Why we Need more Emotionally Intelligent Leaders and Managers in Chaotic Times

What is Emotional Intelligence and Why we need more High EQ Leaders and Managers

Emotional Intelligence is defined as the art and science of managing one’s emotion and that of the others.

Emotionally Intelligent individuals are those who are good at controlling their emotions and learning to defer gratification till the work is done, empathise with others, and in general, be more focused and deep thinking than those with lesser EQ or Emotional Quotient.

The term Emotional Intelligence was popularized by the eminent psychologist and expert, Daniel Goleman, who used it to describe how emotionally intelligent leaders and managers succeed better than others over the longer term.

In addition, the practice of emotionally intelligent leadership also leads to such individuals having better interpersonal relations and managing others well so that the organization as a whole benefits from their ability and skill as well as dexterity in managing themselves and managing others.

Indeed, emotional intelligence is a trait and an attribute that is much needed in this chaotic world where the tendency to spew out whatever one thinks without thinking through the consequences has effects beyond the immediate and results in damage to the organizational fabric and lasting rupture to personal and organizational relationships.

Examples of President Trump and Barack Obama to Illustrate the Importance of EQ

To understand why we need more emotionally intelligent leaders and managers, think about the leadership styles of President Trump and his predecessor, Barack Obama.

While Trump says one thing now and immediately says the opposite, Obama, in contrast, was known for his cool and calculated articulation and deep application of thought to each decision he took.

Moreover, while Trump would like to Tweet whatever he wants, whenever he wants, and irrespective of the effect it has on the conduct of presidential policy and actions, Obama, was known to initiate lasting changes in the way presidencies are run.

As we can see from the high turnover that the White House staff have experienced in addition to the rapid manner in which many administration officials come and go, Trump might be appealing to his so-called “base” but causing damage to the way the United States conducts its affairs in the world.

After all, what longer term purpose would it serve if your President tears up existing accords and treaties and Tweets whatever comes to his mind without thinking what it can do to the wider world that is looking to him for leadership and guidance in chaotic times.

The Effect of Workplace Toxicity on Corporates and what can be Done

In the same vein, many organizational experts point to how even corporate leaders and managers at all levels are now dealing with the immediate rather than formulating longer term strategies.

Witness the number of corporates who are declining to give out guidance for the year ahead and instead, give estimates of the next quarter or so.

Moreover, burnout, stress, and anxiety have become so common that Human Resource (HR) managers are routinely investing in corporate wellness programs.

One can go on and on about how the toxic effects of the present times are leading to many problems.

While the symptoms just described can lead to an “epidemic of insanity at the workplace”, they can also lead to more dangerous effects such as gender based discrimination and rise in workplace bullying.

Indeed, as the #MeToo movement revealed, the emergence of the inability to exercise self control, and delay gratification among other things is leading to even normally composed and calculated individuals to indulge in acts that they regret almost immediately.

In other words, these individuals are those who are unable to manage their and the emotions of others leading to loss of longer term thinking, decline of civility in the workplace, and damage to organizational wellbeing.

Social Media, Instant Gratification, and Loss of Self Control can damage organizations

Therefore, what the world needs now are more emotionally intelligent leaders and managers who can actualize workplaces that are healthy and not toxic and inculcate a deep understanding of them and others so that lasting relationships are formed.

In this context, it is worth noting that the Toxic culture is also leading to high attrition, increasing substance abuse, and loneliness as people find solace in social media rather than the real world which they turn away from.

Indeed, research has shown that lack of empathy for fellow workers is leading to a culture of blaming and naming and shaming instead of collective responsibility.

Moreover, it is also leading to the alienation of employees as the dip in personal socialising is replaced with socialising online.

In addition, the incoming generation of workers belonging to the Millennial and Gen Z age cohorts are experiencing an alarming dip in attention levels which means that they are unable to focus on even the least challenging tasks for extended periods of time.

Thus, it is clear that what we now need is a movement towards making our leaders and managers more emotionally intelligent and less aggressive and with total lack of control.

All is not Lost Yet

However, this is easier said than done as it needs longer term nurturing and sustained effort to master one’s emotions and the emotions of others.

In our 24/7 real time world, who has the time and energy to incubate future workers who are high on EQ.

Of course, this does not mean that we must give up and on the other hand, there is every reason to believe that we might be turning the corner as far as the older generation stepping in is concerned.

To conclude, it is high time corporate leaders turned their attention to making their managers and employees more focused and longer term driven individuals.

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