Optimising your EQ

Great leadership is all about Emotional Intelligence

This article breaks down the attributes of Emotional Intelligence and why it is key to becoming a great leader.

Defining Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is often defined as the ability to monitor your own emotions as well as others. Additionally, it is the ability to decipher emotions and group them effectively so you can use that knowledge to guide your thinking.
The technical definition of EQ is Emotional Quotient
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Breaking down EQ attributes

 The following attributes are highly appealing to becoming a great leader because it can help build trust, reliability and focus.

Self Awareness

The ability of knowing how your emotions affect you and those around you (empathy).
Self awareness is about knowing in the moment how you feel, and viewing emotional patterns in specific situations of yourself and others. It is about knowing how your emotions affect you and those around you.

As a leader, it's also your ability to understand your strengths and weaknesses. There are many ways to improve your self-awareness but a very simple one is to write down some general thoughts everyday for 10 minute or so.

Self Regulate

Self-regulation means to manage your emotions effectively.
Can you picture a boss or a colleague who blows off steam when they hear something that they don't like? That's the opposite of self-regulation. People who self-regulate can manage their emotions and they aren't brash or hasty in how they express themselves.

A key way to improve self-regulation is to do deep breathing exercise instead of blowing off steam and take notice when you're being emotionally hijacked.


A desire to work towards something and inspire others to do the same
Self-motivation is a key element to having EQ. A cool way you can improve your self-motivation is to really understand why you're doing something and ensure that your why hits you at an emotional level and inspires and motivates you.

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Understanding and sharing the feelings of others.
Empathy is about understanding and sharing the feelings of another person or persons. Are you able to empathise with your team members and colleagues?

A simple way to increase your empathy is to put your own feelings aside and ask, what would it feel like to be the other person right now?

Social Skills

Ability to communicate, adapt and set an example.
Social skills is your ability to communicate, manage change and set an example effectively. In the process, leaders who do this inspire their teams.

A great way to improve on this element is to seek feedback from your boss and your team on how well you listen and express yourself.

What Next?

Some key takeaways

  1. It is important you ask yourself, how you're doing on each of the elements of EQ?
  2. Focus on those things you're doing well. Seek feedback from trusted friends, workmates or mentors on things you can do better.
  3. Address those improvement areas that are the biggest obstacles of your continued success.

Of Note

If you are interested in other top notch agile blogs from across the net' check out Agile top 50 in Feedspot. Some of my heroes are listed there, a highly recommended resource.

Until next time, keep it agile!