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The relationship between emotional stability and leadership

Emotional intelligence is the capability of individuals to recognise their emotions, the emotions of others, distinguish between different emotions and label them appropriately. Emotionally intelligent people use this ability and information about their emotions to guide their thinking and behaviour.

Emotional stability comes from emotional intelligence (EI). People with higher levels of EI are able to adjust their emotions to adapt to their environment, manage them and put them to positive use. Needless to say, this makes emotional stability a critical trait for leaders.

What is the relationship between emotional stability and leadership?

The link between emotional stability and leadership has been observed in some leaders, and evidence tracked in some organisations. A case study on incorporating emotional intelligence into leadership was conducted in FedEx in 2014. After the 6 months emotional intelligence program, there was a notable 11% increase in core leadership competencies, 72% of the participants experienced increase in decision making, 60% experienced increased quality of life and 58% of leaders showed improvements in influence. After this program, there was also notable improvement in emotional literacy, recognising emotional patterns, the application of consequential thinking, increased optimism and increased motivation. Leaders were noticed to be more effective in their work and developing and maintaining useful relationships at work.

Emotionally stable leaders prove to be more effective in the long run. This is because they are able to understand and control their emotions. As a result, they become effective leaders since they are able to remain calm in times of crises. When faced with anger and disappointment they manage these feelings and channel them into productivity.

Emotionally stable leaders have a high degree of self-esteem which gives them confidence and this is an important complementary trait in a leader. They are not uncomfortable with emotions since they know that emotions are within their control. They are even able to help others in the workplace manage feelings such as stress, anger and frustration. Leaders who manage their emotions are able to set aside emotions and make rational decisions rather than emotion-driven decisions.

It takes an emotionally stable person to solve conflicts within an organisation. Emotionally intelligent leaders are well equipped to handle conflicts and provide resolution by expertly handling disagreements that arise between employees and other stakeholders of the organisation. They are aware of the emotions of the people involved in a conflict hence find a way to resolve issues to best suit the situations and the parties involved. Leaders with high EI tend to be less biased or subjective towards individuals.

Conclusively, emotional stability helps leaders become even better leaders. It helps them build on their character and capabilities to execute their leadership duties more effectively.

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