“Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.”
– Mayer & Salovey, 1997
Emotional Intelligence has been defined by numerous experts in the last 30 years. The capabilities regarded as “EQ” – as opposed to, say, “IQ” as a measure of intelligence or “PQ” as a measure of physical health – may differ according to the authority being cited, but there is consensus that these EQ capabilities play a significant role in leadership.
As humans, our emotional state is impacted by those around us. In an organisation, the emotional state of the organisation is heavily influenced by the leader. And because a leader is expected to speak up, their words are listened to more carefully and their behaviour observed more closely. This places a responsibility on the leader to manage their own emotions and behaviours, but more than that, a good leader is empathetic – able to read the emotional environment of the organisation – and can create resonance within the group or the organisation.
Dissonance, on the other hand, occurs when leaders are out of touch with the emotions of those around them. This can lead to an environment of mistrust and misunderstanding, and increased distress levels. Emotions such as fear, anger, apathy, frustration and discontentment may prevail.
Coaching and Emotional Intelligence
At LifeForward, we find that Daniel Goleman’s emotional intelligence leadership competencies align well with the concepts we use when working with clients. The competencies are useful for personal growth and development for everyone but particularly relevant for leaders. Many of the competencies arise during executive coaching and can be explored through the use of Insights Discovery personality profiles® both to understand self, but also to build other emotional intelligence competencies such as empathy, managing conflict, articulating a vision, building relationships, persuading and influencing, building trust and consensus and leading with authenticity.
Exploring self-awareness and awareness of others through the Insights Discovery colour energies helps build these emotional competencies. Using the language of colour energies we work with clients to increase their awareness of others’ viewpoints, build understanding and appreciation of others’ strengths and to develop empathy, influence and relationships.
Just as we can learn to dial-up or dial-down our colour energies, leaders need to flex their leadership style according to the needs of the specific situation.
Coaching and Self-management
Critical to both emotional intelligence and a successful coaching engagement is the concept of self-management. We can only coach those who want to change, who are adaptable and willing to do things differently. But the ability to change often also requires a high degree of self-awareness and self-control in order to tackle hard-wired habits and beliefs and to try new things. A willingness to own our own behaviour and take responsibility for our actions is core to coaching.
We work with clients to help them examine their own self-belief, analyse their behaviours and understand their motivations for their current thinking and actions in order to assess the need for change.
EQ and Teams
Insights Discovery® and team coaching can help teams build relationship management skills as a team, manage their internal conflicts, support each other and build understanding.
EQ and Leadership Development
Our series of leadership development workshops also engages emotional intelligence, starting with Awareness of Self, moving to Awareness of Others on the second day and Organisational Awareness on the final day.
As a result, executive coaching and team coaching are powerful resources for both individuals and organisations to grow and develop emotional intelligence in the workplace. And allowing leaders time out to develop, refine and excel at the emotional intelligence competencies can drive business performance to its peak.
Danial Goleman – The New Leaders
Intellect allows leaders to think with clarity, conceptualise a problem and analyse situations – it is the prerequisite of leadership.
Emotional intelligence allows leaders to execute a vision through motivating, guiding, inspiring, listening, persuading and creating resonance.
EQ Leadership Competencies – Goleman
- Organisational awareness
- Developing others
- Change catalyst
- Managing conflict
- Teamwork and collaboration