Developing emotional intelligence has never been more critical for leaders as we struggle to remotely convey passion, empathy, and gratitude from our dining table. The first step toward developing emotional intelligence or “EQ,” is to work on reading others and correctly ascertain their feelings about you and your agenda — but it doesn’t stop there. Emotional intelligence is more than just understanding how you’re perceived. It’s strategically using EQ to build better more trusting teams. The next phase in emotional intelligence is to deploy a different method or style of communicating depending on the situation. Daniel Goleman the author of “The Emotionally Intelligent Leader” puts it best:

“The best leaders don’t know just one style of leadership – they’re skilled at several, and have the flexibility to switch between styles as the circumstances dictate.”  

Daniel Goleman

Not all styles of leadership are created equally. Some are easy to master, others are more difficult. The more difficult the message is to convey, the harder it can be to get right. The point here is that as you improve as a leader, you will develop MORE styles of leadership that will aid you in alignment and ultimately trust. To remain reliant on one leadership style is to stagnate.

For new leaders it’s often easiest to be the relatable leader who “gets you,” but as those leaders develop they find tough conversations (like those about behavior or performance) aren’t taken seriously as they struggle to convey the gravity of their message.

The power of your emotional intelligence resides in its fluidity. Developing yourself takes courage to make mistakes and frequent check-ins to make sure the recipient of your message is on the same page. It also requires a healthy dose of humility as your development is in the hands of your team, not you.

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