Navigating Success with Emotional Intelligence
Communication, a two-way medium of information exchange, is today considered one of the foremost tools for growth and success. Good communication can be linked to effective interpersonal skills and can be a robust asset for aspiring leaders. However, this skill has to be balanced on a finer scale of emotional and intellectual intelligence. Emotional intelligence is making its mark as a determinant to success, both on a personal and professional level.
What do the world’s most inspiring leaders have in common?
The foremost answer would definitely be their effective communication and interpersonal skills.
Communication is an exchange of information. It is a two-way process, which directly has links to interpersonal skills. Leaders interact with diverse audiences across all the verticals of an organization, both locally and globally. Hence communication competence is a skill that aspiring leaders should aim to cultivate along their path to success.
Then the next question one would ask is what sets apart an effective communicator?
Communication helps us connect with people and people are driven by emotions. Therefore, an effective communicator has to be someone who can effectively manage emotions.
Studies have demonstrated that leaders who consistently succeed do not only refine their technical skills, but also have mastered Emotional Intelligence (EI), also commonly referred to as Emotional Quotient (EQ). The dictionary meaning of EI is “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically”. Emotional Intelligence has been identified today as a key determining factor for success, both within our personal space and also in the professional space.
Daniel Goleman, who has made significant contributions in the field of Emotional Intelligence, cites several documented research studies that, “tell us there are brain centres that govern EI, which distinguishes this set of human skills from academics (verbal, math, and spatial) intelligence, or IQ.” Goleman has written several books on implementing emotional intelligence in an organization. He advocates that leaders high in EI are key to organizational success.
- To motivate, understand and gain employee trust, a leader has to be empathetic (social competence).
- To manage stressful situations as well as to keep pace with changing dynamics within an organization, an aspiring leader has to master his own emotions (personal competence).
A successful leader is able to communicate his expectations efficiently and understands the political and social conventions within an organization. This directly connects to the evidence that some of the most impressive and effective leaders are those who have strong interpersonal and communication skills.
This motivates us to ask pertinent questions about how to better manage our personal and professional lives, and how to better align our emotional strength with our skills sets. Moving ahead we will continue to analyse more research-based study models and theories that steer us towards a successful and fulfilling life.
Priya has extensive knowledge and experience in creative writing. She has formally trained as a speech and drama teacher and has a natural inclination for working within an education and training setup. Her work experience has primarily been in Singapore. That and her passion to travel has helped shape her global outlook.
Goleman, Daniel, et al. Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence. Harvard Business Review Press, 2017.