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Recently I’ve been reflecting on research findings that the most effective leaders are alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of Emotional Intelligence.

Key skills of EQ that enable the best leaders to maximise their own and others’ performance include:

The self-management skills of – Self Awareness, Self Regulation & Motivation

And the skills to manage relationships with others: Empathy & Social Skill

Social skill in the work leadership context can be described as friendliness with a purpose – moving people in desired directions.

It is the culmination of the other 4 key EQ skills and includes a proficiency in managing relationships, building networks, finding common ground, developing rapport and trust.

According to Daniel Goleman, the working assumption is that nothing important gets done alone. When action is needed, there’s a network or connection in place.

Hallmarks of a leader adept at this skill are:

  • Expertise in building and leading teams
  • Effectiveness in leading change
  • Persuasiveness
  • Extensive networking
  • Excellent collaborators.

Social skill is not just for the extroverts – believe me, even introverts can be expert connectors and collaborators!

So, as the great coach Marshall Goldsmith wrote: ‘What got you here, won’t get you there.”  Like the other domains of EQ, you can evolve and enhance your ‘social skill’.

It may take some commitment, time and effort – and it will totally be worth the effort!

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