How emotional intelligence can help you be a better leader. Emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware of and improve your emotions and those around you. 

It has been shown that emotional intelligence skills are linked with better leadership performance and improved team performance and productivity. Given the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership, it is essential for senior-level managers to cultivate these skills. 

The first step in developing emotional intelligence skills is self-awareness. This means understanding your emotions and how they impact your thoughts and behaviors. To be self-aware, you need to be able to recognize your emotions as they happen at the moment.  

You also need to understand how your emotions affect your thoughts and actions. For example, you might think negatively about the person who caused your anger if you are angry. Alternatively, you might find yourself snapping at that person or lashing out in another way.  

If you are aware of the fact that you are feeling angry, you can choose to take a different approach. Instead of thinking negative thoughts or acting out aggressively, you might take a deep breath and count to 10. This will give you a chance to calm down and respond in a more constructive manner.  

In addition to self-awareness, senior-level managers need to be able to manage their emotions. This means not letting their emotions get the best of them and keeping them under control. One way to do this is by using coping mechanisms such as deep breathing or visualization.  

These coping mechanisms can help you stay calm in demanding situations and make rational decisions rather than acting impulsively or emotionally.  

Finally, senior-level managers need to be aware of the emotions of others around them. This includes both positive and negative emotions. For example, if an employee comes into your office visibly upset, you should take the time to listen to what is causing their upset and see if there is anything you can do to help resolve the issue.  

Alternatively, if an employee comes into your office happy and excited about a project they are working on, you should take the time to congratulate them on their success and express interest in hearing more about their project.  

Paying attention to the emotions of those around you can help create a positive work environment and improve team communication.  

Emotional intelligence skills are essential for senior-level managers. Self-awareness, emotion management, and awareness of others’ emotions are key components of emotional intelligence that all senior-level managers should strive to develop. By doing so, they will likely see improvements in their own leadership performance as well as in the performance of their team.