Learning how to be more aware!
Leadership skills are, in many contexts—the schools and classrooms, workplace, politics, volunteer organizations, and even within families—fairly recognizable.
So, what are the key attributes most of us believe a leader should have?
People who take initiative, who have a vision, a passion, fearlessness, infallibility and who can strategize, plan, and accomplish goals to achieve their vision might top the list of what is deemed as positive trait to define a leader. They exhibit those skills when working in a team setting and, hopefully, their team members are appreciative of those skills.
But, what about other kind of skills that make up a good leader? Not just professional skills—you may be highly trained and proficient in your field—but skills that contribute to your ability to work well with others and to lead your team to success!
When you think of a *perfect leader*, what comes to your mind?
You might imagine someone who never lets his temper get out of control, no matter what problems he's facing. Or you might think of someone who has the complete trust of his or her staff, listens to his/her team, is easy to talk to, and always makes careful, informed decisions.
These are qualities of someone with a high degree of emotional intelligence .
But, what is Emotional Intelligence and why is it important?
Emotional intelligence has been defined as *the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to differentiate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior*. It is that which makes the difference between a truly effective leader – and the rest. It has been alternatively stated as either a type of intelligence (more like an ability), or as a trait (more personality-based).
Intelligence and technical skills are important for leaders too, but they are essentially threshold capabilities – entry level requirements for executive positions. Once in that position, it is emotional intelligence that makes a whole lot difference.
Some key elements to understand the emotional intelligence competencies required for effective leadership. Keep determining along, where you stand on the below elements!
- Self Assessment or Awareness – If you are self-aware, you always know how you feel, and you know how your emotions and your actions can affect the people around you. Being self-aware when in a leadership position, also means having a clear picture of strengths, weaknesses and values, and it means behaving with humility.
In order to reach your maximum potential, you must be confident in whom you are, understanding the good with the bad. Those that have a strong understanding of who they are, how they feel and what they want to work on; can improve themselves on a regular basis.
- Self Regulation – Also known as discipline. This includes controlling or redirecting our disruptive emotions and adapting to change circumstances in order to keep the team moving in a positive direction. It is all about staying in control.
- Empathy and Compassion – Empathy is the potential to put yourself in someone else's shoes and understand how they may feel or react to a certain situation. For a leader, having empathy is critical to manage a successful team or an organization. When one has empathy, the ability to feel sympathetic pity is open. The emotion that we feel in return to suffering that motivates a desire to help.
The more we can relate to others, the better we will become at understanding what motivates, excites or upsets them.
- Social Skills – It includes effective communication and relationship management. Misunderstandings and lack of communication are usually the basis of problems between most people. Failing to communicate efficiently in a workplace leads to frustration, bitterness, and confusion among employees. Effective communication can eliminate obstacles, builds up stronger relationships among each other and encourage stronger workplace relationships. Good communication gives an outcome of alignment and a shared sense of purpose.
To be effective, leaders must have a solid understanding of how their actions and emotions affect the people around them. The better a leader relates to and works with others, the more successful and happy he or she will be.
The more that you, as a leader, manage each of these areas, the higher your emotional intelligence will be. Working on these areas will help you excel in the future, for sure!
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