Great leaders understand the value of emotional intelligence in leadership. Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, interpret, demonstrate, control, evaluate and effectively utilize emotions during various interactions. It’s a critical component to leadership as it forms the foundations of the complex web of relationships that every organisation has, and is core to the leader’s ability to motivate and inspire.
The best leaders in business don’t necessarily have the technical or creative skills of those they manage. But what is common to all great leaders is that they spent the time in developing excellent emotional intelligence in leadership, and through that they have the ability to draw the best out of everyone around them.
There are seven “steps” or techniques that are commonly cited as the most effective pathway to building better emotional intelligence in leadership. These are:
1) Observe and examine (develop self-awareness)
2) Evaluate (look at your strengths and weaknesses)
3) Pause and regulate (learning to take a moment before responding)
4) Being positive and motivated
5) Practice humility (don’t chase self-recognition, but rather let others shine)
6) Develop empathy (learn to see things from other people’s perspectives)
7) Practice your own communication skills
The Emotional Intelligence 360 survey forms the foundation of all of those steps, as it is both a self-evaluation tool and an opportunity to get actionable insights from others on how to improve
The Emotional Intelligence 360 survey involves the person that the survey is for, as well as their team, peers, and reports. This means that, firstly, the individual can compare how they see themselves to how others see them, and this is valuable data for the purposes of evaluation. Secondly, because the responses from others are anonymised, the responses will be genuine, allowing for an accurate measurement of the individual’s emotional intelligence.
Then, by looking at the development areas, the person can focus on that in practicing to build emotional intelligence in leadership. What’s more, it is valuable insight for the person’s leadership mentors to have, in providing advice on how they built their own leadership capabilities.
Often, displaying emotional intelligence seems simple. Some of the critical social skills involved include:
- Tuning the listening skills so you are making a genuine effort to understand the other person.
- Making sure you fully understand a person before you respond.
- Being mindful of how you communicate and the vocabulary you use.
- Being ready and willing to give helpful, constructive feedback.
- Always deliver on your word.
- Understand how to apologise. Firstly, being willing to acknowledge when you are in the wrong and make amends. Additionally, though, is understanding when a difference of perspective means that the other party has been aggrieved and, even when you’re confident that you’re in the right, you value the relationship.
While these all might seem simple, the reality is that, like with other forms of “intelligence”, it takes practice and focus to master them. In this way our Emotional Intelligence 360 survey can act like a textbook for classwork: it can help train and develop this form of intelligence.
The MultiRater Surveys Emotional Intelligence 360 solution has helped leaders – new and experienced - to continue to develop their emotional intelligence in leadership. As with any skill, emotional intelligence is something that you want to continue to train and develop throughout your career, and so having a schedule of regular ongoing surveys – once a year or so – can help you to make sure your development remains on track. Contact us to start today!