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Two ways improving EQ can benefit farm businesses

2.5 min read

What traits make super-achievers and business leaders stand out from the crowd? What do they have that average or even very good CEOs are lacking?

They almost certainly possess many great qualities, but there’s one trait that takes some leaders to a new level. It’s called emotional intelligence and leaders of all descriptions can benefit enormously from greater attention to this.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize emotions … and use emotional cues to guide your thinking.

We can’t do much to change our IQ, but emotional intelligence, often called EQ, is something that leaders can work on and improve. Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize emotions in yourself and others, understand the difference between various emotions, and use emotional cues to guide your thinking and behaviour. Many successful leaders are found to have a very high level of emotional intelligence. They know how to manage or adjust their own emotions to achieve their goals and they respond to emotions in others.

There are two ways that improving emotional intelligence benefits leaders and their teams.


As a leader, your personality and disposition have a huge effect on your team. Being aware of your emotions and managing them creates a better work atmosphere. If you feel like you need to apologize to everyone on the team for your month-long crusty mood during a really challenging harvest, it’s time to work on your emotional intelligence. Being angry, intimidating or unpredictable makes it difficult for staff to approach or interact effectively with their leader. Remember that as a leader you choose how you react to any situation.

For some leaders, controlling their own emotions to foster a better work environment and culture comes naturally. For others it might be the biggest hurdle they face in becoming a more effective leader.

Better connections and interactions

We’ve probably all encountered intelligent people who have incredible vision and potential but just can’t connect with other people. They thrive working on their own and yet struggle to make the leap to leadership and working with a team. The key word? Connect.

Leaders who recognize that everyone they interact with is on a different emotional spectrum have a huge advantage over those who rule by decree and treat everyone the same. Some people are stimulated and thrive under stress while others withdraw and become immobilized. Some welcome a good-spirited debate while others avoid conflict at any cost.

Treating everyone the same will never result in optimal team performance.

The 5 components of emotional intelligence

Daniel Goleman has written many books on the topic, including his bestseller Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. Goleman breaks emotional intelligence down into five major components:

  1. Self-awareness

  2. Self-regulation

  3. Motivation

  4. Empathy

  5. Social skills

From an AgriSuccess article by Peter Gredig.

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