How Does Emotional Intelligence Help Black Women?
July 28, 2023
Being a Black woman executive or leader comes with its own unique challenges. These can be amplified by negative stereotypes, bias, workplace sabotage, and microaggressions encountered in society or within the workplace. However, one of the best career advancement strategies for Black women, in spite of these challenges, is developing emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one’s own emotions while also understanding the emotions of others. Here are seven ways in which practicing EQ can help Black women leaders excel.
1. Emotional Intelligence Improves Your Communication
Effective communication is a vital skill for any leader, but one that can be particularly challenging for Black women in positions of authority (because of bias and the invisibility of Black women in the workplace). Emotional intelligence can assist in the development of strong communication skills by helping us recognize our emotions, identify the emotions of others, and respond appropriately with clarity and empathy.
2. Emotional Intelligence Helps Improve Collaboration
Effective leaders must know how to work collaboratively and build positive relationships. Emotional intelligence enables Black women leaders to clearly understand their own emotions and manage them in a positive way. As a result, they can use this skill to interact more positively with others and build stronger ties with their team members. You bring a unique perspective and improved collaboration allows your team to benefit from your talents and viewpoint.
3. Increase Your Authentic Leadership Style with Emotional Intelligence
Authentic leadership is founded upon the abilities to be self-aware, honest, and transparent. By practicing EQ, you can develop your own authentic style, and use that style to create success in your organizations. By doing so, you are showcasing your belief and confidence in yourself, as well as value, and leadership to coworkers, subordinates, and partners alike. That’s a win-win for everyone.
4. Conflict Resolution
Conflict can arise in any work setting. However, emotional intelligence offers Black women a valuable resource in precisely these situations. By understanding the emotions at play in a conflict, and using empathy and active listening, you can help resolve the situation in a way that is respectful and fair to all concerned parties.
5. Better Decision Making
Effective leaders make informed decisions based on a deep understanding of the situation and its impacts. Black women with high emotional intelligence can better understand their own values and emotions, as well as those of their team, to make sound and effective decisions that both account for the impacts on the company and those they lead.
6. Improved Self-Management
Black women need to be able to manage their own emotions effectively to remain in a positive state and be productive. By nurturing their sense of emotional intelligence, we can become more resilient under stress and remain focused on our objectives. This also has positive implications for our personal lives as well. After all, we don’t exist in a vacuum.
7. Greater Social Awareness
The ability to read and understand the emotions of others can be a particularly powerful tool for Black women. This can help them make critical decisions while still accounting for the perspectives of their team members, suppliers, clients, and other stakeholders. Social awareness allows us to balance team morale and social objectives with the rigor of the company’s performance and objective standards. All while staying true to your own values. Burnout and internal conflict results when we are not authentic to our values and ideals. And, simultaneously looking out only for others while leaving ourselves out of the picture.
In conclusion, emotional intelligence is a powerful tool for Black women leaders in our professional and personal lives. By developing emotional intelligence levels, Black women professionals are more likely to be effective in their communication, collaboration and conflict resolution efforts. Additionally, you can better understand your own motivations, deliver authentic leadership styles, and make informed decisions.
Above all, emotional intelligence can be a critical skill to surviving high-stress positions without sacrificing work-life balance. By adopting these principles and practices, Black women leaders can become more effective and inspire their teams to achieve great things.
View the video for more valuable information on how emotional intelligence elevates Black women leaders.
Until next time,
Dr. Twanna Carter