In a world of leadership crisis, it is cumpolsury to challenge the traditional rules and come up with a new leadership style aiming to change the organization’s future. In his book, Daniel Goleman praises emotional intelligence as weapon that can make a difference and create new efficient leadership style.
Five letters have been inspirational to the world :“leader”. To lead or to be lead is a matter of choice. To lead or to be lead in the correct way, is a destiny, more than that, a consequence of a massive choice.
As a finality, we all seek and want to follow the track of a good leader. As a secret portion
many components come together to give birth to the Leader with a capital L. According to Daniel Goleman, technical skills and IQ are far from being the secret behind the good leader from our fantasies and aspirations. The magic word is emotional intelligence. What makes this type of intelligence relatively more efficient than others, is the fact that it is made of other soft skills such as: Self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.
The main question would be how to acquire these skills in order to be the “good leader” under the spotlight, moreover, are these components an earned or a given?
Emotional intelligence was first introduced by Daniel Goleman when vision, intelligence and toughness were insufficient for creating a good leader. What was missing and that he showed to the world were direct links with concrete evidences of how emotional intelligence strongly, positively affected the business industry through a never witnessed strong kind of leadership.
In order to find and to put the “right” leader in the “right position” it was necessary to take into account something stronger than science, Goleman, called it art. However, and similar to most unmeasurable variables, it is extremely delicate to judge whether a person is blessed or not by the emotional intelligence.
As a concept, emotional intelligence can be scaled, and therefore, measured with differences from one person to another. In big companies, psychologists take into account this difference by an efficient process of identifying, training, and promoting the best people from a leadership perspective. Those psychologists have developed what we call a “competency model” for high positions and other models for lower ones. After studying the example of big companies taking these variables into account, three major skills categories have been detected: Technical, cognitive and analytical reasoning. As a conclusion , emotional intelligence made it possible for people to work with others with a high possibility of a real change in the world, of leadership. It is proved that out of all the other indicators, emotional intelligence was by far the most important component making the difference in high positions, and in identifying the people in the “STAR’s” position. Moreover, emotional intelligence can be effectively measured by the strong performance related to its.
In order to have a clear understanding of what makes a person emotionally intelligent, a more detailed definition of the soft skills composing it stands out as a must.
First of all, self-awareness refers to the perfect reorganization of one’s features from
weaknesses to strengths, to emotions, needs and drives. A person, who has reached a high level of self-awareness, is able to provide (himself before anyone else) an honest critical opinion. Self-awareness allows one to value themselves to their just right value with no under or over estimation to its. Furthermore, people with a high level of self-awareness have the ability of controlling their feelings and have a clear vision of what they want to achieve, how and when they will achieve it. Working under pressure is no challenge for them, and choosing the work that fits them extends to values and self-development opportunities more than the monetary encouraging side of the said job. Self-awareness refers mostly to power, the power to control, use, and choose the effect of moods emotions and drives on other people.
In addition to self-awareness, four other components complete the full definition of emotional intelligence.
Self-regulation, stands for the ability of breaking free from one’s feelings. More than that, self-regulation manages to make people able to take control of their feelings and find a useful way of turning them into their own interests. Managers who are blessed with self-regulation are more likely to react with patience and maturity during challenging situations. Their anger is not manifested, and the message they want to transmit is generally composed of words carefully chosen to be adequate to the audience addressed to. Furthermore, the results of selfregulation appear when a leader that has it, is more focused on his own role in the problem appearance, on what the problem generated as a consequence, and then with rapidity thinks of an efficient solution adapted to the situation. The team members, have generally nothing to
fear from the self-regulated leader, their matters are well saved and managed, and on the other hand so are his. Self-regulated leaders are always preferred among others, according to Daniel Goleman, they are able to create an atmosphere of work where fairness and trust are key words.
This kind of leaders is more faithful to the organization among other ones, they are more
likely to be considered for their high productivity, their calm approach, and their intention of making the best out of the situation they are in. Also, a firm nowadays is no longer able to live in autarchy, and the environment keeps affecting it in different aspects, thus, only a leader with a high sense of self-regulation is able to keep up with the changes, and generate to the organization a competitive advantage with this elementary aspect of emotional intelligence.
Self-regulated people see the opportunity where most ordinary people fail to find a positive aspect. Overall, self-regulated people control and redirect their emotions and impulses with a proof of trustworthiness, integrity and have a facility adapting to new challenges. This kind of people are also blessed with a high tolerance towards all kinds of ambiguities.
