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What is emotional intelligence and how does it affect business leadership?

Since the earliest days of science and psychology we have tried to find ways to measure intelligence, discovering along the way that there are many different kinds of intelligence affecting all kinds of different skills and abilities.

IQ is one of the most well known measures of intelligence which primarily looks at logical reasoning skills; mathematicians and scientists often have a high IQ. However, that doesn't guarantee ability as a communicator, or for adapting to an unexpected change, or for weighing up complex interpersonal challenges; which are all typical signs of great leadership skills.

From the 1960s through to the 1990s researchers began to identify emotional intelligence, and measures like EQ scores, as a way to measure how well someone could understand the motivations and intentions of other people, and themselves.

This new measure of intelligence was also found to be consistently high in successful business leaders, and so a new field of leadership coaching began to emerge which sought to build and improve upon the skills at the core of emotional intelligence.

The 10 emotional competencies for business leadership coaching

At Legacy Coaching we believe strongly in an emotional intelligence based approach to business coaching for company directors, executives and managers, as well as other kinds of leaders in sports teams and arts organisations.

We carry out an assessment of any leader's natural abilities, and build a coaching framework from that to develop weaker parts of their skill base. There are ten key competencies within emotional intelligence, which are easily recognised as key leadership skills;

  • Straightforwardness

  • Empathy

  • Adaptability

  • Relationship skills

  • Optimism

  • Self confidence

  • Self reliance

  • Self actualisation

  • Self control

  • Self knowing

To effectively lead and motivate other people, you have to be able to understand them, and understand yourself and how you come across to them. So whilst a high IQ can calculate things like profit margins and targets, a high EQ also considers all the people involved in that equation, and how their emotions will affect those numbers.

It's the difference between wanting your team to work the most number of hours possible, versus figuring out the most efficient number of hours possible. Overworking a team never leads to the best possible work; they need to be motivated, to feel valued, to understand why they need to work so hard, and only a leader with strong emotional intelligence can truly tap into those feelings and respond effectively to them.

Developing your emotional intelligence through business leadership coaching

Most people find they have strengths in some areas of emotional intelligence, but weaknesses in others, so our leadership coaching often begins with a simple test to measure EQ.

From that we develop an Emotional Capital Report which scores leaders on the 10 emotional competencies, and guides us building a coaching program to improve their weaker scores, and develop a more rounded and effective leadership approach.

To learn more about emotional intelligence, our Emotional Capital Reports, and how developing EQ can build better leadership, speak to us anytime at Legacy Coaching.

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