The Dynamic Duo: Successful Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

As former New York City Mayor Ed Koch frequently asked, “How am I doing?” As a leader in your organization – whether in NYC or the Berkshires, YOU need to be asking the same question to grow your emotional intelligence (EI) and better your leadership skill set. Leadership and emotional intelligence are the dynamic duo. Together they are unstoppable!

In my coaching practice, I am frequently asked by clients to work one-on-one with leaders to increase their EI bandwidth. I work to help these people break old behavioral habits and establish new ones. This requires an individualized approach – one size does not fit all.

We all know: certain highly intelligent and skilled managers stumble while others who possesses solid but not extraordinary gifts and abilities succeed. According to Daniel Goleman and other leading experts who study the social sciences, the answer in emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence (EI or EQ) is about the key personal capabilities that drive outstanding performance for leaders at all levels. EI is the skills that define how we 1) perceive, 2) understand, 3) reason with and 4) manage or feelings and the feeling (and behaviors) of others. The greater our emotional intelligence, the greater our success. Simply put, higher emotional intelligence increases the opportunity for success. What manager doesn’t want more success?

Here are the key Emotional Intelligence skills:

  1. Self-Awareness: Knowing and understanding one’s strengths, limitations, drives, values, and impact on others.
  2. Self-Regulation: Controlling or redirecting disruptive impulses and moods.
  3. Motivation: Relishing achievement for its own sake.
  4. Empathy: Understanding the emotional make up of others.
  5. Social Skill: Building rapport with others in order to guide them toward desired directions.

Building one’s EI doesn’t happen overnight. And it doesn’t happen without sincere willingness to change. Leaders who want to increase their EI need to be willing to abandon old habits that don’t serve a positive purpose and seek feedback from colleagues (yes, none of us enjoy this; hopefully you can do the same for them someday).

Let me know if you would like to learn more about how I work with leaders to increase their success. You can read all of my blog posts and on LinkedIn.