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How understanding emotional intelligence will make you a better leader

Without a high level of emotional intelligence (EI) throughout organisations, achieving overall or even team goals and success is practically impossible. 

To keep striving towards your mission, many not-for-profit organisations encourage their staff to take part in learning activities and training, including signing up for professional development courses. Emotional intelligence may seem like a natural attribute, but for some, especially depending on the role, EI needs to be maximised to ensure effective leadership, patient/customer or team support and more.

Emotional intelligence training, as offered by Pathways Australia, can be completed as a one-day group course, or employees can undertake an emotional intelligence online course in their own time. Providing professional development around emotional intelligence is highly recommended, for a number of reasons which will be explored in this article.

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware and understand your own thoughts and feelings, as well as the emotions of others. It’s about being able to regulate your feelings appropriately, respond effectively to others, and create positive relationships, not only in the workplace but in your personal life.

In a nutshell, emotional intelligence is the capacity to recognise one’s own and other people’s emotions. The ability to distinguish between various emotions is an indication of a good EI. A strong EI is generally something you have if you have a vast emotional vocabulary. You likely have a very high EI, too, if you can use your emotions as information and harness that information to guide your ideas and behaviour rather than instinctively reacting to all of your emotions. In fact, emotional intelligence can be even more important than IQ.

The intersection of intellectual ability and intuitive capability is where emotional intelligence lies. It’s when empathy merges with cognition and reflects a person’s ability to handle the nuances of interpersonal relationships. 

What makes an emotionally intelligent leader?

Understanding emotional intelligence is essential when it comes to being a successful leader. Without emotional intelligence, a leader is likely to come across as cold, unapproachable and even arrogant. On the other hand, a leader with high emotional intelligence can motivate and inspire their team, as well as provide support when needed.

Leaders who are emotionally intelligent are also better equipped to manage difficult situations. By understanding how people are feeling, they can address problems in the workplace in an empathetic, considerate way.

Pathways Australia provides courses on emotional intelligence to help your organisation thrive and reach its goals. If you’re new to your organisation’s leadership team or are after some upskilling, emotional intelligence courses will equip you with all the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in your role and make a genuine difference in the lives of your colleagues and employees.

Why understanding emotional intelligence will make you a better leader

In order to be an effective leader, it is essential that you understand emotional intelligence and how to utilise it:

1. It can help you to build strong, supportive relationships with your team

Emotional intelligence is the key to building and nurturing team relationships within an organisation. Essentially, it’s the glue holding everyone together. 

A leader with strong emotional intelligence is able to create an environment where team members feel supported, appreciated and valued. Additionally, possessing emotional intelligence can help you to better understand and motivate your team, increasing workplace productivity.

2. It can help you to manage difficult situations effectively

A leader who understands emotional intelligence will be better equipped to manage difficult situations that may arise in the workplace. Because they understand how people are feeling, they can address problems in an empathetic manner.

Workplace conflicts are unavoidable, particularly when there are competing interests at play. Emotional intelligence has a role in preventing this. The EI of the individual in control has the power to steer the course on any type of workplace project, ensuring that any significant conflicts or instability can be avoided.

A lack of emotional intelligence can damage relationships, cause conflict and lead to a breakdown in communication. On the other hand, understanding and utilising emotional intelligence can help you to build strong, supportive relationships, resolve arguments effectively and improve communication.

3. Being emotionally intelligent can help you to better understand and motivate your team.

From time to time, all workplaces struggle with a lack of motivation and direction. Getting teams out of these types of ruts can be difficult, and a few days of poor performance can quickly turn into an ongoing issue.

A leader with strong emotional intelligence will be able to understand, relate to, and motivate their team. Because they can read and react appropriately to the emotions of others, they can create a positive and productive work environment. Being emotionally intelligent can help build trust within your team, as people will feel that you understand them and their needs, inspiring them to achieve their best.

Understanding emotional intelligence is essential for any leader who wants to be successful within their organisation. By utilising emotional intelligence, you can build strong relationships with your team, resolve conflict effectively and improve communication. If you want to be the best leader possible, make sure you understand emotional intelligence and how to utilise it.

 

Pathways Australia provides both in-person emotional intelligence courses and online EI training so you can understand both yourself and your team better. Contact our friendly team today to enquire about our available courses or read up on our helpful tips to manage your emotions.

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