By now, you’ve probably heard about that secret leadership ingredient that every manager (or manager-to-be) needs to have.
No, it’s not Elon Musk-levels of charisma and being larger than life. Nor is it the ability to speak circles around a room and be the smartest person there.
(Though those certainly can help.)
What makes a great leader is their ability to understand their emotions and the emotions of others – and use that for maximum effect.
Otherwise known as emotional intelligence.
According to Daniel Goleman:
“The most effective leaders are all alike in one crucial way: They all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant. They do matter, but…they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions.”
But why is emotional intelligence so important?
Here’s 3 reasons why you need emotionally intelligent leaders.
Emotionally intelligent managers perform better
People with a high EQ and somewhat average IQ outperform the smartest people in the room 70% of the time.
In fact, 90% of high performers have high emotional intelligence. And in contrast, only 20% of low performers have high emotional intelligence.
Essentially, emotional intelligence is a pretty reliable predictor of performance.
Meaning that even that crazy smart person the organisation just hired or promoted probably won’t deliver the best results in comparison to someone who’s more empathetic.
Emotionally intelligent managers are good under pressure
It’s fair to say that the last few years have been a rollercoaster for everyone on Earth. Some people have coped better than others.
Namely, people who are more emotionally intelligent.
One of the core elements of emotional intelligence is self-awareness. People with higher EQs not only are able to recognise their emotions, but are better able to manage them. This means that leaders with a high EQ are more able to:
- Keep calm under pressure
- Cope well with stress and anxiety
- Solve problems and make better decisions
Emotionally intelligent managers are better at motivating their teams
Not only are emotionally intelligent people more intrinsically motivated, but they are better able to motivate others.
By understanding the emotions and pyschological states of others, leaders with a high EQ can give their team members the support they need.
These leaders are also more in tune with team member’s strengths, weaknesses, talents, and interests, meaning they can assign tasks that align with these. Studies show that employees who feel that their jobs utilise their unique skills and talents are 7 times less likely to leave an organisation.
Make sure your managers are up to scratch
So we’ve seen that emotional intelligence is super important. But what if your managers don’t have that It factor?
Well, thankfully, EQ is a skill like any other. Meaning that with enough time, support, and training, any manager can reach their full potential and become a more empathetic, effective leader.
Of course, you shouldn’t only provide emotional intelligence training for managers and managers-to-be – employees with higher EQs are more productive no matter their level in your organisation.
But that’s a topic for a different day.
In the meantime, you can check out our blog for more content on emotional intelligence and tips for boosting EQ.
Ready to help your leaders improve their emotional intelligence and reach their full potential in your organisation? Check out our new team leader training or our people management course, suitable for leaders at any stage of their careers.