Being mindful and self- aware leads to greater emotional intelligence and better leadership
The five key elements of emotional intelligence according to Daniel Goleman are self- awareness, self -regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. High levels of emotional intelligence will create climates in which information sharing, trust and learning will flourish.
Whether in your personal or business life we know we have the ability to set or drive a conversation based on our mood at the time.
Self -awareness is a key element required in order to shift ones’ patterns of behaviour. If we are not mindful and aware of what is holding us back it will be almost impossible to move forward. If through mindfulness practices we can learn to better understand ourselves then the use of this type of practice will be extremely beneficial.
Mindfulness is a method of shifting your attention inward so that you can observe your thoughts, feelings and actions without judgement or interpretation. There are many practices that can be used and that would be helpful to strengthen this ability to look inward.
A simple starting point would be to notice and focus on your breath. Notice when and why your mind wonders? Then focussing on bringing it back to your breath. As you improve your concentration you can then shift to simply noticing your inner experience without getting lost.
The benefits of this type of practice range from better understanding of self to improved relationships and ultimately better leadership. Through mindfulness practice you will increase your self- awareness which is core to the change or shift of certain behaviours.
The core competencies of emotional intelligence all relate to increased self-awareness and mindfulness. I believe that once you have noticed and worked on the core competencies of emotional intelligence it is through mindfulness that you will become a better leader.
We all set unrealistic standards for ourselves and therefore others. Through mindfulness and higher emotional intelligence we will begin to learn or notice that others are not the same. We cannot hold everyone to our own expectations. We need to learn to listen rather than dictate. We need to be able to speak of our own fears and vulnerabilities in order to build trust.
We need to become more self-aware in order to modify our actions. In so doing our relationships both personal and other become authentic and based on trust and mutual understanding.
Emotional intelligence involves a persons’ ability to understand and use their emotions to make their lives better. Understanding of what causes our moods and being able to manage those feelings is a sign of good emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is important in both your personal and business life. A high emotional intelligence will make those areas of life more successful. You will also be able to control your communication better and become less confrontational and argumentative in both your personal and business relationships.
Emotions play an integral role in the way we communicate and make decisions. If you cannot understand other peoples’ feelings or let alone understand your own feelings, you are in an uphill battle trying to communicate with others. No matter how skilled you are at communicating and listening if you lack emotional intelligence you will not be effective.
As an individual one needs to recognise your emotions. We need to learn to understand what those particular emotions are telling us and realise how our emotions can affect the people around us. Emotional intelligence also involves your perception of others, when you can understand how others feel you can manage your relationship with them.
One must use this knowledge to help with conflict resolutions – when we can discern people’s emotions and empathise from their perspective, it is much easier to resolve conflicts or possibly avoid them before they start. Self-awareness and mindfulness will help with better negotiation – it is easier to give people what they want if can first perceive what it is.
Success will naturally follow – higher emotional intelligence helps us to be stronger internal motivators, which can reduce procrastination, increase self-confidence and improve our ability to focus on a goal.
It will also allow us to create better networks of support, overcome setbacks and persevere with a more resilient outlook.
An effective leader can recognise what the needs of others are so that those needs can be met in a way that encourages positive performance.