Want to take your leadership to the next level? The world’s best leaders, not necessarily the ones running Fortune 500-sized organizations, have a secret sauce that makes people want to follow them. Their magic is in their emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence is the ability to connect emotionally with other people. This connection is how these leaders are able to get people to move toward common goals with an aligned purpose and as an engaged team. These are the leaders that are in demand wherever they go and have no problem getting a new role if they find themselves out of work.
Some call it charisma. Some call it being a “people person”. Whatever you want to categorize it as, the bottom line is that these leaders are able to get results that are consistently far above others. Whether they are leading a large organization, a department, or coaching Little League, these leaders are effective.
Cognitive intelligence has little to do with it. In fact, I have seen my share of Mensa members, genius-level IQ individuals, and PhDs fail at achieving results. They usually then go on to blame the people around them as being stupid or uneducated. These geniuses have the best resumes with a long list of credentials, however, they often lack the emotional intelligence to deeply connect with the people they manage.
Emotional Intelligence or EQ is inside of us all, however, for most of us it takes nurturing and life experience to reach its full potential.
Here is my list of 5 things you can do to start developing your EQ to a deeper level…
1. Pay Attention: Consciously pay attention to what is going on around you when it comes to other people. Take the time to process what is going on in your thinking when you respond to events. When someone cuts you off in traffic, how do you respond? Why? When someone on your team does not deliver as expected, how do you feel? Increasing your level of consciousness around day-to-day events and happenings is the biggest step towards improving your EQ.
2. Understand Responsibility: Most leaders I work with fail to recognize responsibility for their actions. For example, if you are late for a meeting because traffic was heavier than you expected, whose fault is it? Or, and this is a big one, if someone on your team is consistently not delivering, who’s fault is it? Theirs or the person you see in the mirror that hired and developed them? Accepting responsibility for every aspect of your life is the hallmark of high emotional intelligence.
3. Live Your Personal Values: We all have a value set. Values are the guiding principles that cause us to behave the way we do, as well as motivating us and causing us to become deeply committed to something. If you are not living and honouring your values, you will find you have little or no motivation, desire, or tolerance for other people .
4. Be Aware of Your Purpose: What gets you out of bed in the morning (besides the alarm clock)? What is it in your life that you could not be without? Become conscious of whatever that is and write it down. Once you are aware of your purpose, you will discover the hundreds of ways you can get your life in alignment with that purpose.
5. Make Good Choices: With a greater awareness of the people around you, your values, and your purpose (as well as the fact that other people may not have the same purpose as you) comes the ability to make better and more informed choices in your life. And with better choices comes better results, lower levels of frustration, and higher levels of happiness.
You can do it. You just have to commit.
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based partner at Incrementa Consulting Inc., #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.Emotional Intelligence, EQ, Leadership, Management, Robert Murray, Robert S. Murray, Self-Awareness, Success, Values, Vancouver BC