Tuesday, November 13, 2012

L07: Emotional Intelligence and Interpersonal Skills for Leaders

L07: Emotional Intelligence and Interpersonal Skills for Leaders

Emotional intelligence, or often-called emotional quotient, is the ability of leaders to identify and manage emotions in themselves and in others. This understanding helps leaders to understand what’s right culturally, both in the company and outside the company. Emotional intelligence enhances leaders’ ability to translate these emotions into actions that show flexibility and personal and social problem-solving ability.

Interpersonal skills are emotional intelligence in action, which leaders can use to understand when reacting with others. Both emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills enhance leaders’ communication with other effectively both verbally and nonverbally. 

In this chapter, leaders would understand emotional intelligence and how to develop the ability to uncover the “emotional context” which means getting below the surface of the words. From this learning, leaders can connect emotional intelligence to leadership styles, which might fall into different categories: visionary, coaching, affiliate, democratic, pacesetting, and commanding. Leaders might also vary leadership style when the situation warrants it. However, the ability to select the most effective leadership style for different situations require leader’s emotional intelligence to assess the situation correctly and assume the style appropriate for the context and audiences.

The first step to understand emotional intelligence is to understand your self-awareness, strengths, and weaknesses. Leaders can use popular psychological profiles to understand themselves better or use the MBTI, concept of personality assessment. In addition, MBTI concept can also enhance leaders understanding others. Leaders can use MBTI to understand how others are motivated and how better to work with them.

After better knowing themselves and others, leaders should develop an approach to improving emotional intelligence, improving nonverbal skills, listening skills, motivating and mentoring, and networking. 

Theodore Roosevelt said, “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” Importantly, it is the power of emotional intelligence. People who relate well to others do better in the workplace and as leaders of organization. Transformational leaders connect with other openly and honestly. They understand emotional intelligence and have interpersonal skills.


1. What are the barriers, which can interfere listening?

A number of barriers can interfere with listening, such as the following:

The speaker is talking about a subject of no interest to you or is boring,
You do not agree with the speaker,
You may be interested in what you have to say than in the other person,
You are distracted by other thoughts or by activities around you,
You have preconceptions about the subject or the speaker,
You respond emotionally to the words or ideas the person presents,
You become so distracted by the person’s delivery or something about his or her appearance that you shift your focus away from the words,
You only hear what you want to hear and fail to listen to anything else

2. What are the ways to improve listening?

There are ten ways to improve listening habits:

Stop talking,
Stop thinking ahead to what you are going to say,
Avoid multitasking,
Try to empathize with the speaker,
Do not interrupt, but ask questions if something is unclear
Focus on the speaker closely,
Do not let delivery or appearance distract you,
Listen for ideas, not just for facts,
Listen with an open mind,
Pay attention to nonverbal cues and what is not said.

3. What is the importance of Emotional Intelligence?

Understanding Emotional Intelligence. Emotional intelligence (quotient) is emotional and social knowledge and ability to
-          Be aware of, understand, and express yourself.
-          Be aware of, understand, and related to others.
-          Deal with strong emotions and control your impulses.
-          Adapt to change and to solve problems of a personal or a social nature

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