Is that you?
Leadership is changing fast. And emotional intelligence is climbing to the top of desired leadership abilities. The ability to relate to others, to “get people”, to see people, to value others, to take care of how we impact others, to connect with people in such a way that they want to go that famous extra mile. Emotional intelligence is about being clever with people – ourselves and others.
Although, let’s face it, wasn’t great leadership always about emotional intelligence?
Don’t we all remember those leaders we’ve had (and I hope that you, like me, have had at least one!) who were about more than the job – more than the technical abilities, more than just a “goal achiever”. Someone who just made you want to go to work. Someone who made you see that work is fun.
When I first became a leader, some 24 years ago, there were no great attempts to try to help leaders be just that – people who lead. I might have learned the technicalities of the job as a manager, but I found it very difficult to deal with the difficult situations. A lot of is was gut instinct and either you had it or you didn’t.
Leadership development has come a long way since the early 90’s but sadly very few leadership development activities, even to this day, have the desired effect. Not because they are bad, but because they rarely change behaviours. And that’s what leadership comes down to, behaviours.
Or like Maya Angelou so eloquently said:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”
We all have emotional intelligence (in different ways) AND we can create more of it. It’s all about our behaviours and how they effect others.
Watch this space – emotional intelligence will continue to grow in importance. And that’s good, for people and for sustainable businesses.