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When considering the traits of a great manager, many think of determination, positivity, confidence and decisiveness. Emotional intelligence might top your list, and there are many reasons why it should.

Emotional intelligence is the capacity to pinpoint and manage your emotions, along with the emotions of others. This quality is divided into several components. Emotional awareness is the ability to determine when feelings are present in yourself and others. Emotional management is the capability to regulate emotions. Finally, effective communication allows leaders clearly and effectively convey instruction and inspire others to act.

When it comes to effective leadership, emotional intelligence is a must-have competency. Our emotions influence our leadership style and impact our work relationships. Those with a high “EQ” are usually less stressed and communicate better than their colleagues without a strong sense of emotional intelligence. When you practice emotional intelligence, you encourage your team, making them more productive and loyal to your organization.

So, once you decide to incorporate emotional intelligence into your management style; where do you start? The first step is to identify your emotional triggers. This can be done by keeping a journal, or by simply slowing down and thinking about why you experience certain emotions in the workplace. Are there ever times when you rush to judgment or feel like you lose control? Learning how to hold yourself accountable and face your emotions head-on will also help you identify with others and become a stronger leader.

Once you have a grasp on your emotions, it’s easier to understand the emotional needs of your team. Begin looking for verbal and non-verbal cues that will help you to identify the feelings of others. For example, if an employee seems to be less productive than usual, is this person overwhelmed? By identifying the underlying emotion, you can work with this team member to develop solutions that will boost productivity.

Understanding the emotions of your team will also help you to create tools to motivate and inspire them. When you know what drives others, you can establish a strategy that incorporates their goals, and keeps them working at their peak.

Of course, developing emotional intelligence is not an overnight process. Like any skill, learning to read and manage emotions takes practice and experimentation. Studies have found that targeted executive coaching can increase emotional intelligence competencies. Given the importance of emotional intelligence, and its ability to transform the way you manage, learning how to enhance it is well worth the investment. 

EGL provides team and individual executive coaching that can help leaders further develop their level of emotional intelligence. 

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