Good leadership demands ‘Emotional Intelligence’

Do you think that your approach to tasks, as well as your interactions with others, affects your ability as a leader? ‘Emotional Intelligence’ addresses these questions and more. This learned skill enables leaders to shape the best performance from themselves and encourage their staff to do likewise. It helps a leader to augment strengths and mitigate potential problems in peers and subordinates.

‘Emotional Intelligence’ is a vital leadership competency,’ says Mr Kadari Singo, Acting CEO of UONGOZI Institute ‘any successful leader must be self-aware and empathetic to others.’ He adds, ‘It is naive to think that the workplace is an environment free of emotions. We are not robots. Any person, however professional they regard themselves, has aspects of their personality which can help or hinder their performance. Thus, this competency helps a leader to manage their own emotions and recognise emotions of team members, thereby managing workplace relationships. Healthy workplace relationships are the foundation of sound performance.

Author and consultant Victor Cheng describes IQ (intelligence quotient) as ‘… the intellectual ability to manage ideas, knowledge and thoughts’, and ‘Emotional Intelligence as ‘…the ability to manage relationships with other people’. He notes that ‘The more senior your position, the less you’re evaluated on what you produce, and the more you’re evaluated on what everyone around you produces’. Thus, a leader’s ability to work with peers and colleagues is a crucial factor in overall performance, as well as advancing your career.

A successful leader desires to have people with differing approaches in thought and action, for this ensures that creativity and innovation are coupled with careful planning and practical implementation. So, a leader should seek to work with a variety of people who use different emotional approaches to their tasks.

UONGOZI Institute provides a three-day course on ‘Emotional Intelligence’ under its Executive Education Programme. This course follows the Genos model. Course participants learn about their own leadership style and how this can affect or complement the performance of others. They also learn how they can aid others to work together to achieve the best.

‘Emotional Intelligence’ is not limited to the workplace; it also belongs in a national context. Tanzania’s Vision 2025 is for a well-educated and learning society living in a country which has graduated from a least developed to a middle-income country with a high level of human development. This is defined as a people’s ability to decide who to be – integrity; what to be – ambition, and how to live – self-awareness. Self-awareness is a crucial component of ‘Emotional Intelligence’. ‘Research indicates that the greatest obstacle to learning and growth is not intellectual; rather, it is emotional’[i] observes Mr Singo.

1,087 leaders have already attended UONGOZI Institute’s course on ‘Emotional Intelligence’. Senior staff from the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) attended this three-day course during June 2020. Mr Daudi Mboma, Assistant Lecturer at DIT said, ‘Going through the DiSC tool, it is clear that my leadership style of ‘Steady’ has a strong correlation with the performance of my peers and subordinates.’ He added, ‘I need to remember that the different personalities within my team can complement each other to achieve a common objective.

This course will equip leaders with a key leadership competency. Each course participant will understand better their leadership style and know-how to adapt to differing personalities. To learn more about this advantageous course please email info@uongozi.or.tz.

Reading material on ‘Emotional Intelligence’ is available from our resource centres in Dar es Salaam and Dodoma, as well as via our online library catalogue.

[i] Brownwell, J. (2006, Fall). Meeting the competency needs of global leaders: A partnership approach. Human Resources Management, 45(3), 309-336.

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