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Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is Key to Leading Self and Others Successfully Through Change

As the world continues to navigate the impact of the global virus pandemic, leaders need to sustain themselves and their people through ongoing waves of uncertainty and change. This often means digging deep to engage a workforce that is coming to terms with the new realities in work and life.

Emotional intelligence is defined as the capacity to recognise our own feelings and those of others to manage emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships.

The significance of emotional intelligence (EI) has been known for three decades, with independent studies around the world reinforcing the central role it plays in leadership performance.

Upheaval in 2020, caused by the virus pandemic in an already changing business landscape, highlighted a pressing need for leaders to deal effectively with their own response and support their people with empathy and understanding.

As a result, many HR leaders have shared with us that, whilst dealing with disruption in market demand, supply and government regulations, executives are putting greater emphasis on the wellbeing and mental health of their workforce.

Korn Ferry has described this shift as ‘radically human leadership‘ and nominated three fundamental needs of people that are in sharper focus than before. They are:

  • Having meaningful direction in their lives and work
  • Building new capabilities to fulfil their purpose, and
  • Adopting an agile mindset to be able to develop and maintain those capabilities.

Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis have revisited their considerable body of work relating to emotional intelligence. The result is an updated version of their Emotional and Social Competence model with four components:

  • Self-Awareness – the ability to recognise and understand our emotions, drives, strengths, and weaknesses. It enables us to sustain our positive efforts over time, despite setbacks.
  • Social Awareness – being present and tuned in to others which equips us to better observe individuals and groups. It helps us recognise and understand the emotions of others.
  • Self-Management – managing our emotions and behaviour with focus and restraint. It assists us to maintain our effectiveness under stressful or difficult conditions.
  • Relationship Management – where emotional and social intelligence, or the lack of it, become most visible to others. It allows us to guide others in getting the job done and bring out the best in people.

Interestingly, Korn Ferry has found that only 22 percent of 155,00 leaders have real strength in emotional intelligence where people see them as demonstrating at least 9 out of 12 EI competencies. The remaining leaders show moderate strength or less.

If you to want to boost emotional intelligence for yourself or others, The Emotional and Social Competency Inventory (ESCI) is a 360-degree assessment that gives insight into how a person is seen by those who know them well on 12 critical EI competencies.

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