~Rashi Agarwal (Batch 2023-27)
“ To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
In today’s world where every student is trying their best to build their profiles by learning several professional and technical skills just to gain experience and set themselves apart from the crowd they often forget that to be a leader one needs an emotional element that helps them inspire others around them. This emotional element is emotional intelligence also called EI that is the ability to recognise, understand, and manage one’s own emotions as well as those of others. It’s a skill that one is not born with but one that is learned and developed over time.
Since, leadership is all about inspiring and guiding others towards a common goal. To be effective, leaders must be able to connect with their team members on an emotional level and this is where EI accounts for nearly 90 percent of what sets high performers apart from peers with similar technical skills and knowledge. It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant. They do matter, but they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions. Leaders should be able to connect with their team members and respond appropriately, which helps build trust, strengthen relationships and create a sense of community which increases the spirit of the team members leading to a progressive work environment. EI not only is essential to become a good leader but a great manager too. Managers with high EI are better equipped to handle the challenges that come with the job for they can make better decisions, manage conflicts and dispute while regulating stress contributing to a harmonious work environment.
In order to improve one’s emotional intelligence, one can practice self-reflection, active-listening, mindfulness, relationship management, social awareness and take inspiration from leaders, like Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft who is known for his strong emotional intelligence skills. He has a reputation for being empathetic and for listening to his team members. Under his leadership, Microsoft has seen significant growth and success. All this might sometimes be a bit too overwhelming but with regular practice and perseverance one can easily polish their emotional intelligence.
In conclusion, emotional intelligence is a crucial skill for leaders and managers in today’s workplaces. Leaders with high EI are able to connect with their team members on an emotional level, managers with high EI are better equipped to handle the challenges of their role. While emotional intelligence can be challenging to develop and apply, it’s worth the effort. Remember, emotional intelligence isn’t just a “soft” skill – it’s a powerful tool that can lead to greater success and fulfillment in both your professional and personal life.