The process of leading others to attain a goal is known as leadership. Leaders must use emotional intelligence to understand themselves and their workers better to achieve more excellent results. In leadership, emotional intelligence (also known as emotional quotient or EQ) allows you to interact with your team and work with others. The way you interact with others can set the tone for your leadership style. Leaders who lack emotional intelligence cannot relate to or comprehend people, which leads to decreased employee engagement and turnover. Emotional intelligence is a set of noncognitive skills, abilities, and competencies that enable people to control and manage their emotional reactions to events and stresses. It is defined as comprehending and managing your own emotions and recognizing and impacting those around you. Researchers John Mayer and Peter Salovey first came up with the concept in 1990, but psychologist Daniel Goleman popularized it later in his book “Emotional intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ”. According to Daniel Goleman, emotional intelligence is –
‘The capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, for managing emotions well in ourselves and our relationships.’
Emotional intelligence is a powerful tool that can help you accomplish your objectives, improve meaningful work relations, and build a healthy, productive workplace and corporate culture and is recognized as a vital aspect of effective leadership.
Figure: Emotional Intelligence Quadrant
Leadership is a demanding and challenging quality for graduate students, researchers, and professionals to work effectively in their respective fields. Leadership is everywhere. If you’re a young researcher working on a research project, you may have had to interact with a specific group of individuals and perhaps lead the project. This is where emotional intelligence comes in to help improve your leadership abilities and interact with people, particularly the “difficult individuals.”
Suppose you are an IEEE volunteer working in a section or affinity group or volunteering at a conference, you will come into contact with a variety of people from various backgrounds. Your emotional intelligence comes to your rescue and trains you how to deal with people. When you master this emotional intelligence trait, you will be able to form strong bonds with those around you, which will help you become a more effective leader.
As a volunteer and leader for IEEE, I firmly believe that IEEE provides a platform for developing and nurturing leadership qualities. Students can network and engage with like-minded people by participating in various volunteer initiatives. They can learn from one another by sharing their perspectives and values as individuals and as a team. Each team requires leadership, and leadership demands emotionally intelligent competencies to lead the group, carry out the work, and improve the world as a whole. We can strongly support the IEEE theme of Advancing Technology for Humanity with an emotionally intelligent leader demonstrating the need for EQ with IQ.
Article contributed by Naznin Akter, Editor, IMPACT by IEEE Young Professionals