The five components of emotional intelligence at work are self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.
This is based on the work of psychologist Daniel Goleman, who came up with the framework for defining emotional intelligence in the workplace and in our personal life as well.
Contrary to IQ, EQ can be refined and improved upon. In an ever-changing world, the importance of soft skills is slowly overpowering the demand for technical skills.
In my 13 years of corporate career, I can count on my fingers how many emotionally intelligent people let alone leaders I encountered.
They had these characteristics:
1. They say ‘We’ instead of ‘I’:
At one of my part-time jobs during university, I had an amazing boss who was also very patient. Once I was in training and I made a mistake. She told me: I know what WE have done.
That made me feel less like a fool and more as part of the team, even though I was a novice.
An emotionally intelligent leader does not take all the credit: he or she shares the wins with the team irrespective of whether he or she did most of the grunt work.
2. They know their weaknesses
In another work episode, when I started working in the corporate world, I met a supervisor who was so in tune with who he was. He was very conscientious and committed to his job but he knew he could get very annoying with details.
So he always use to apologise in advance: I am so sorry, this is how I saw this being done but that said, I also have OCD tendencies. Feel free to do it your way and then we discuss it.
He never imposed. He was aware of where he could be pushy and was comfortable saying it,
Leaders who are vulnerable to their weaknesses are so inspiring and they make the world around them a better place. They provide the right platform for everyone to be themselves.
3. They ask for help
We do not need to be at a C-suite level to work on our emotional intelligence. We are all leaders in our own way.