Is Emotional Intelligence a Key Trait of Good Leaders?

A characteristic of successful leaders is the ability to manage and control their emotions, regardless of the level they work at. If anything in life is completely under our control, it is our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. If we can keep these factors under our control, then we can lead our organization from anywhere in the organizational structure. Leaders gain such emotional intelligence by understanding the beliefs of science and their own feelings. If we know how our mind works, we can improve the way we think. We can assess reality more clearly, make better decisions and improve our ability to achieve our goals.

Ultimately we can also improve our quality of life through this process. Research shows that we have two systems of thinking. These are called automatic and intentional systems. The automatic system operates under our emotions and intuition. This system works thanks to the amygdala and other parts of our brain that were developed early in evolution. This system is concerned with our daily habits, ability to make sudden decisions and react quickly in dangerous life and death situations. Although the fight or flight action has helped us in the past, it is not so necessary in modern life.

We face many problems and stresses every day. They don’t endanger our lives, but our automatic system perceives them as a big threat and puts us under extraordinary stress. The intentional system adopts a useful mechanism of thought. It reflects our logical thinking and belongs to the pre-frontal cortex of the brain. According to recent research, this is the part of our brain that began to develop when humans learned to live in social groups. This thought system helps us perform more complex mental activities.

Just as strengthening individual and group relationships and adopting unique thinking and behavior in light of new information, where the automatic system requires no conscious effort to keep in motion, the intentional system requires conscious effort to activate. Which is a tedious process. But through effort and hard work we can achieve our will system. Our automatic system is far more powerful and dominant. Our emotions often override our logical thinking. A large part of our lives consists of our own habits, which are governed by automatic systems.

There is nothing wrong with that because thinking about every action and decision also makes us prone to mental fatigue. Conversely, our intentional system guides us in a direction that matches our original goals. With the help of this system, we can change our automatic thinking, emotions and attitudes and improve our lives. Good leaders also develop their emotional intelligence and depend more on the intentional system.