The third component of emotional intelligence is motivation. According to Herzberg,
motivation in work is based on two hypotheses related to different factors. The first
hypothesis stands for the difference between the factors causing a positive job attitude and the ones causing a negative work attitude. On the other hands, we can quote factors and the performance or personal effects associated with sequences of events or short duration. From that point of view, job satisfaction and dissatisfaction were an outcome of achievement, recognition, the challenging aspect of the job, the responsibility and the advancement represented by the promotions. In presence of these factors, the human (employee in the organization’s case) satisfaction is boosted, and thus, the first motivational theory is completed. (Miner, 2005). According to Goleman , a motivated person is represented by one driven by the force of his inner power pushing him to achieve for the only goal of achieving. All leaders have motivation in common, and are mostly willing to achieve what goes further than what they and other expect. What makes the difference between leaders and other kinds of motivated people is the fact that their motivation is not related to external factors. Those leaders stand out from the others first by their passion for what they are doing. They put an outstanding energy into the things they are working on, and associate their own success to the one of their job. A more specific definition of motivated people is represented by those who ask the right questions, know all the reasons behind every choice, and are always ready to
explore new methods with no fear and firm determination. Those people are also always rising up the expectations bar, and maintain their score as high as possible. Another
interesting point, is that motivated leaders are always in an optimistic vision. Therefore, and thanks to the combination with their self-regulation they are able to overcome their failures and make a positive step forwards after each step back. In general, the teams managed by this kind of people reflect their exact values reinforced with motivation, optimism and organizational commitment.
The fourth component of emotional intelligence is the most relevant one among the others.
The business field is not a common place for such values to appear, however, empathy creates a difference when it is the least expected. A leader that shows his empathy is more likely to keep his collaborators close and his top management even closer. With such a behavior the leader gives an insurance that he is not only leading for the profit. He is leading for everyone’s sake, including his. Today, more than ever, we are in desperate need for empathic leaders. In organizations with all types and shapes group work is growing in exponential way comparing to the individual one. These organizations are mostly tracked by emergent globalization and the need of keeping their best profiles in the business. The old school way of leadership is no longer paying, and showing empathy in an out of the common criteria for leaders that manage to save the organizations from the three threats above.
Emotional intelligence relies on the leader’s ability of managing a relationship with others. On the last position, social skills come as one of the most important components. From an overall point of view, social skills seek primary to increase and to improve the relationships between people. Its starts with a clear identification of individuals and gets developed into an interaction and a communication with the other person. On the other hand, social skills are necessary for achieving advanced career prospects and the most trivial aim is to increase the overall happiness by the correct use of the social skills. From a more detailed perspective social skills expand to more than creating friendliness with people, it is the ability of moving with people into the direction you want them to be lead to. Socially skilled people always tend to find a common ground with different kinds of people. Moreover, social skills are the outcome of all previous components allowing the socially skilled people to have an appropriate network for each and every challenging situation. They are also able to know when and where to play the emotions card and when to play the reason one. However, social skills can be sometimes in contradiction with the previous components: a socially skilled person can be more focused on creating a network and having a conversation instead of caring about the empirical aspect of their job.
All together these five components give us the result of emotional intelligence. Thus, the
important question is as mentioned before, for those who were not given the bless of
emotional intelligence, is it ever too late for its to be acquired. The answer in this case is
divided between a “yes “and a” no “part. It is undeniable according to scientists and
psychologists that a part, (an important one) is due to nature and genetics. However, a very important percentage can also be learned through years of existence as a leader-being instead of a normal human-being. Emotional intelligence can be associated to maturity, thus, it is not sufficient to grow older in order to climb on an emotional intelligence scale.
Most of the trainings dedicated to that fail to give an effective result because emotional intelligence is mostly related as previously mentioned to feelings, pulses, and drives.
Emotional intelligence can be created when people are really aspiring to witness a change in their leadership style. Leading is not only driving people into an agreement field in order to feel the power and the pride of making people overwhelmed by your echo. Most trainings fail in teaching emotional intelligence and thus an effective leadership. Some components, if not to say all of them, are only learned when truly wanted with determination and will to change.
The one good leader might be a metaphor, and may only exist in people’s fantasies and hopes of change and improvement. However the closest version to the “one good leader” , is only reached by getting the components of emotional intelligence mastered in the most correct way. Daniel Goleman shows by this article empirical evidence of how leadership, with soft skills and communication ones, is able to make concrete positive impact in organizations.
After reading this, how much in your opinion would this world be different if “good”, emotionally intelligent leaders, truly existed?
Sabrine Emran, Q°emotion
Q°emotion is the first analytics & predictive platform dedicated to the voice of customers and employees centred around emotions. Rendering emotional analytics, alerts and predictions, it has been invented to help improve customer/ employee experience & relation in order to increase audience engagement.
Founded by Matthieu Bruneteau de Gorsse (Valeo, Promod, Lacoste) and Grégoire Pfirsch (Danone, Meccano, Altran, MetrixLab), Q°emotion is incubated in Technopole Center de l’Aube-en-Champagne and at the Welcome City Lab of Paris&Co.
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