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How to Maximise Your Leadership Skills Through EQ

By Life Skills Group

Published 26 August 2019 14.16 PM

Whether it was at work, in a sports team or working on a group assignment back in your university days, we’ve all met someone who you can immediately tell has exceptional aptitude to lead. 

On the other hand, it’s quite possible you’ve witnessed this from the other perspective. With poor leadership, quite often you will have a team that is dissatisfied, performs poorly and lacks motivation, which outlines how truly crucial an effective leader is for the team’s success. 


But what makes an effective leader?

Moreover, if you are in a position of leadership, how do you maximise your skills to ensure your workplace, team or cohort’s success?


The best leaders draw on a number of skills to achieve the best results, skills such as: general intelligence (IQ), effective non-verbal communication and strong levels of emotional intelligence (EQ or EI). Sources believe EQ is the most important competency underpinning effective leadership, even more so than IQ.


Evidence suggests that general and emotional intelligence aren't set in stone and can be developed through education and experience.

However, when we scarcely dedicate time to developing our EQ, is it any wonder we’ve all met at least one ineffective leader?


So how can you, as a leader, maximise your leadership skills through improving your EQ?


EQ is comprised of several core competencies, the 4 most crucial of which are:

1. Self-awareness - The ability to recognise one’s own emotions, thoughts, actions, values and how one might influence the behaviour of others through these. Good leaders exhibit strong self-awareness and are understanding of these factors and their impact on the team’s morale, performance and motivation. 

How do you improve this?

One simple exercise you can practice anytime, anywhere to boost your self-awareness is just dedicating a moment to focus your attention, using visualisation to become aware of your social, emotional and physical state. Head to our resource centre to access your free focused attention activity card, this is an exercise you can use yourself, or implement in your classroom!


2. Self-regulation - This takes recognising emotions, thoughts, values etc. a step further, as it is the ability to affect change and make decisions based on your self-awareness. Good leaders in times of adversity are calculated and effective rather than guided by emotion and impulse.

How do you improve this?

An easy, but effective strategy to improve your self-regulative ability is utilising a simple mindful practise. By becoming aware of emotions, feelings, thoughts and then taking a step back to process the impact of any decisions or reactions you might feel compelled to make, you are exercising self-regulation. The ability to respond rather than react is the foundation of self-regulation. Check out this free “Tame Your Brain” mindfulness video valuable for all age groups designed to improve self-regulation.


3. Social awareness - Awareness of social situations means you carefully consider what people want, and plan to communicate with them in a way that is intended to meet that need. Good leaders will always listen carefully, empathise with other people's challenges and offer support where necessary; skills which are quite often overlooked or wrongly presumed to be possessed.

How do you improve this?

An activity which can immediately make a difference to your skills as a socially aware leader is practising mindful communication. This simple activity can challenge even the best communicators to be mindful of when they speak, their body language and listening rather than interjecting as you see fit throughout the conversation. Download this free mindful communication exercise for you and your peers, specifically designed to boost social awareness.


4. Growth mindset - Is having the belief that despite how difficult something may seem, it's learnable through hard work and effective strategies. Good leaders are ‘students of leadership’ and their ultimate goal is to grow into a better leader through consistent improvement of their skills, knowledge and attitudes.

How do you improve this?

Absorb all the relevant information you can get your hands on, as often as possible, research different perspectives and seek help from others with experience to boost your knowledge and improve breadth of understanding. 


By improving these aspects of emotional intelligence in yourself or among others you will maximise your ability to lead a team or your classroom with effectiveness, empathy and vision - which after all, is what we look for in our leaders, right?


Want to build your leadership skills through professional development? Request a quote today and one of our School Wellbeing Advisors will be in touch shortly to help find the best solution for you. Also, don’t forget to connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.
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Life Skills Group

Life Skills Group is Australia’s market leader in curriculum-based social, emotional and physical learning programs for students and educators.

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