On Friday, September 20th, Sterling Engineering attended an event presented by the Valley Industrial Association on the topic of a Leader’s Sixth Sense: Emotional Intelligence. This topic was lead by Dr. Doug McKinley, the managing partner of Xcellero Leadership, author, and psychologist; and he discussed the value of emotional intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify personal emotions and emotions in others, and how to navigate them. McKinley talked about how a leader with more emotional intelligence has more success than a leader that is lacking in this area. Cognitive intelligence has a 6% rate of success and emotional intelligence has a 27-45% rate of success. A resonant leader is someone that possesses strong emotional intelligence. They are inspirational, they create a positive emotional tone to develop hope, they are in touch with others, they experience and demonstrate compassion, and they are mindful of others and the environment. This is different than the older idea of the dissonant leader that creating fear or using power is the way to have success. McKinley shared that 75% of careers are derailed for reasons related to emotional competencies like inability to handle interpersonal problems, unsatisfactory team leadership during times of difficulty or conflict, or inability to adapt to change or elicit trust.
A good leader is aware that how they treat other people has an impact, they cannot motivate others but they can create an environment for people to become motivated, they know that people tend to do things for their own personal reasons and not for reasons of their leader, and that they cannot control the feelings of other people. These traits of strong emotional intelligence can be learned and exercised where as cognitive intelligence cannot. Having technical skills takes up only a small percentage needed to be a good leader but having that sixth sense can make a bigger impact. Emotional intelligence is here to stay and we as leaders have the tools to strengthen it.
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