A common trait of great leaders is a desire to learn, teach others, grow and improve always – they are not complacent in the way they operate, and seek to become the best version of themselves for their company and team. One often overlooked, yet vital, area that credit union leaders should focus on is developing emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is an ability to comprehend and manage one’s own emotions, as well as his or her team members’. Perhaps surprisingly, many psychology experts theorize that a high emotional intelligence quotient, or EQ, is a better predictor of leadership success than a high intelligence quotient, or IQ.

Leaders with high degrees of emotional intelligence can use it as a powerful asset to interpret feelings perceptively, decipher why particular feelings are present and identify how those feelings positively or negatively affect others. There are five important aspects of emotional intelligence that credit union leaders should focus on: Self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, relationship management and effective communication.

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