On Leadership, Success and Emotional Awareness


Emotions are a key driver of our behavior. Emotional Intelligence  or EQ is crucial to managing your behavior, to your success both professionally and personally, and to the choices you make in the journey of life.

Success of Emotional Awareness in a Leader’s Role

You have often heard of a person having a high IQ but yet failed to succeed. Why is this? It is because EQ and IQ are independent of each other and a high IQ does not mean a high EQ. And you certainly cannot determine one’s IQ based on their EQ and vice versa.

When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bustling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity. ~ Dale Carnegie

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the cognitive ability involving traits and social skills that facilitate interpersonal behavior.

The five main components of EI are:

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Management
  • Social Awareness
  • Relationship Management
  • Empathy

When I say ‘Emotions,’ many people almost immediately associate the term with negative reactions like ‘Anger’ and ‘Sad’ and think of them as synonyms. However, ‘Emotion’ is just the mental state of a person and this could be positive or negative.

Positive & Negative Emotions

There are seven major positive emotions:

  • Desire
  • Faith
  • Sex
  • Enthusiasm
  • Hope
  • Love
  • Romance

And the seven major negative emotions are

  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Jealousy
  • Hatred
  • Revenge
  • Greed
  • Superstition

Our brains harbor a lot of emotions and it is the negative emotions that is worrying.

Brainiac Leadership

The amygdala  is most commonly associated with fear and anxiety.  Each of us have a chronic or habitual emotional level that determines the overall well-being or satisfaction.

If a threat is perceived,  the amygdala tends to hijack the reasoned response process.

We have certain triggers-mechanisms that cause us to have an emotional reaction and bring about our innate ‘fight of flight’ response.  This limits our capacity to think clearly and causes us to move to default behaviors that may not be skillful or effective.

Trigger Mechanisms

Have you wondered as to why these negative emotions are triggered?

  1. Change  results in discomfort and stress – a lot of us expect life to be easy and when challenges and hurdles come along, it overwhelms us and may cause negative reactions.
  2. Human Being rather than Human Doing – we forget many times that what really matters in each of our lives is what we are, what we build and what we share.
  3. Allowing our mind to control us – life is not perfect and sometimes we allow a bad moment, or a bad day to take control of our state of mind and the reactions to other unrelated events of the day.
  4. Help – not asking for help when you need it desperately.  Each of us need help and cannot survive in isolation.
  5. Not being accountable & responsible – not walking the talk which leads to distrust and guilt. We lose our identity by not learning to say,  ’No’ resulting in over committing and under delivery.
  6. Focusing on past : allowing our past to continue to dominate us to such an extent that we become victims of it. Negative thinking and behavior hurts only one person the most and that is “You.”

How much of an impact does emotional intelligence have on your professional and personal success? Short answer, a lot

Emotional Memory Management

Emotional memory management enables us to manage our emotions in a way that will produce more positive outcomes. I like to think emotions as colors, some simple, and yet others are blends.

The vast majority of HR Managers, Coaching Program Managers and other professionals who oversee executive development programs simply do not understand all the variables that influence organization and individual performance.

3 Performance Levers

Specifically, most are not aware of the three critical ‘performance levers’ that they should be using and encouraging internal and external coaches to use.

  1. Behavioral change happens mostly by engaging an individual’s emotions and feelings.
  2. What we perceive defines what we believe. And this belief or perception is what guides our behavior.
  3. Values help to determine how we will act as they help us to weigh the importance of various options.

Brain plasticity a term used to describe the brain’s ability to change its structure and function using new behaviors. Today’s change agent in the form of a coach needs to go beyond the facts and know how to bring in the emotional dimension that has been so long ignored.

Using Your Brain

EQ requires effective communication between the rational and emotional centers of the brain.  Having a coach in an individual’s corner allows them to validate their loyalty to themselves and their commitment to the new story.  Change results in moving out of the comfort zone and thus stressful. Continued coaching through new challenges helps create the sustainable behavioral change.

“Certain things leaders do – specifically, exhibit empathy and become attuned to other’s moods – literally affect both brain chemistry and that of their followers” ~Harvard Business Review 

In today’s world, A leader needs to have high levels of self-awareness, maturity, empathy, interpersonal communications skills and self-control, having the ability to handle setbacks as well as enjoying success with joy and humility.


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Lalita Raman

Lalita Raman is CEO at Transitions Intl Ltd
She serves as Executive Coach, Business Coach and Consultant
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter |  Web

 Image Sources: city-connect.org 

3 responses to “On Leadership, Success and Emotional Awareness

  1. Pingback: Is Inner Conflict Stopping You From Doing Something Important In Your Life? » Dawning Visions Hypnosis, Inc.·

  2. Pingback: Leadership updates for 08/03/2012·

Please Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s