10 Things High-EQ Leaders NEVER Do

Posted by Guthrie-Jensen Consultants

There are hundreds of business books that tell leaders what to do to be highly effective, but how many books tell us what not to do?

Leaders who have dysfunctional thinking patterns or low emotional intelligence (EQ) tend to make poor decisions for their business, which not only affects the company and its employees, but also affects them personally, as it can hold them back.

EQ is defined as the ability to identify and manage your emotions and emotions of others. A person is said to have a high EQ if they are emotionally aware, can harness emotions and apply it to tasks, and can manage emotions, including their own. EQ has five characteristics according to science journalist Daniel Goleman—self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.

Unimpaired thinking is crucial for success. When a leader is high-functioning and emotionally intelligent, they are trusted, and respect and inclusiveness foster in the company.

However, it is true that EQ cannot be taught or learned overnight. Executives and managers should be prepared to work hard for years to develop emotionally-intelligent habits and other new ways of thinking that can lead to better decisions.

The attitude your leaders don’t show is just as indicative of his emotional intelligence.


1. They don’t lash out at the first sign of a mistake.

High EQ entails thought before action. If your bosses lose their cool during stressful situations—more commonly, when mistakes happen—they may have a low EQ.

Losing temper and lashing out are impulsive reactions that will often lead to apologies the next day.


2. They don’t celebrate their victories but celebrate the company’s.

Some bosses or managers tend to take credit for the success of a project, but a high EQ leader will look past their contribution to that triumph and instead, share the victory with the employees by recognizing that every employee pitched in their hard work.


3. They don’t shoot down opposing ideas.

You should not be afraid to present new ideas to your boss. If they are emotionally intelligent—even if those concepts go against their own—they will hear you out and even take the risk to make your ideas come to life, as it may bring about positive results for the company.


4. They don’t dwell on negativity or empty positivity.

For high EQ people, negative emotions like fear, guilt, shame, disappointment, hopelessness, victimization, and discouragement can be balanced by their personal goals and desires that motivate them. They try to think logically and realistically to even out their feelings.

They can’t be both overly pessimistic or unrealistically optimistic. Awkward situations are opportunities for them to embrace hardships that drive personal development. They recognize the good—and at the same time, forgiving of the flaws—in others and themselves.


5. They don’t hold off on confronting issues.

Confrontations are always tricky, but leaders with high EQ would never shy away from it. Instead of seeing it as instigators of conflict, these conversations should be opportunities to build trust, find common ground, and strengthen work relationships.


6. They don’t swallow their emotions, but back it up with logic.

Keeping a cool head doesn’t mean that your leaders don’t experience stress, frustration, or disappointment. They’re just good at recognizing these negative feelings as they are happening, so they can express and even talk about it appropriately. Additionally, they are interested in their employees’ emotions.

Despite being in touch with their emotional side, they also recognize that feelings sometimes don’t equal the facts, so they try to look at situations rationally, understand why they feel that way, and work at it.


7. They don’t avoid new experiences, ideas, or people.

Emotionally-intelligent people embrace anything that will bring something new to the table with open arms because they prefer to learn more about perspectives other than their own or want their beliefs challenged.

They know that their outlook isn’t always the right one and are humble enough to admit that they have much to learn from other people.


8. They don’t let failure get them down.

Failure is part of success and even high EQ leaders experience disappointments. However, they always try to look at the bright side of bad news.

When they learn from mistakes, they find more motivation that keeps their eyes on the long-term prize.


9. They don’t say yes to everything.

An emotionally intelligent person is not always a people pleaser, so you won’t catch your boss saying yes to every suggestion.

Their deep understanding of their strengths and weaknesses means they are confident that they can address what they agree to. And when they don’t, they recognize their need for help from someone who does.


10. They don’t hire on technical skills alone.

Skills can determine how effectively you can be at your job, but a leader should be able to look past your resume and see the emotional qualities you have that make a great employee.

The need for leaders to learn EQ is essential to make a positive influence on the company in its entirety, but it can also help in getting personal success, happiness, and peace. It should be noted, though, that it is not easy to learn how to be emotionally intelligent.

Whether it’s through self-help or attending lessons to learn how to lead with EQ, the first step to achieving this is through introspection and knowing the behaviors that impact yourself and others.

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