Developing emotional intelligence is learning how to respond rather than react and then helping others on your team to do the same.
Learning how to respond effectively starts with understanding what we call the Emotional Intelligence Management Tree. The Emotional Intelligence tree is made up of four key branches, each branch growing together to develop strong emotional intelligence.
People who are strong in the self-awareness branch of the Emotional Intelligence Management Tree are able to identify their own personal motivators, emotions, and triggers as different situations arise. They accept themselves for who they are – though a truly effective leader never stops striving to become better – and understands their personal strengths and weaknesses.
When a leader is strong in self-management, they are able to control their emotions and behaviors. They don’t react emotionally to changing circumstances and are resilient in the face of challenges. Great self-managers are also strong in balancing their priorities and commitments, while also implementing strategies for personal growth.
3. Social Awareness
Leaders who have strong social awareness skills are able to recognize the emotional cues in others and empathize with them.They understand the dynamics of power and influence in a group and are aware of their personal surroundings, audience, and environment – and how they may need to adjust differently to these variations. Leaders with strong social awareness are also capable of realizing how they can positively impact others in ways that are specifically meaningful.
4. Relationship Management
Strong relationship management requires that a leader is capable of inspiring and influencing others. They are able to communicate and execute their vision while developing positive relationships. They build the right team around them, they mentor and grow their team, and they work toward creating team consensus on executing the vision. They are able to build trust and credibility through integrity.
All four of these “branches” of the Emotional Intelligence Management Tree are equally important, and they are not sequential. For example, you do not necessarily need to fully develop your self-awareness before moving into self-management. Most people will find that they are strong in some areas of each of these branches, while lacking in others. Reflect on your own emotional intelligence strengths and weaknesses – and you are that much closer to becoming more self-aware!