This is a guest post by Korrel Kanoy
Recently I was asked to speak to ODK members on a college campus. As I pondered my comments, I thought of myself at that age and remembered what I thought leadership entailed – getting things done effectively and on time, organizing others and our work, leading by example and working hard.
While these are all good qualities, they stop far short of what leadership should look like. In fact, more and more we’re learning that leadership effectiveness can be predicted by emotional intelligence skills – skills in understanding and managing our emotions (who wants a leader who is highly critical? Or one who is scared to make decisions? Or one – such as I probably was – who works so hard they don’t spend enough time nurturing relationships?). Emotional intelligence (and thus leadership excellence) demands that we understand others and effectively nurture and manage our relationships with them. Emotional intelligence also involves skills related to understanding and managing our emotions so that we can solve problems, lead change, address conflict and make great decisions.
If you were asked to describe your favorite leader, there’s no doubt you’d describe someone with high emotional intelligence. And, that leader would understand how important effective relationships are to leaders’ success. When I pose the “favorite-leader” question to both adults and students, answers that always emerge include descriptors such as “cared about me and others,” “listened to others’ opinions” and “challenged me to do my best.” The respondents are describing emotional intelligence. You can’t lead effectively without it.
I’m excited that we’ll be offering a session on emotional intelligence at our National Convention. The purpose of the session is to educate the audience about what emotional intelligence is and why it’s so important to all aspects of your life, influencing the academic, work and leadership success of both students and adults. We’ll also be connecting emotional intelligence skills to the Five Practices of Effective Leadership by Kouzes and Posner. As a member of the audience, you’ll receive resources and strategies for building and enhancing emotional intelligence. I hope to see you there!
Korrel Kanoy is a managing partner at Developmental Associates, LLC, a consulting firm which specializes in developing emotionally intelligent solutions for organizations and their members. For over three decades, she was a professor of psychology at William Peace University, where she also served as dean of academic affairs. Kanoy is the author of several books on emotional intelligence.