Emotional Intelligence Matters

Emotional Intelligence Matters - People Development Network
Emotional Intelligence Matters - People Development Network

Emotional Intelligence Matters

After one of our recent Leadership workshops, I found myself participating in a rather thought-provoking discussion. The discussion centred around how much power any leadership position in a business should be allowed to have. Some of the participants didn’t believe that any single individual should be allowed too much power. However, because power corrupts, my view was slightly different. I believe that emotional intelligence matters for a leader. In turn, they should be allocated a level of power in relation to their level of emotional intelligence.

Great responsibility comes with great power

In my view the problem is not having too much power. Rather not honouring the responsibility that comes with great power.  I believe that if you are confident enough in your own skin: Mature enough to know that you do not have to know it all. And if you can acknowledge that you do not know it all, you can encourage, welcome and accept being questioned and challenged without reacting defensively. This should sufficiently keep you in check. It will protect you from ever falling into the trap of abusing your power or authority.

I have seen people appointed in critical leadership positions, who clearly know all the right words to say. Things like “I welcome criticism and being challenged”. But the first time people approach them with a different point of view, they immediately shoot it down without a second thought. Often they do not even realize that such action or response (in direct contradiction with their words) causes their team members to perceive them as unapproachable. Have you ever (whether knowingly or unknowingly) fallen into that trap?

Open to challenge

A true leader can allow their decisions and actions to be questioned and challenged. They can listen to the feedback they receive and give it honest consideration. They can admit their mistakes, apologize for them, change their minds and learn from the experience.

Leadership is, in essence, a never-ending journey of personal development. Without a high level of emotional intelligence, you simply will not be able to unleash your full potential as a leader. A high level of emotional intelligence also plays an important role in your leadership effectiveness as delegator, communicator and change agent.

Growing emotional intelligence

Acknowledging the importance of emotional intelligence is only the first step. The more important question is how you as a leader can continue to work on your level of emotional intelligence. Also how you can support leaders in your organization to work on theirs. Effective coaching and mentorship, leadership development courses and thought-provoking reading material will all play a role. But these need to be complemented by obtaining honest feedback from your team on a regular basis.

A truly effective, sustainable and healthy organization should never allow any individual (no matter their leadership position) within the business to abuse their power and authority without it coming to light quickly and being dealt with swiftly. Great organizations understand that such behaviour can cripple and ultimately destroy a healthy organizational culture and even the best of businesses. A final question: how foolproof and protected are yours?

Su-Mari du Bruyn

Su-Mari du Bruyn

All businesses face continuous changes in the business environment. Long term business sustainability is directly linked to the ability to continuously improve and Adapt To Change. Along with globalization came increased competitiveness and in today’s economic circumstances one of the biggest pressures most businesses face, is financial pressure –the pressure to maintain or improve business results in the midst of increasing competitive forces. The downfall of many businesses lies in their attempt to address these pressures with strategies that proved successful in the past…in an environment that today no longer exists. The world is significantly different today and today flexibility and innovation are almost synonymous with business sustainability.With more than 50 years’ experience, the continuous improvement and supply chain experts at Adapt To Change are making businesses better! Adapt To Change is dedicated to transform, optimize and empower organizations and the individuals that work within them.
Su-Mari du Bruyn
  Our very latest Q & A with Su-Mari Du Bruyn! Su-Mari Du Bruyn is co-founder of the company Adapt To Change. She is a qualified HR practitioner and logistics specialist and is passionate about Continuous Improvement and people development. Through Adapt To Change, she assists businesses to improve their business performance and better engage their staff.She believes that all individuals should have a healthy, stimulating and gratifying work environment and that is why she has dedicated her life to transforming, optimize and empower organizations and the individuals that work within them.. Q & A With Su-Mari Du Bruyn - People Development NetworkQ.   What Do You Do? Adapt To Change's business enhancement specialists assists businesses to improve their financial performance and be more competitive.  Long term business sustainability is directly linked to the ability to continuously improve and Adapt To Change. In today’s economic circumstances, one of the biggest pressures most businesses face is the pressure to maintain or improve business results in the midst of increasing competitive forces. The continuous improvement and supply chain experts at Adapt To Change can assist through a wide range of services, including business and management consulting, training or by assisting clients to align business strategy with execution and performance management. We are dedicated to transforming, optimize and empower organizations and the individuals that work within them. Q.   Who can most benefit from the work you do? We focus on assisting organizations with between 10 and 150 employees in either the manufacturing or services sectors. Q.   What excites you about what you do? I am passionate about Continuous Improvement and people development and in this line of work I get to contribute to both! My wish is for all individuals to have a healthy, stimulating and gratifying work environment and that is why I have dedicated my life to transform, optimize and empower organizations and the individuals that work within them. Q.   What are you most proud of achieving? Building Adapt To Change from scratch with my two amazing business partners and writing and publishing my first book The Power To Ignite. Q.    Who is the biggest inspiration in your life and why? My parents. They have instilled in me a positive can do attitude. Just looking at what they have accomplished and overcome is a wonderful example that I admire. I am extremely grateful for their love and support. Q.    What is your favorite leadership or people development book and why? The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is an amazing, easy to read the story that teaches valuable life lessons. A very close second would be The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, which shares real life lessons about making your own dreams come true and enabling the dreams of others. Q.   What is the most important piece of business advice you can give our readers? Never ever forget that you are working with real human beings. It may sound ludicrous, but most things in businesses go wrong when the people in charge of the organization lose sight of this important truth. And never ever stop learning and evolving! Knowledge not applied, is wasted. Thank You, Su-Mari!   

1 Comment

  • Kevin Galloway says:

    I agree that having power is not the problem, it is how you handle it; and as you stated many times it is not handled in the correct way. I think that far to often when the person is not rooted in the correct things and power is given to them they seem to use it in the wrong way. I feel that as you title states you have to have emotional intelligence and also have the ability to control them.

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