In the book “How to be a Leader”, Daniel Goleman portrays the importance of emotional intelligence in a truly effective leadership.
In the book “How to be a Leader – the importance of emotional intelligence”, Daniel Goleman addresses the concept of emotional intelligence, which can be defined as the ability that each person has to recognize and assess his own feelings and those of others, as well as the ability to deal with them. The result of this research conducted in about 200 companies is, in the current days full of uncertainties and constraints, even more important.
Authoritative Style. Coaching Style. Affiliative Style. Democratic Style. Pacesetting Style. Coercive Style.
There are many styles a Leader can use. And the more, the better. Leaders who use more than one style, four or more, who are flexible and alternate them as needed, are more efficient and achieve a better organizational climate and performance.
Besides styles, what other factor can influence leadership? Humor!
Leaders’ humor influences the emotions of the people around them, either positively or negatively.
The influence of humor is a true neurological phenomenon and can have an impact on performance. But it’s important that the Leader’s mood is attuned to that of those around him. For example, if sales are down, a Leader will not be cheerful.
The most effective Leaders boast moods and behaviors that are in accordance with the moment, always dosing them with some optimism.
All of this is emotional intelligence!
According to Goleman, emotional intelligence is the “ability to identify our own feelings and those of others, to motivate ourselves, and to manage emotions properly within ourselves and in our relationships.”
The author presents four main components of emotional intelligence: self-awareness and self-management, empathy, and social awareness/relationship management.
Self-awareness: the ability to recognize one’s own emotions. It allows people to realize their own strengths and limitations, and feel confident in themselves.
Self-management: is the ability to control one’s emotions and act with honesty and integrity in a reliable and flexible way.
Empathy: the basis of relationship management, which involves paying close attention to others and showing concern for them.
Social Awareness / Relationship Management: included skills to communicate clearly and convincingly, resolve conflicts, and establish strong social relationships.
For the author, emotional intelligence is a requirement of leadership.
Goleman believes that someone who has the best education, incisive and analytical reasoning, and a plethora of excellent ideas, will only be a great leader if he also possesses emotional intelligence.
Throughout the book, he presents several examples that portray precisely this, that the “aptitude for others” is more important for leadership effectiveness than purely cognitive skills.
If we reflect on this fact, we realize that most work situations involve relationships between people. Therefore, people who have human relationship qualities, such as understanding and empathy, are more likely to succeed.
Goleman reports, for example, on the work of Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a senior consultant at Egon Zehnder International, who analyzed cases in which exceptional individuals, hired for high executive positions, ended up being fired.
What conclusion did he draw?
That these individuals had been hired for their expertise, but fired because they showed flaws in emotional intelligence.
What should we keep in mind?
The central idea is that effective Leaders, in addition to technical knowledge, have in particular self-management knowledge and skills to manage their relationships with others.
To do this, they need a trio of consciousnesses – Internal, External and In Others.
Inner Focus is related to the first two components of Emotional Intelligence, self-awareness and self-management. Leaders with self-awareness manifest realistic self-confidence and an awareness of their strengths and limitations. Self-management is revealed in emotional self-control, flexibility, and the ability to stay focused to achieve goals.
And finally, there is the External Focus, which allows a leader to see beyond his or her organization. A leader with this focus doesn’t just predict a change in the economy, for example, but also the impact of that change on the social, cultural, and environmental aspects.
Is it fundamental for a leader to own these three focuses?
Yes, and in a well-balanced way! This is the only way to achieve truly effective leadership and success.