With the advent of technology, in this case artificial intelligence, on the rise and working its way into the workplace, emotional intelligence is of critical importance and it is an area where all great leaders separate themselves from their colleagues as well as machines. Emotional intelligence embodies several important traits including empathy, self-awareness, positivity, accountability, and authenticity, among others. For the sake of this article, we will cover in detail the qualities that emotionally intelligent leaders share from the aforementioned list to showcase ways in which we can start implementing these qualities into our lives and start living them in the same way these leaders do.
Leaders embodying empathy are able to put themselves in other people’s shoes and see the world from their perspective. Armed with this personality trait, these leaders are able to put others’ needs before their own and, thus, act in a more considerate manner. Acting on this ability would allow one to break the mold of unfair stereotypes and challenge workplace assumptions that would otherwise inhibit the progress of one’s team. Furthermore, empathetic leaders are able to establish an honest repertoire with their employers in a way that does not undermine each individual’s personal concerns. Empathy is the cornerstone of productive social skills and one that we should implement in every aspect of our lives, not just in the workplace.
Emotionally intelligent leaders are incredibly aware of their actions and how they impact the people in their lives. These leaders are able to unpack these actions and get to the root of the emotions that drive them, allowing them to generate a clearer picture of the happenings within the workplace. In order to practice self-awareness, one is required to be mindful of their ego and how it enters the work environment, making efforts to inhibit the negative impact that the ego may have on social interactions. Through the technique of self-awareness, leaders are able to employ critical thinking and measured responses that do not tetter on the scale of unproductive emotional outbursts.
Optimism and positivity allow emotionally intelligent leaders to create working environments that support employees and encourage productivity. Through the implementation of positive thinking and shifting one’s mindset, we are able to motivate our fellow colleagues and further our steps to achieving team goals.
The last thing we would want is a leader who does not take accountability for their actions. Emotionally intelligent leaders are able to acknowledge their failures and take responsibility for their actions to ensure that mistakes are not repeated twice. This character trait allows these leaders to lead by example and showcase that nobody is perfect, no matter how important their job title is. This quality inspires confidence in the rest of the team as each employee is guided to owning their responsibilities in the same way.
Emotionally intelligent leaders are true to themselves, representing the kind of genuinity that we expect from those in charge. An authentic leader is one who is firm in their beliefs and transparent about their views, creating working environments where trust is at the core of the team dynamics. Authentic leaders are able to live up to promises as they are honest about the ways in which they handle situations.
While these traits are shared by emotionally intelligent leaders, we can start working towards instilling these qualities in our own lives and start living more abundantly from the minute we do so. While it would prove difficult to always embody these characteristics, being conscious of these traits is a step in the right direction.