Traditional leadership tells us that traits such as assertiveness, dominance, physical stature, intelligence, and social sensitivity determine whether an individual is best suited for leadership. These characteristics certainly play an advantageous role but the most prominent of all is Emotional Intelligence (EI), which is one’s ability to regulate feelings and use them to guide our actions.
Who is more likely to succeed?
A manager who likes to shout and criticize his or her team when under stress.
A manager who prefers to stay calm under pressure.
Emotional Intelligence plays a monumental role in why a leader succeeds or fails. Considers this: A manager’s behavior explain 70% of employees’ daily work engagement, focus and productivity, Gallup estimates in the State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders.
No matter what you do in the workplace, whether it is envisioning a plan or mobilizing teams to take action, your success largely depends on how you do it. That’s where emotional intelligence comes in.
If you fail at the primal task of driving emotions in the right direction to inspire action, nothing you do will work well to bring results. By improving emotional intelligence, you can become a more effective and more successful leader.
You can do this by working on the following:
STAY CALM UNDER PRESSURE
One of the traits of a strong leader is the ability to control his or her emotions under pressure. Anthropologists tie this characteristic back to the alpha-male or alpha-female trait. When the group is in danger, it helps to have a strong leader who remains level-headed and can think clearly.
We are not born with the ability to cope under extreme pressure or stress. But simply realizing that how we choose to react during a moment of crisis can help us take the necessary step to achieve what we want instead of fearing the unknown.
RECOGNIZE THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF MOOD
Leaders who stay positive under extreme stress inspire workers and see better outcomes than leaders who panic and have emotional outbursts in front of the group.
It’s not easy to stay upbeat, but a cheerful attitude matters more than you might realize.