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Do you have the vital characteristics of a high EQ leader?

by , 10 September 2013
Last week, Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele said South Africa doesn't have good leaders. 'We don't have leaders, instead we have thieves,' Ramphele told the media If you think this is just a political issue that has nothing to do with you, you're wrong. Leadership is an incredibly important component of business success. Use the three checklists below to see if you have all the key attributes of a high EQ leader.

Have you even wondered what makes leaders different from managers?

Here's the difference:

  • Managers are focused on ensuring the day-to-day business gets done. They plan, organise and control.
  • Leaders look for opportunities to grow and develop their business and followers and inspire them to contribute towards the achievement of business and team objectives.

Be a leader, not a manager!

But how do you take the step from manager to leader?

The good news is you already have all the tools you need within you, waiting to be developed.

According to the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management, studies show that:

  • Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the key attribute that distinguishes outstanding leadership from adequate leadership.
  • There's a direct link between EQ and measurable business results.

So, if you want your team to perform, you'll need to set the example as their leader. You'll need to develop your EQ and use it every day to manage your team members, their tasks and goals.

Do you have the emotional intelligence to be an outstanding leader?

Use these three checklists to see if you have all the key attributes of a high EQ leader

Checklist#1: Self-management

Leaders who can manage themselves:

#1: Control their emotions and stay calm and focused when under stress or pressure.

Remember that 'you as leader set the tone for your team. If you're calm and focused, your team members will take their lead from you. And there's less likelihood of destructive and pointless arguments or inappropriate expressions of frustration or stress that can sour work relations and demotivated your team,' says the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management.

#2: Live their values and are open to admit their mistakes. This inspires respect and loyalty. And that means you can call on this when you need team members to go the extra mile or make an extraordinary effort to complete an important task.

#3: Drive their own performance and the performance of those they lead.

Remember the golden rule: Lead by example. Don't expect your team members to do anything or make any sacrifices that you do not expect of yourself.

#4: Set measurable goals. There's a saying: 'If you don't know where you're going, you would probably end up somewhere else'. This'll also provide a sense of achievement once the goals are accomplished.

#5: See opportunities in setbacks, rather than threats. A positive mental attitude will trickle down to all the team members and help foster a 'can do' attitude.

Checklist#2: Social awareness

Leaders who are socially aware:

#6: Are empathetic and able to sense the emotions of the team. This is important for gauging the stress levels and attitude of your team before problems escalate and derail a project.

#7: Get along well with people from diverse backgrounds.

#8: Are aware of the complex nature of the organisational culture, for example, detecting how to lobby for more resources.

#9: Foster a climate of focusing on customer satisfaction.

Checklist#3: Relationship management

Leaders high on relationship management:

#10: Inspire people with a compelling vision, shared mission and make work exciting. The benefit of this is that you can get far superior results from people who are enthusiastic and motivated than from people who are just going through the motions.

#11: Influence people and enlist their support by being persuasive and engaging.

#12: Are genuinely interested in developing the abilities of others.

#13: Recognise the need for change, challenge the status quo and champion change.

Well there you have it. Having the key attributes of a high EQ leader will help you manage your team better. So nurture them.

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