Why are EQ and Leadership Inseparable?
Why is it important to distinguish between the terms “leader” and “leadership”?
The term leader is often used to describe someone who is in a position with certain authorities and responsibilities. The term leadership is used to describe a set of emotionally intelligent behaviours in action where an individual is able to engage willing followers even when they do not necessarily have authority. This is why we often see “leaders” today who do not necessarily exhibit effective “leadership”. Our new business reality requires organizations that have individuals who exhibit leadership at all levels as opposed to only those at or near the top.
Why are “leadership” and “leadership development” particularly important today?
Leadership at the top may have worked in the past but it no longer works today. The world is a much more complex place today and the rate of change and the challenges that we are expected to respond to are continuing to increase. Moreover, the nature of change itself is changing creating new and unpredictable environments where old ways of thinking and behaving no longer work.
In a world of constant change and uncertainty people need to be focused on what is most important and bringing the best of their skills and abilities to the workplace. This only happens when people are engaged through strong leadership. In fact, research shows that a leader’s style influences 50 to 70% of the climate and the climate, how individuals feel about working at an organization, can account for 20 to 30% of business performance (Goleman, 2008). That is a sustainable competitive advantage for any organization. Leadership development is no longer a choice for any organization - it is a necessity.
Why are some leader’s great managers but struggle with showing effective leadership?
Much of our traditional education in school and on the job focuses on developing our technical and management skills as opposed to our personal and interpersonal effectiveness. A foundation whose roots can be traced back to the industrial revolution. In today’s complex world management skills are important but they are only part of the equation to be successful. The key difference is that we manage “things” and lead “people” so leadership and management are two distinct skill sets. Two skills sets that some people often confuse as being the same thing.
Where we continue to fall short is in providing our people with tools, techniques, coaching and training and development that enhances their personal and interpersonal effectiveness skills and not just their technical skills. Therefore is it any wonder why people struggle with showing effective leadership if they have never learned how to do it or it is expected that it will simply come together for them at some point in their careers when they are given direct reports? Successful organizations today focus on leadership development as a strategic necessity.
How does Emotional Intelligence (EQ) coaching and training and development help in developing effective leaders and the leadership skills that are required by individuals at all levels in an organization?
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is distinct from IQ, or cognitive intelligence, a term that we more often associate with technical competence and is the gateway to better understanding and tapping in to our ability to show more effective “leadership”. When we explore EQ we start to assess and develop aspects that include:
- What is our overall level of self-awareness? Healthy self-awareness allows us to be more conscious and intentional, make smarter choices and better manage ourselves in any situation that we may find ourselves in.
- How effectively do we express ourselves to others? Leadership is fundamentally about influencing others to want to take action even when we do not necessarily have authority over others. Expressing oneself in a confident, compelling, non-anxious and often courageous way is a key aspect of our EQ success.
- How effective are we at building and maintaining meaningful and successful relationships with others? Today’s complex business world involves the necessity for teamwork and getting work done through people. This is more likely to be effective when we have healthy relationships with others where they feel engaged as opposed to disengaged when they are working with us.
- How well do we manage and respond to stress? Stress can be energizing or debilitating. How we respond to and manage our stress when it is energizing or debilitating – and the ability to know the difference - is a critical aspect of our emotional intelligence.
- How effectively do we make decisions? Our complex business world continues to change at an exponential rate. Our ability to adapt to and thrive during these changes and make emotionally intelligent decisions that lead to sustainable and healthy outcomes are an important part of our success.
Taken together, these perspectives provide us insight into our overall level of emotional intelligence (EQ).
The need for Leadership Development and Emotional Intelligence (EQ) makes intuitive sense but “how” do we do this and what are the tangible benefits?
If you "are" happier and more loving, peaceful and focused you will "be" more productive and more effective in your leadership. These are the powerful outcomes to expect when you are more effectively engaging your emotional intelligence.
Explore our site to learn how we can assist you with assessing and developing the emotional intelligence and developing the leadership skills, competencies and capabilities of you and your people .
“The act of leadership inspires leadership and creates a ripple effect where what is impossible to achieve through one person is easily achieved through a community of interest and aligned desires and purpose.”
- Kelley John Marko