Emotional intelligence is a major need for leadership, communication, and interpersonal relationship. It is defined as the ability to identify, assess, understand and control the emotions of others. Communication is a widely known key component in leadership success. Hence the ability to perceptively tune your emotions and act deliberately when conversing with others is essential.
Over the years, I have discovered that not too many leaders are deliberate about their words, actions, and gesture towards others. One of the skills that make my coaching efforts unique is my ability to demonstrate a high level of emotional intelligence while helping my team. Regardless of the challenge, I always help them understand the situation as best as I can while being empathetic.
Emotional intelligence has a lot of significance across industries – from business, marketing education. It is a factor that promotes healthy relationships.
In this article, you’ll learn 4 ways to develop emotional intelligence and enhance your leadership skills.
- Understand your biases: We are products of people’s influence, thoughts, and opinions. One of the characteristics of an emotionally intelligent leader is the ability to recognize their strengths and weaknesses. One of the causes of bias judgment is having limited knowledge as regards the subject matter. You must have strong analytic skills, alongside the ability to provide an objective and fair judgment when a matter arises. For example, instead of opposing your team member’s idea, you could take a step back and ask yourself the following:
- Why do I consider my ideas the best?
- Is there something Mr. X is seeing and I am yet to see?
Asking these questions will help you understand the perspective of the other person.
- Ask what can be done and not who’s to blame: Mistakes are certainly going to happen; your team members will commit some errors both intentionally and unintentionally. But an emotionally intelligent leader focuses on solutions when there is a problem. Do not get confused. Finding solutions do not eradicate the importance of correction. However, emotional intelligence enables you to provide constructive criticism. Instead of finding who to blame each time something goes wrong, rather find the solution to the problem.
- Promote a healthy environment for emotional safety: Leadership isn’t a one-way path; it is a journey of leading diverse personalities and characters. One of your responsibility as a leader is to understand the different kinds of personalities and how they relate to your business. The essence of understanding your team personalities is to foster an environment of psychological safety. The idea of a team is to help individuals amplify their voice, feel safe and strong. It is your responsibility as a leader to promote your team’s confidence, equip them and create a positive feedback strategy.
- Acknowledge your team’s work: When a team member delivers a task or goes the extra mile to achieve a certain result, recognizing the individual’s effort is essential. Some leaders find it difficult to appreciate their team members. This is a negative leadership trait. It is important that you appreciate your team always, and more importantly when they get the job done.
There are several principles for emotionally intelligent leadership, and I believe that most of these principles are interwoven. However, the fundamental guide to emotionally intelligent leadership is considering your team members' emotions always while making decisions that affect them.
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