September 1, 2009

Emotional Intelligence

Written by Boyd Bailey

Emotional Intelligence… “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds.” Proverbs 27:23

We all have a “flock” we care for and nurture. Perhaps it’s your family that sees you as the shepherd to help move everyone in the right direction. You may find yourself the undesignated team leader at work where other team members respect your judgment and decision-making. Or, you have a small group of friends who default to your influence when faced with uncertainty. Wherever you find your flock it’s wise to really know them.

Shepherding relationships takes a ton of time and discernment. Individuals are wired differently, so it’s important to know what motivates them. Introverts may need quality conversation and extroverts continual encouragement. The insecure need confidence and the secure need accountability. Take the time to understand the fears, hopes and dreams of those you serve. Your emotional intelligence grows when you dare to care.

The temptation of leaders is to disconnect from their emotional intelligence. However, emotionally disengaged leaders miss half the leadership equation. The “science” of leadership is analysis and problem solving. The “art” of leadership is motivation and relational understanding. If you are just logical you can forget to love well by discerning what people are feeling. Facts travel down the tracks of feelings that result in action.

So begin with a personal emotional assessment. Use your own emotional understanding as a baseline for engaging others. Pray for others and you will begin to feel their pain and their pride of work. Emotionally mature leaders learn to ask many more questions and offer fewer answers. Understand your flocks and then lead them to discover their needs. Do I take the time to be a student of those I serve? Do I connect with them on an emotional level? “Live with your wives in an understanding way” (1 Peter 3:7 NASB).

Related Readings: Genesis 33:13; Ezekiel 34:22-31; John 21:15-17; 1 Peter 5:2

Transformational Living
What did I learn from the Lord in today’s Bible reading?

How will I respond?

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