Emotionally clever leadership …and the winner is…. EI


For many many years, we have focused on attracting intelligent people in our organisations, to have the high achievers, the best of the best, la crème de la crème.  All until research came out to say that IQ is not necessarily the indicator of success. Emotional Intelligence (EI) is though.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize your emotions and realize how your emotions affect people around you. It also involves your perception of others: when you understand how they feel, you can manage your relationships effectively.

While it took us many years to believe this and put it in practice, for many companies it still remains something theoretical, even though when you talk to their management, they will agree will all concepts brought forward to them, in the direction of EI. 

In Cyprus, we don’t see many companies having this EI philosophy as part of their management spectrum.  Many don’t even know of its name… So what’s our responsibility as Human Resource (HR) professionals in this?  Most HR professionals will know about EQ and believe in its importance, yet they have a hard time convincing their management to buy into it and really invest in it.  Perhaps it’s because it might be hard to understand it really and see the practical aspect of it, as well as capture any quantifiable results.  But they are there…

So what do we do to change that?

Understand EI
Though we may know of it, heard of it, recite a couple of definitions, connect it to the concept of empathy, can we really describe it to ourselves and practice it ourselves?  Do we really know how it applies to our everyday professional and personal lives?  Can we really find an example we personally benefitted from displaying emotionally intelligent behaviour? If not, we better study it a little more.  We must first understand it clearly ourselves, before we can actually be ambassadors to others about its value. 

Promote EI
Once we have understood and internalised it for ourselves, then we can be in a position to promote it to others.  And the best way to do this, is by making others realise the personal benefits they might reap from developing their EI.   We are all interested in achieving things for ourselves, so if we are aware of a ‘tool’ that will help ease the way…. why not know it?

Present practical results of EI
Many times, in my seminars, people will tell me “I used to be a very stressful person and now I am not so much anymore”, or “I used to get angry very easily, but now I can control it”, or “I was very sensitive when I was younger and cried very often, not any more”.  These are all sings of somebody working on skills relating to their EI, but they don’t know it.  Once people realize this, it all of a sudden doesn’t seem so ‘theoretical’ to develop more EI skills.

Train our people to develop their EI
Though many people might have made unconscious efforts in their lives in the direction of developing their emotional intelligence, they might not know that this is how it’s called and how to take it further.  For them to do that, they might need training.  Training to see all the skills connected with EI and find out techniques on how to develop them.

Develop a culture of emotionally clever leadership 
Make Emotionally Intelligent Leadership your target for ALL your people, by incorporating it into your organization’s culture. People don’t need to be in a leadership position to take charge and of their personal as well as professional life. 

They just need to take responsibility of it and become the best they can be…

Through Emotional Intelligence…


An article by : Anna Xinistery