I trust you have practiced noticing how you are showing up and impacting others using the 4 dimensional leader model outlined in my blog last month. Check it out here. Practicing and noticing these four domains helps you increase your self-awareness skills, which is the foundation of developing your emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is one of the most important attributes of successful leaders. Unlike your intelligence skills, which you are born with, your emotional intelligence skills can be developed and strengthened.
Research has proven that emotional intelligence is a critical factor that sets great leaders apart from the rest of the pack. I recommend reading Daniel Goleman’s iconic article from the January 2004 issue of the Harvard Business Review called “What Makes a Leader.” His research found direct ties between measurable business results and emotional intelligence. If you would like a copy, please contact me by email.
Improving your emotional intelligence skills will help you make better decisions, connect more effectively with others, and allow you and your team to achieve better results. Here is why!
1. You will know what fuels and hijacks you
I am not talking about the fluffy stuff here. You must know what you feel and react to it deep down in your bones. What people and/or what situations get your attention that cause you to act in certain ways?
2. You will learn self-control
When we are under stress and operating on auto-pilot, we often say or do things we regret later. Losing your self-control will have a significantly negative impact on not only yourself, but also your relationships with others and your overall effectiveness and results. When we become more self-aware of what fuels and hijacks us, it is usually an emotion we can identify with. Name it, reflect on your behavior, and then create self-control strategies to choose a different response in the future.
Leaders have many emotional intelligence resources available to them to help them assess their skills and develop their emotional intelligence skills. Travis Bradberry’s book, “Emotional Intelligence 2.0” is a great resource. Purchasing the book enables you to take a 10-minute self-assessment which allows you to see your emotional intelligence results that is normed to a database of leaders who have taken the assessment. The book has over 45 tools and exercises to help you develop your emotional intelligence skills.
Two other assessments I am familiar with are Hay Group’s and the MHS EQ-i 2.0 emotional intelligence assessments. Both require a certified practitioner to administer the assessment. If you would like to read more about the EQ-i 2.0 assessments and emotional intelligence, click here to read my January 2014 blog posting.
Whatever resources you use I recommend you start now! It is never too late to understand and become more self-aware of whom you are, how that impacts your behavior and how it impacts how you show up and lead. The inner game requires it.