Exceptional Leaders Have This Critical Skill Do You?

We all look up to famous leaders and wonder how they do it?

What makes them great?

How could I be more like them?

The answer to all of these questions is emotional intelligence.

You see, researcher Daniel Goleman had these exact same questions. To find the answer, he studied leaders of 188 different companies.

Not a reader? That’s fine. Learn exceptional leadership skills in video format.

He used three different methods of measurement in assessing their leadership abilities including technical skills, cognitive skills, and emotional intelligence.

Out of the three skills, he found emotional intelligence was 2X more important in attaining goals and improving the company than any other skill! 🤯

Emotional intelligence is THE MOST important leadership skill.

Now you might be thinking, how do I become emotionally intelligent? Keep reading for the answer.

Five Ways to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

TIP: You must constantly practice these skills I am about to list. Knowing about them is not enough!

1. Motivation

When we talk about motivation regarding emotional intelligence, we’re referring to self-motivation.

That’s because external motivation (like a big paycheque) doesn’t always = action.

Self-motivation is the key factor in creating change. It pushes you to always be a step ahead of where you need to be.

When we focus on finding what motivates us, we naturally develop the skill we need to become our best selves.

Motivation is a key factor in emotionally intelligent leadership because it fuels your curiosity and drives you towards self-improvement.

2. Empathy

Empathy is our ability to feel what others are feeling. People commonly describe it as putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.

Empathy allows us to connect to someone else’s experiences, challenges, and accomplishments. Empathy is what really allows you to connect with and support others when they need you.

Exceptional leaders use their empathy skills when giving feedback to their team members.

Related Article: 7 Books That Will Make You More Empathetic | Hubspot

3. Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is the alignment in how you view yourself versus how others view you.

If you find that they are equal to each other, you have high self-awareness. If you find that others view you in a drastically different way than how you think of yourself you may need to take another look in the mirror.

Exceptional leaders live their life according to their values. They have a high moral code and are aware of how that affects the way they are perceived.

Being aware of how you are perceived is important to emotional intelligence because it allows you to act authentically in any scenario.

4. Self-Regulation

Self-regulation is your ability to separate yourself from your emotions.

You can develop self-regulation by thinking before you act or speak. But it’s easier said than done. Humans are emotion-driven and commonly project the way we feel into words.

Say your teammate gives a bad presentation to an important investor. Someone with low self-regulation would freak out and yell at their teammate because they’re angry.

Someone with high self-regulation will take a step back and calm themselves before responding.

When a team member under-delivers, leaders with high self-regulation will coach them on how to do better next time.

Self-regulation allows you to look at things calmly and objectively which is an essential skill in becoming an emotionally intelligent leader.

5. Sociability

Sociability ties all the skills previously mentioned together. It is your ability to be in groups, bring people together, and give them a sense of belonging.

Exceptional leaders use their sociability skills to create social ties within a team. They’re skilled at making people excited about coming to work each day.

Sociability allows emotionally intelligent leaders to develop passion in those around them.

Parting Thoughts

There you have it — five areas you can focus on to improve your emotional intelligence.

Like I said earlier, the only way to develop these skills is practice.

If you’re a manager, I recommend selecting one skill each week to improve each week. Don’t be shy and tell your team you’re working on that skill and ask for peer reviews. When you combine feedback with intentional skill development, you create a recipe for exceptional leadership.

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