Making your mark as a leader is not an easy job. In the business world, successful people have their own tips and tricks for how they made their name. A lot of people ask leaders what their secret is, a good IQ (intelligence quotient), excellent opportunities or higher education. While there is no set formula for how one can become a success in their respective fields, there are qualities that are common in these kinds of people. When you come across a successful professional you will notice that they thrive as a leader because of their EQ (emotional quotient). And this is a great tool to profit off, especially if you are a woman.

Your emotional intelligence refers to how you perceive what people are feeling. This does not just include other people’s innermost emotions but also your own. This is a vital attribute to possess for all people in the professional sphere. But for women, it often acts as their secret weapon to leadership.

What is Emotional Intelligence (EI)?

The term ‘emotional intelligence’ (EI) was made popular in 1995 by Daniel Goleman. Its founder was a Pulitzer Prize winner for his bestselling book on the topic, where he discussed the concept at length. He stated that EI is part of a combination of positive traits like confidence and consciousness which assesses emotional management. Not only is this a mutually beneficial way to facilitate relationships on a professional level, but it also is a factor for success.

While emotional intelligence is a way to assess a situation from the perspective of one’s feelings, it has no relation to one’s IQ. This includes positive and negative emotions that help in keeping coworkers and employees interested. Leaders are able to use this tactic to understand the mindset of their workers and comprehend their behaviors.

Improved Emotional Intelligence in Women

While everyone possesses the ability to harness and enhance their emotional intelligence, there is a long-lasting belief that women have it already. As this is a means of making a big impact on professional environments, women can use it to become successful and trusting leaders. Some people may be inclined to be more understanding since birth, but it is not a “woman only” area of interest. In fact, anyone can achieve this skill to improve their leadership qualities.

Increased self-awareness is not just a personal benefit, but it is also advantageous for hard-hitting work situations. While women are slowly on the rise in the professional sector, they still have a long way to go before they are equal to men. So this tool, having high EI, can be honed and practiced to regulate their environments. They not only know how to respond to people around them but can also provide effective and simple solutions for their ease.

What Does the Research Say About EI in the Workplace?

There are massive amounts of research and stats which have shown that EI has a huge influence on the workplace. It is one of the top-ranking factors which can make someone stand out as a leader, more so than educational qualification and management strategies. There have been reports that show the correlation of IQ scores with performance. It has only accounted for 25% of professional performance overall. The remaining 75% success rate is linked to EI, which is higher for most leaders. Putting logical and critical thought aside, following your workflow with an emotional tactic is no doubt an effective tool. And this allows women to better present themselves forward for professional leadership roles.

Women and EI at Work

A study from 2016 has shown that women tend to score higher than men on EI categories. While the majority of them enjoy this advantage, they often do not use it. Data points showcase that women can become more effective leaders than men because of their scores. This is because:

  1. They can manage conflict well
  2. They encourage employees to grow
  3. They have greater chances of influence

For women to leverage these pre-existing skills at work, they will have to put in some practice. This means that for them to get equal opportunities and get management positions they have to address these gender differences head-on.

Honing Your EI as a Professional Woman

Contrary to what is normally accepted, women are not naturally good at being emotionally intelligent. They may outperform men in certain categories but it is not that they were born with a huge gift which will lead them to success. So as a professional woman, you may be more inclined to coach and mentor employees and give inspirational advice. This allows you to have more organizational awareness, adaptability and the chance to engage in teamwork and orientation. Not only does this make you competent enough to lead, but it will also help you excel in professional relationships.

As a woman, you will be tempted to undervalue your skills and allow yourself to be thought of as less outspoken. If you possess the right kind of EI skills, you will be able to tackle these perceptual differences head-on. Without taking yourself out of the game, they can engage in negotiations and establish trust in their skills. The mutual understanding will allow you to stay true to yourself while you succeed in your workplace. So it is less about gender and more about the level of grit and commitment you have for your future career.

The Takeaway

While the difference between EI in men and women is debated upon a lot, it is not a pressing issue. In order for any leader to establish their power and management style, they will have to understand the people around them. For female employees to rise to the top of their fields, they have EI as a weapon for growth. They can be ultra-perceptive of tense circumstances and find better ways for professional interactions to work. The reward for this patience and level of understanding is the role of a trusted leader, who will pave the way for further success.