EQ to your team members so that you equip them with this essential skill.

Listen up! Emotional Intelligence allows us to handle conflict gracefully, and we all know conflict exists. Conflict is unavoidable for various reasons that I will not state here for the sake of time. The reality is that conflict is a pain in the neck, too well known to us, especially in our industry. Daily, we interact with people (we are in THE people industry!) Not only with various personalities, ages, and backgrounds but also with the prehistoric preconception that our customers are always right. On this note, I just want to share that we are solely responsible for creating that "monster." A monster that can be handled better if only we continue to teach our people how to communicate, address situations and find common ground with others. Now, THIS is a whole other conversation for another time. Back to it, shall we?

Allow me to pose this question as we dive deeper into EQ. Have you ever walked someone off the ledge, figuratively speaking, of course? If you have shown empathy to the other person by making the time to listen to them, providing them with perspective or sharing similar experiences with them, then you have applied one of the best skills a leader can possess. Emotional Intelligence!

Let's talk about the benefits. Successful leaders use EQ when communicating and making decisions. When trying to understand others better. Why? Because EQ allows us to effectively manage our emotions in any situation and handle challenges proficiently.

Using Emotional intelligence is beneficial as it allows us to identify feelings. When we lead with Emotional Intelligence, we have a superior comprehension of other people's emotions allowing us to see how these can affect others. Placing us a step ahead of the game. We can negotiate better as we have a clearer vision of what we are dealing with. And if we are wise enough when leading with Emotional Intelligence, we can manage other people's emotions. Which ultimately leads to better-performing teams.

There are a few components to the EQ formula:...

Michele Kline


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