The Advantage Series Pt 2: The Link Between Emotional Intelligence and Resilient Leadership

April 23, 2020

 Change at work is normal, and in order to cope leaders need to be agile and resilient. Until recently, the focus in leadership has been mostly on agility and speed, but advancements in technology combined with globalization and socio-economic changes require a different kind of leadership.


Today’s leaders must be resilient, emotionally intelligent people who can be adaptable and react appropriately to today’s rapidly-changing environments while staying connected and kind. 


In this second installment of our series “The Advantage” we’ll explore the link between emotional intelligence and resilience, and why developing these core areas is essential for any future-forward leader.


The Link Between Emotional Intelligence and Resilience


A 2018 study found “resilience” to be the link between perceived levels of stress and emotional intelligence. Findings concluded that people with higher levels of emotional intelligence reported higher resilience, and people with higher resilience reported feeling less stressed. 


Stress impacts our decision-making abilities, making us less effective as leaders. When we’re focused on stressful thoughts our ability to manage emotions goes down, which can negatively affect decision-making abilities and even cause us to lose our tempers.


If you’ve ever had a boss blow up because they were preoccupied with something stressful, then you already understand the importance of building resiliency.

Leaders Need to Build Empathy


A State of Workplace Empathy study found that 96% of employees consider it important for employers and leaders to demonstrate empathy, but 92% of that same group believe this trait is undervalued in their workplaces.


As leaders, we have a responsibility to take action and find ways to build empathy. One method is to develop emotional intelligence and to build resiliency. 


Individuals with high emotional intelligence are able to put themselves in other people’s shoes and see things from other people’s perspectives. Resilience training helps us manage reactions and emotions when someone else’s perspective is in conflict with our own, or when we’re experiencing stress and anxiety.

How to Model Resilient, Emotionally Intelligent Leadership


In our previous post we discussed the five emotional intelligence essentials to drive success. In this post we’ll dig into four ways to capitalize on the link between resilience and emotional intelligence to become a better, more capable leader. 


1. Practice Communicating Your Vision


The key to successful leadership is to have an internalized sense of where you want to go, and how you want to get there. Communicating this vision to your organization helps your team act as a single, focused unit.


Of course, communicating is just as much about listening as it is about talking. Developing your emotional intelligence helps you to be receptive to feedback you may need to hear and will help others have faith in your decisions because they feel that their opinions have been heard.


2. Live By Your Values


It isn’t enough for today’s leaders to be able to talk a good game, now they need to “walk the talk.”


Living by your principles shows others that you are committed to them and that you have the self-discipline to practice what you preach. Developing this ability starts with identifying your values, and how they motivate and affect your decision-making. 


Spending time learning to understand your emotions helps clarify why these values matter, which can make you an unshakeable leader during difficult periods.


3. Embrace Change


Resilient leaders are those who can thrive during times of change and upheaval. By accepting that change is an unavoidable part of life we can begin to see change not as a challenge, but as a welcome set of new experiences and opportunities to embrace.


The process of understanding which situations and triggers hinder our ability to see clearly when we’re stressed helps us develop techniques to cope with those feelings when they arise.


4. Actively Invest in Others

A rising tide floats all boats, and a leader with high emotional intelligence understands the importance of lifting up those around them. They understand that people who feel empowered perform better than those who feel discouraged. 


A team that is empowered feels invested in one another, functions better as a unit during times of change, and supports one another during difficult periods. 


Become a More Resilient Leader Today


Leaders don’t become resilient overnight. However, by starting with a strong foundation of emotional intelligence, the path to calm, competent leadership becomes much clearer. 


Interested in developing your resilience? Order your on-demand Resilience Assessment Certification now.


You can also register for our April 27-29, 2020: EQ-i2.0 and EQ 360 Online Certification.


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