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How Emotional Intelligence And Decision-Making Link With Better Leadership

Written by: Kc Rossi, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Coping with today's business challenges effectively requires an edge. Understanding how to utilize your emotional intelligence and its properties can offer an exclusive competitive leadership advantage, especially when it comes to decision-making.

The intelligence quotient, commonly referred to as IQ is generally a fixed measurement of your intellect. Emotional intelligence (EQ) is your ability to express and control emotions. Conversely, it is a snapshot in time that is pliable and can improve with development. This is exciting news!

Take a moment and think of a leader you admire or that has been significant in your life. Jot down traits or qualities that made them stand out. Now go back through the list and note if the characteristic was Cognitive (strategic, focused, good memory), Emotional (empathetic, self-aware, good social skills), or Technical (mechanical, operational know-how, computer savvy). Now, do a tally — what category had the most tick marks? I'm going to put my money on Emotional.

Influential leaders excel when they are in touch with and display emotions. People connect with those they trust, feel supported by, and experience a sense of safety to be authentic.

"Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it's having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage." ‒ Brené Brown

EQi – 2.0 is a reliable assessment tool that measures a person's emotional intelligence. It is based on a model made up of 6 composites: stress management, self-perception, self-expression, interpersonal, and decision-making.

It's estimated that we make 35,000 decisions per day. Determining organizational goals, recruiting employees, and deciding how to build the company brand are just a few examples of important decisions that leaders make on a daily basis.

Let’s take a closer look at the decision-making composite and its three subscales (problem-solving, reality testing, and impulse control) to see how emotional intelligence links with better leadership.

1. Problem Solving

Identifying challenges and devising solutions is the essence of problem-solving. In the context of emotional intelligence, emotions are taken into consideration as to how they affect decision-making. For example, to avoid rash decisions driven by emotions like anger or frustration, it's helpful to step back, take a breath, and check-in with yourself. Pausing allows you to re-center, get grounded, and act from a place of calm courage before making decisions. This self-awareness will have a positive effect on your team and lead to improved results.

2. Reality Testing

Reality testing is defined as "the objective evaluation of an emotion or thought against real life." It's a way to distinguish between fact and fiction. Creating stories in your head, not based on what can be proven, can lead to making reactive decisions based on hope or fear. Testing reality also helps you remain objective and limits decisions made on fantasies or bias. This will allow you to gain credibility as a leader by illustrating your ability to make reliable and informed decisions.

3. Impulse Control

Impulse control helps you avoid compulsive behaviors and decisions. It's the ability to resist acting hastily. Willpower is also a strong predictor of other areas of our lives. In the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment, preschoolers were taken into a room and given the choice to have 1 treat (like a marshmallow or pretzel) immediately or wait for the adult to reenter the room and get two treats. Researchers, like Walter Mischel, found that the kids that delayed gratification (waiting to get double the treats) showed other positive indicators such as higher SAT scores and lower BMI indexes as adults. Displaying impulse control as a leader builds character and ultimately trust.

Enhanced awareness of your emotions and how they play a key role in decision-making will put you in an elite leadership category. Harnessing your EQ improves your emotional and social functioning, performance, and overall well-being — crucial elements for dynamic leadership. Remember, all of the emotional intelligence subscales can be improved through assessment and development. To learn more about how to increase your emotional intelligence, click here.

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Kc Rossi, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Kc Rossi is a Business & Leadership Coach who helps mission-driven CEOs and entrepreneurs optimize their performance, productivity, and profits.

She’s been a full-time entrepreneur since 1991 and has built six and 7+ figure businesses. Kc is a Certified Mindset Coach, Emotional Intelligence Practitioner, and trained in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, which allows her to bring deep insight to her coaching.

Kc is the Founder of The Soulprint Method®, a holistic approach that harnesses mindset and emotional intelligence to build a profitable and soul-aligned business without burnout.

She is the host of Women Developing Brilliance® — The Spirit of Business; a show dedicated to cultivating confidence, increasing visibility, elevating vibration, and leading with purpose.

When she is offline, you can find her whipping up plant-based eats or hiking the Finger Lakes Trail in Upstate, New York.

Kc is an Executive Contributor of Brainz Magazine. Her work has been highlighted in ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, Thrive Global, SmallBizDaily, International Journal of Professional Holistic Aromatherapists, Female Entrepreneurial Association, and The Smart Girl Tribe.



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