Emotional Intelligence blog pic


We all know how difficult it can be to lead; to lead a business, lead a sports team and thanks to recent media scrutiny, lead a country.

As the media paint the picture of instability and speculate who will be our prime minister in 6 months you can’t help but wonder… if our country’s key politicians are facing difficulty with leadership within their own party, what hope do the rest of us have in leading successfully?

While leading a country arguably relies on greater resources than leading any sort of team, it can be argued that a great leader requires fundamental principles and qualities that remain constant no matter what situation you’re in; leading a country, a sports team or even your work team.

One of these fundamental principles is Emotional Intelligence (EI). EI is an umbrella term coined by David Goleman in his ground-breaking work of the same name. It encompasses many tried and proven ways of improving human relations. It’s revolutionary because EI’s structure provides a simple, natural understanding of complex human issues. It also provides a pathway to skills that can enhance the way you live, love, play and most importantly work with other people.

Emotional Intelligence is a crucial element in achieving great leadership because leadership is all about human relationships and consequently anything that improves relationships will enhance leadership. EI has proven itself not only in enhanced work relationships but with a direct flow on effect to the bottom line.

EI includes five interlocking elements. It starts with Self-awareness, the old Greek advice of ‘Know Thyself’. The rationale here is if you don’t know yourself, you will not know the effect you are having on those around you. For example, if you don’t realize you are an off-the-scale talker, you won’t understand why people avoid you. Or if you’re unaware that you have a tendency to get angry quickly or have a pessimistic nature, you won’t know why people avoid you even more. These types of blind spots are obstacles to personal effectiveness.

Once you use EI techniques to increase Self-awareness you can use other techniques to Self-regulate. That is, take control of the way you manage yourself and your emotions and how you interact with others. Being aware that you talk too much in meetings, you might consciously regulate yourself to let others talk more. The self-aware angry pessimist might regulate themselves to control their anger and be more positive, by developing more helpful thoughts in adverse situations. Both ‘regulations’ would tend to make the person more attractive to be around and put them in a better position to lead.

Flowing out of increased Self-regulation is Self-motivation. If you are aware of ‘how you are in the world’ you can better Self-motivate. Here the EI skills focus on optimism, initiative, commitment, and achievement.

The remaining cornerstones of EI focus on other people. Empathy and Social Skills are the key elements here. Service, political/organisational awareness, communication, influence, collaboration, encouragement, and conflict management are central to these EI components.

EI insights and skills will improve your leadership. Importantly, they also improve your ‘human skills’ which help you to be a better parent, lover, friend, employee, and person. Our suggestion: take some time to consider the five interlocking elements of EI: Self Awareness, Self Regulation, Self Motivation Empathy and Social Skills to enhance your leadership capabilities.

Alternately, VM Learning run numerous courses in Emotional Intelligence and we are pleased to announce that we will be running our highly successful ‘Women As Leaders’ program for a second time this year. This program has a particular focus on enhancing emotional intelligence in order to support and develop the leadership capability of women in supervisory to middle levels of management. To find out more about the course feel free to check out our course outline: http://www.vmlearning.com.au/programs/women-as-leaders/  or call 3215 8888 or email enquiries@vmlearning.com.au for further information.

Stay tuned as we will be announcing the official dates for this program this week!