How to Separate Emotionally Intelligent Leaders from the Pack

How to Separate Emotionally Intelligent Leaders from the Pack

Thanks to a recent post by Scott Morrison, a student in the Doctor of Education program at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies, we learned this week that effective leaders need to have high levels of emotional intelligence.

It’s those soft skills, which are especially hard to measure, that can really set a leader apart, Morrison says.

“Successful leaders need to be self-aware and conscious of how to use their emotional presence and how it creates a specific context, climate and culture,” he writes. “By paying close attention to the behaviors of those who do it well and who we’re trying to emulate, might we not make work a better for experience for all?”

So how can you apply the principles of emotional leadership to your own life? This week, Fast Company produced a list of five traits to look for in your own manager to assess his or her emotional intelligence. This list is as follows:

1. Open to other opinions, and doesn’t get defensive. A leader with high emotional intelligence won’t feel like someone is challenging their authority; instead, they’ll take the time to listen and understand what others are trying to say.

2. Aware of their own emotions. Emotionally intelligent leaders keep tabs on their own emotions to avoid blow-ups or heated discussions.

3. Can assess the emotions of others. Being empathetic and putting yourself in the shoes of another person is a skill emotionally intelligent leaders possess.

4. Physically and emotionally available. Good leaders are responsive and look to lead the whole individual—not just who he or she is at the office.

5. Empowering others to shine.  An emotionally intelligent leader doesn’t take credit for others—he or she seeks to promote individual success and make people feel appreciated.

Where else in the workplace would it make sense to assess people’s emotional intelligence? What steps have you taken to improve your own? Share your thoughts. 

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