With the new year comes new challenges, new goals, and new outlooks for the corporate landscape. 

As it unfolds, we will redefine what to expect - and what’s no longer required - from leaders. But, through all of my research, experience and conversations, one thing stands out as a massive trend to look for in 2024: Emotional intelligence (EQ) among leaders.

General intelligence (IQ) and EQ are similar in ways: both refer to an ability to learn. The difference lies in what is being learned. The former is about learning new concepts and the ability to problem solve, while the latter refers to our ability to learn about ourselves and others and apply that understanding to the world - and people - around us. 

EQ isn’t new. We’ve been talking about emotional intelligence in leaders for some time, and most employers value EQ over IQ. That’s because leaders with high EQ are more likely to stay calm under pressure, effectively respond to conflict, and respond to other executives and team members with empathy. 

On the other hand, a leader with low EQ could have trouble connecting with other team members, struggle with active listening, or have difficulty expressing emotions. A person with a low EQ is unlikely to motivate others to perform well or boost company morale. 

EQ can be broken down into four categories: social awareness, self-awareness, self-management and relationship management. Excelling in all of these areas can set the tone for company culture and galvanize others to perform tasks efficiently and effectively. 

Mastering each element of EQ will be key in advancing your career as a leader. It seems about 75% of career success depends on advanced social and emotional skills, whereas technical know-how makes up the final quarter. 

In 2024, I expect the emphasis on EQ to be stronger than ever, and I expect understanding it and possessing it in spades to be critically important among effective leaders and promotion opportunities. Learn about more leadership trends by downloading the 2024 Leadership Trends e-book.  

Here are several strategies that leaders can integrate into their daily practice to boost their EQ skills: 

Make time for self-reflection

Take time regularly - this can be once a day or once a week - to record and analyze your emotional responses to different situations. This self-awareness of your emotional triggers and responses, can help you better manage your emotions and react more thoughtfully in challenging situations. 

Practice active listening

When actively listening, all that is required is for you to fully concentrate on the conversation so you understand what is being shared and respond accordingly. Easy right? Not really, especially in today’s world of countless distractions and our growing short attention spans. A strong set up can help. Leave behind your phone or other potential distractors. Engage in direct eye contact and watch the speakers’ body language, voice and tone. You may want to take brief notes to recall key messages or jot down questions, too. Active listening improves communications and helps build empathy and trust with others. 

Invest in coaching

A qualified coach can help you build your emotional intelligence by offering real-time guidance and support through real-life scenarios. A coach can offer insights and strategies to help you navigate your emotional landscape, manage stress and build stronger interpersonal skills. 

I help leaders understand the four cornerstones of a high EQ, while helping them refine their emotional intelligence so they can meet and exceed expectations, boost workplace morale, and more. 

Book an exploratory call today to discover how I can help you become an effective leader.