written by MO.com Subject Matter Resource Dana Williams
When it comes to leading, successful entrepreneurs must learn to adopt a variety of skillsets. And in order to do so, it requires the capacity to try and try again until they figure out what mix works best for them and their team. But, it would appear, that great leaders generally share a similar trait– the ability to connect with others on a human level. This emotional intelligence is more clearly defined as having the knowhow to manage themselves and their relationships effectively and positively. More and more research is showing that what distinguishes outstanding leaders is their degree of emotional intelligence and not necessarily their technical or analytical skills.
Emotional intelligence and the Yoga Sutras
Fortunately, since emotional intelligence is not innate, strengthening your own capabilities is possible. You can learn to improve your emotional intelligence skills through so many ways. For this discussion, we are going to do it by applying the ancient wisdom of a Sage named Patanjali. Further, however, by regular practice, feedback from others, and committing to change.
Take these 4 examples below and see if you can either apply (or even just acknowledge) them in a given situation.
• Self-study: In Yoga, self-study or Svadhyaya is considered one of the 5 rules for personal behavior. It is the ability to recognize and apprehend your moods, emotions, and motives. It’s about knowing your strengths and weaknesses and just being aware when your behavior affects others.
• Self-regulation: For centuries, Yogi’s have used the breath to regulate their thoughts. The goal here is to manipulate disruptive impulses and moods, suspend judgment, and think before acting. Our ability to remain aware and to just “be” in our own body during a conflict or crisis is imperative for keeping calm. If we lose our breath, we will lose our thoughts, which eventually could cause us to lose our temper.
• Determination: It is important to have the ability to pursue goals with energy and persistence, for reasons that go beyond money or status. This internal drive, also known as Tapas, allows leaders to maintain a positive, focused attitude in pursuing goals, despite the many barriers that lie ahead.
• Empathy: This is the ability to relate to people’s problems, needs, and goals. We have all been in a tight spot or made a mistake. Empathy, with a healthy dose of detachment, allows us to see eye to eye with people regardless of their position. Remaining detached to the outcome allows leaders to think more clearly and react appropriately.
Additional characteristics beyond emotional intelligence
Today’s business leadership calls for a great deal of instinctual decision making and results-oriented thinking. It also calls for courage in the face of personal and professional conflicts.
But, perhaps one of the most important responsibilities of today’s leadership is creating an environment that enables employees to excel. To do this, the most successful leaders are also the most flexible: they have learned to adapt their leadership style to any given situation.
In what ways have you applied these skills? In what ways can you improve?