Regarded as the foundation of emotional intelligence, emotional self-awareness is a leader’s capacity to understand his or her emotions, the behaviors that emerge from them, how they affect one’s performance, and how others’ perceive them as a result.
Although high IQ makes leaders smart, high emotional intelligence (EI) makes leaders great. An effective leader with high EI can navigate the complexities of the market and the emotions of themselves, their teams, and their customers.
Leaders who “check their blind spots” position themselves for success by knowing what competencies they possess, how those relate to the success of the company, and how others around them—peers, direct reports, customers, etc.—perceive their day-to-day effectiveness. In other words, a 360-feedback survey is a professional development, “How’s my driving?” sticker.
Leaders help their companies remain competitive by cultivating workforces that are cognitively complex and varied. Today’s effective leaders value demographically diverse environments and develop cognitively inclusive cultures, which is where exciting business-growth opportunities are discovered.
Executive leaders operate at the crossroads of many pressures. They’re human, which means another reality emerges at leadership’s crossroads: fumbles. So how should a leader lead in light of the inevitability of a fumble or mistake? How should they lead when it occurs?
For business leaders, conflict can be a four-letter word. Gossip at the water cooler, passive-aggressive comments flung back and forth at meetings, and grade-school like factions between teams plague many office settings. Although conflict may seem to entice and encourage these destructive dilemmas, conflict doesn’t have to be the enemy of a company’s work culture and productivity.