Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

“Emotional Intelligence” was first introduced by Dr. Daniel Goleman in the mid 1990’s as a way for leaders to evaluate and develop their capabilities in five categories: Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Motivation, Empathy and Social Skill. Dr. Goleman explains that even though intelligence as measured by, "I.Q." is important, the most successful managers and leaders have a greater capacity for, “E.Q.” or “Emotional Intelligence.”

“So what is E.Q. and how do I get it?” In an article published by Harvard Business Review in May 2009, “What Makes a Leader”, Dr. Goleman explores an organizational methodology for developing emotional intelligence in executive leadership and discovering who in the organization will most likely succeed as leaders based on the five categories of emotional intelligence.

Dr. Goleman also explores the age old question about whether leaders are born or made. The answer he discovered is that they are both. There is, within people, greater and lesser capacities for self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skill. The first element of self-awareness is a great way to start this discovery process. By identifying your natural inclinations, you can form methods to develop and improve in the categories most likely to help in leadership roles.

“So how do I find out how emotionally intelligent I am?” You can find many free online tests which measure E.Q. Look for the free test at Psychology.about.com

It is important that leaders realize, just as we tell drivers, “When you think you know it all, that’s when you become the most dangerous.” Leaders must constantly work at developing their skillsets to bring out the most in the people they lead. When you think you have to know all the answers in order to effectively lead, that is when you become the least effective at leadership.

“Leadership is not just about what you do," says Jon Gordon, "but what you can inspire, encourage and empower others to do.”

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