Leadership Potential: The Power of Emotional Intelligence

As leaders, our goals should always keep us growing and improving, but much of that growth comes in our ability to demonstrate emotional intelligence in dealing with ourselves and those around us. Possessing emotional intelligence will allow us to better communicate, better understand, and ultimately, better serve not only ourselves but those around us that we answer to, lead, or provide service to each day. 

“No doubt emotional intelligence is rarer than book smarts, but my experience says it is actually more important in the making of a leader. You just can’t ignore it,” – Jack Welch

We all know people who are masters at controlling their emotions, but we also know people who struggle in this area, and in turn, hurt themselves, others, and their workplace. People who demonstrate high emotional intelligence manage their emotions well, don’t get angry in stressful situations, and can look at a problem calmly to find a solution. They possess excellent decision making skills, and have the ability to look at themselves honestly. They can handle criticism, and can apply it to improve their performance. 

Here are some ideas when it comes to developing your own emotional intelligence:

  1. Practice observing how you feel about a situation. The more you practice this, the more second nature it becomes.
  2. Pay attention to how you behave in situations. Notice and observe how you act or react when certain emotions present themselves. 
  3. Question your own opinions, often. It is very easy to fall into isolation when it comes to your own opinion. Surround yourself with views that challenge and better you.
  4. Take responsibility for your feelings. They are yours, and you decide how you behave when you experience them.
  5. Celebrate the positive, but don’t ignore the negative. Reflect on both, and it will place you in a position to become truly well-rounded when it comes to your perspective.