27 décembre 2009

Emotional intelligence … so important !

While business schools concentrated on a very Cartesian education to build brilliant spirits, we discover again that feelings must not be necessarily banished from the arsenal of the leader.

IQ and technical skills (competency/expertise) are important. No doubt. But emotional intelligence after all is probably the sine qua non of leadership. At least this is my strong belief after years in management. The issue in fact is not to feel emotions. Everybody feels emotions. The problem is more how you can deal with them. How you can use them to your advantage and the one of your company. How feelings can help you to build an actions plan based not only on pure factual elements but also on your own feeling … something you feel may happen. Why? You do not know why. Nor how! Emotional intelligence is about being able to listen people, customers, suppliers, partners and understand how they feel, what they are expected from you and how you can enter into a real teamwork for the benefit of everybody. Emotional intelligence is about being able to take into consideration elements which are not necessarily rational but which justify themselves by the other reasons, the ones that we feel in care, based on experience, know-how and faith.
A lot of research studies are starting to show the existing and direct tie between emotional intelligence and business results. When feelings are taken into account, people surpass themselves which can be seen in business results.
Among qualities traditionally associated with leadership we find intelligence, toughness (we will see later why this one is important), determination or vision. They are important but they are not sufficient to make a leader. The one people will follow without any hesitation, the one that will inspire others in all the sense with commonly put behind the expression “inspiring people”. In other words, these qualities should be considered as a threshold, a barrier that you cannot pass without them. But being a great leader is also about having emotional intelligence which means: self-awareness, self-regulation, ability to motivate others, empathy and social skills (see Daniel Goleman).
Having both a traditional profile plus a strong emotional intelligence does not mean you will be a successful leader. Unfortunately not … or it would be simple. For sure to work things have first to come together. But then others factors play a role like … chance! Let’s admit here that this by nature much more difficult to predict. Indeed we can say who will never be a leader (or with a poor chance to be one) but it is more difficult to know who will be a winner.
As usual please comment in: geraldkarsenti@live.fr