Social + Emotional Intelligence for Leaders

July 13, 2014

In coaching leaders around the world, I can say that the majority of leaders have not mastered Emotional Intelligence. EI is not like a technical/functional skill in that once you have completed 10,000 hours (the number used for technical/functional skills) you have mastered EI. EI is different because it is all about self-awareness, awareness of others, and choice in ones behavior (responding versus reacting). So, I am not certain that anyone has mastered EI or ever will. If we are continuously meeting new people with different personality preferences or working with people of a different culture or even dealing the changes that life brings to each of us, these experiences cause us to learn more about our triggers, blind spots, likes, dislikes, beliefs, values, etc. Leaders get the importance of EI and the impact it can have on their effectiveness and yet they struggle when it comes to the implementation. Embracing EI means a change in behavior and a lot of leaders do not want to change their behavior. To a certain extent this make sense because of training that some leaders have taken in the past or their beliefs about leadership. For the leaders who want to embrace EI they struggle with how to do it authentically and consistently whether during stressful or non-stressful times. This is a journey. So for me working with leaders, I do not use the terminology EI I simply speak in terms of what will help them be most effective. What I do know is there are a number of leaders who have chosen to take the journey.

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