Sustaining Leadership Success Through Emotional Intelligence
On the road to conscious leadership it is important to realize that great leaders know the value of going beyond just using their head (IQ) and rather include all 3 centers of intelligence – the head, the heart, and the gut.
In the words of Daniel Goleman: “What really matters for success, character, happiness and life long achievements is a definite set of emotional skills – your EQ — not just purely cognitive abilities that are measured by conventional IQ tests.”
Too often feelings are viewed as a negative in decision-making and leadership. They can be viewed as a weakness, but you can develop emotional intelligence just as you would your intellectual intelligence and hence become “emotionally literate.”
Reaching emotional “literacy” involves 2 steps, according to The Conscious Leadership Group (CLG). Developing a clear, accurate definition of emotion and then identifying the core emotions.
CLG defines emotion as “e-motion” – energy in motion. In other words, emotion is energy moving in and on the body – physical sensations. Using this definition helps to remind us that as sensations moving in the body, emotion is not good or bad – it just is. And as such, we are then not our feelings any more than we are the pain connected to a sprained wrist. Feelings just happen.
As for the second step of identifying the core emotions they used a comparison to which designers should easily be able to relate. All colors come from the 3 primary colors. Well, they submit that there are five primary emotions – anger, fear, sadness, joy, and sexual feelings. Each emotion is connected to a unique set of sensations on the body. Just as primary colors can be combined to create additional colors, so can emotions be a combination of two or more of the primary emotions.
Each of the primary emotions creates a unique sensation in and on the body and the key is to be able to identify the emotion connected to that sensation and express it through to completion/release in order to begin to develop emotional intelligence.
Anger tells a leader that something must be changed or eliminated so that something more positive can replace it.
Fear alerts leaders that something important needs to be known – whether oncoming danger or that something new needs to be implemented.
Sadness tells leaders that something needs to be released. That may be old ideas, people, projects, and/or dreams that have served their purpose.
Joy tells the leader that something needs to be celebrated. Some leaders may not create a culture of celebration and appreciation because they can’t experience joy and so unconsciously limit anything that might be celebratory.
Sexual feelings in leadership relates to the energy and creativity and creation. CSG suggests thinking of a leader and a team that is pregnant with ideas and innovations.
Conscious leaders are able to fully experience emotion, completely release it and then quickly learn from it. These 3 benefits can be transformational for successful leaders and their teams.