The Emotionally Intelligent Therapist as a Business Leader

Becoming a Better Therapist

Therapists spend a lot of time thinking about how they can be better therapists. Such an important job necessitates as much. Their jobs certainly require a lot of specialization and training. But that doesn’t make them so different from other business leaders.

Oftentimes, they are entrepreneurs—self-employed—and responsible for corralling employees of their own. Therapists also have needs that need communicating. They also need to ensure they’re being taken seriously by others. This might require exercising leadership skills on their part. This is the case whether they are speaking with colleagues, clients, or employees.

Why Emotional Intelligence Matters

Emotional intelligence is something that can make the process easier.

And, there’s a lot more to emotional intelligence than simply being liked. Or, being a likeable boss that employees enjoy listening to. Thinking of emotionally intelligent leaders may remind us of someone that’s easy going and able to put their employees at ease.

We all envision something different when we consider the emotionally intelligent person. You may imagine an emotionally intelligent leader as someone that is authoritative and commanding. Or, perhaps you think of someone able to regale a room with tales of hard-won sales while comforting employees after particularly tough losses.

When we think of an emotionally intelligent therapist we will probably imagine someone that has a full grasp of these skills and more.

They may have to use these skills with their clients as well as their colleagues.

It’s easy for us to imagine why all of these abilities are imperative for high-functioning business people. But, there’s more to emotional intelligence. There are lesser-known facets as well.

The way we think about both leadership and emotional intelligence is shifting. It’s now thought that being a good leader encompasses far more than just being able to exercise executive presence. We now understand that emotional intelligence also plays a part. Meanwhile, our understanding of emotional intelligence has shifted as well.

The Twelve Elements of Emotional Intelligence

The Harvard Business Review has identified twelve elements of emotional intelligence. Our capacity for emotional self-awareness is just the tip of the leadership iceberg.

The rest follows:

Self-Management means:

  • Being adaptable
  • Having a positive outlook
  • Having an achievement orientation
  • Exercising emotional self-control

Social Awareness means:

  • Maintaining organizational awareness
  • Exercising empathy

Relationship Management means:

  • Being a coach and mentor
  • Understanding conflict management
  • The ability to engage in teamwork
  • Maintaining an inspirational leadership
  • Maintaining influence

Why Employers Value Emotional Intelligence

For example, it’s crucial to be able to deliver criticism with tact and take criticism without imploding. These things may be even more crucial for a therapist. In fact, emotional intelligence may be one of the most important skills for a therapist to hone.

It’s no wonder 71% of employers said they were prioritizing emotionally intelligent employees. And, that 75% were promoting those with greater emotional intelligence, even over those with high IQs.

They reasoned that emotionally intelligent people have the ability to do things like take criticism, admit mistakes, adapt to change, and handle stress well when under pressure. Emotionally intelligent employees were also considered more likely to work well with and listen to their team members and lead by example.

Don’t these all sound like great qualities of a therapist? When was the last time you actually listened to a therapist who didn’t at least seem to have their own affairs in order? Or, took a therapist seriously if they couldn’t own up their own mistakes?

Employers recognize the benefits of emotional intelligence. The workplace is defined not only by intellectual problems but also by social and cultural discrepancies. These things require emotional intelligence to navigate.

Emotional intelligence is especially important for those that work in the realm of mental health. Therapists have the added job of connecting meaningfully with their clients. This is in addition to providing them a professional service. In fact, part of their professional service is being in tune with the emotional responses of their clients.

In short, they must exercise emotional intelligence. When you consider this, it makes honing a therapist’s emotional intelligence seem much more crucial.

Need to develop more emotional intelligence? We can help with that. Contact us and find the right therapist for you today.