Do Leaders Need Emotional Intelligence?

Check out my interview in Joe Byerly‘s blog, From the Green Notebook, today, “Do Leaders Need Emotional Intelligence?
It’s a fascinating blog with many perspectives on leadership, mainly from a military perspective. As you know from my posts, I consider active, experiential learning essential to face and overcome the social and emotional challenges inherent to leading others, and military training essentially involves active, experiential parts classrooms and readings don’t.
The interview begins,

Joe: I’ve heard the term “emotional intelligence” mentioned in a lot of leadership conversations over the last couple of years, but what exactly does it mean? 

Josh: Let me start with some examples.

Has your mind ever drifted while someone told you a story and she stops and says, “Is everything alright? You look like you drifted off.”

She couldn’t read your mind. That’s a simple form of emotional intelligence: she read your body language, facial expression, and other cues that told him your emotions.

Think of a basketball coach sensing that his players aren’t playing well together and talking to each separately to figure out how to get them to gel. It’s not a matter of strength or skill. They’re just as strong and skilled as the day before. The more emotional intelligence he has, the more likely he can find the issue. If he has enough emotional skills, he’ll be able to solve it.

Think of an athlete heading into competition—palms sweating, breathing fast, a sweaty brow. Does he read those cues as signs of being nervous or excited? Can he use them to compete better or do they lead him to doubt himself. Someone without emotional intelligence might fall apart while someone with it might use it to psych himself up.

It continues about emotional intelligence, why it matters, emotional skills, why they matter, how to develop them, and pitfalls to avoid keeping you from.
Read the rest at Do Leaders Need Emotional Intelligence?, and then I recommend to keep reading more posts there.
Also, see Joe’s twitter feed here.

Leave a Reply