Emotional intelligence is typically defined as the ability to sense, understand and effectively harness the power of emotions to facilitate higher and more meaningful levels of connection, collaboration and productivity.
Studies have shown the most successful leaders and top performers have highly developed emotional intelligence skills which include a keen sense of self-awareness and the ability to regulate their emotions.
The business community is finally catching up with what HR professionals have known for some time…exceptional leaders are made in the heart as much as they’re made in the head.
Harnessing the Power of Emotional Intelligence
When considering what makes a great leader, we often hear many qualities bandied about like decisiveness, charisma, integrity, strategic thinker and skilled communicator. Objectively, abilities like these are typically classified as technical or hard skills. They’re highly valued and easily measured. Leaders have them or they don’t.
In a 2014 Ted Talk, Amy Edmondson, The Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business Review, discussed the need to create psychological safety in the workplace and since that time the need has only increased. This talk touched on what many HR professionals have known for some time…emotional intelligence matters as a leadership competency.
The Importance of Authentic Engagement
What we’ve learned through the ongoing global pandemic and modern civil rights movement is that leaders must excel beyond having technical skills. In fact, in the last 18 months, the most successful leaders have recognized the importance of authentic engagement and harnessed its power when relating to their staff, membership and additional stakeholders.
Authentic engagement may sound new age and squishy, however, the concept is significant in that it describes a thoughtful and profound way of showing up in life. A way that informs one’s relationship to self, others and the world. A way of showing up that, when harnessed, allows leaders to be the best version of themselves and experience better outcomes.
Click here to read my full article on the American Society of Association Executives website. The article goes into the specific skills leaders must practice and cultivate to be exceptional leaders.
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