Why Emotional Intelligence Is Important As A Manager

Creative, organized, adaptable, confident, enthusiastic, open-minded, committed, consistent—you’ve heard it all before, the traits that are necessary to be a good leader. But, have you heard about the single most important factor in taking your leadership abilities from good to great? What will distinguish you from mediocrity and put you amongst the great?

And the secret ingredient is (drumroll, please)… emotional intelligence! Emotional intelligence (EQ) is one of the most overlooked and the most important characteristics in making the leap from mediocre to awesome. EQ is the ability to understand and manage not only your own emotions, but also those emotions around you. With emotional intelligence you are able to better handle relationships, navigate social networks, and influence and inspire others. Additionally, high EQ allows you to seriously impact the success of your team by affecting productivity, efficiency, and collaboration.

Here are some reasons why leaders should focus on raising their level of emotional intelligence:

  1. Appreciation. Emotional intelligence will help you earn the gratitude of your peers! Leaders who can sometimes show their emotions and vulnerability often have an easier time connecting with employees on an emotional level. Additionally, showing you care enough to listen and empathize with the emotions of your employees will go a long way. Forming stronger, more personal relationships will allow you to lead with a heart, a factor that will make people want to work and go above and beyond for you.
  2. Credibility. EQ will put you in touch not only with others, but with yourself. Once you achieve a certain level of self-awareness you will be able to act and make decisions that align with particular values and morals. People will see you as authentic—when you act as a leader who has the courage to hold true to good, honest beliefs without losing sight of reality, you will find your employees buying into and happily adopting your culture.
  3. Superior Communication Skills. This extends much further than simply being direct and honest. We’ve all heard “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”—it might be cliché, but it’s the truth! Being in touch with the emotions of your employees will allow you to tailor what you say to get the most out of everybody. You will become more of a motivational and inspirational force in the workplace and will raise the efficiency and productivity of your employees.

Still not convinced? According to Talent Smart, 90% of high performers at the work place possess high EQ, while 80% of low performers have low EQ. Worried your EQ isn’t up to par? Don’t sweat it! EQ can grow A LOT over the course of a lifetime, especially if you are willing to learn and change. So channel your inner Tommy boy and don’t be afraid of your feelings!

Curious to see how you rank as a leader? Check out our WorkCompass Leadership Survey to discover your strengths and weaknesses in leadership.


Denis Coleman

Denis Coleman is the founder and CEO of Work Compass, a cloud staff performance collaboration software platform that helps teams align their efforts with strategic goals and continuously improve performance. Frustrated with the disconnect between strategy setting and day to day execution and the lack of tools available to managers to help them be great at their most important function …. Aligning their teams activities with strategic goals and actively managing for high performance Denis spent over 5 years researching strategy execution and performance management practices before founding Work Compass to create a software solution. Denis has held senior roles in Ireland, Czech Republic and North America with high performing electronics manufacturing and professional services organisations for more than 12 years. Denis has worked as Finance Director responsible for €800 million in annual revenues for Flextronics International, Key Account Manager responsible for annual revenues of more than €600 million for Dovatron International and Management Consultant for BDO one of Europe’s most successful professional services providers.

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