Your ability to connect emotionally with your team is affecting your leadership and your bottom-line. Do you ever consider how you are making your followers feel? Did you realize that your positive and negative emotions are influencing the performance of your team? Your emotions are either helping or hindering engagement and productivity each day. It is important to recognize that emotions are woven throughout every facet of your life, including work. 

Emotional Intelligence is one the most sought-after leadership skills in organizations today. If you are a leader who demonstrates emotional intelligence you will lead with more empathy and perform 40% higher than your peers. You will also use coaching as a development tool, engage more easily with others and make better decisions. 

Your ability to lead with emotional intelligence is determined by your capacity to be aware of and control your emotions. Being emotional intelligent allows you to handle relationships thoughtfully and empathetically.

So, what does it mean to be Emotionally Intelligent? 

First, self- awareness. If you have ever had a leadership conversation with me, you know how important I believe self-awareness is for leadership effectiveness. If you do not know or understand yourself, how can you possibly understand those you are leading. It all starts with you. Emotions are part of self-awareness, are you able to recognize your emotions and the impact they are having on your followers?

According to research 95 percent of people believe they are self-aware, but sadly only about 10 percent are. If you are not self-aware you are cutting your ability to lead a successful team in half. Your team is likely feeling stressed, disengaged, and unmotivated. 

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership - Dr. Dionne Kress

To bring out the best in others you must first bring out the best in you!

Self-management– How do you manage your emotions when you are stressed or faced with a challenge or set back. If you lack self-management, you are likely reacting impulsively. When you have emotional intelligence, you will respond by taking a pause, a breath and time to gain perspective.

Social-awareness– Can you read the room? This is your ability to recognize the emotions of others and the dynamics at play. When you are socially aware you will use empathy to understand the feels and perspectives of others. Which will in turn increase communication and collaboration. 

Relationship management– This is your ability to resolve conflict. It’s how you influence and coach your team toward success. Do you have the ability to address issues as they arise? Did you know that unresolved conflict wastes eight hours of company time via gossip, reduced morale, and other unproductive behaviors? Be courageous and have those tough conversations. 

Empathy- A key component of emotional intelligence is positively correlated with high performance and job satisfaction. To become a more empathetic leader you should strive to see the world through the eyes of others. Put yourself in their shoes. Withhold judgment and seek to understand. Acknowledge and respect the feelings of others and communicate your understanding of those feelings.  

Emotions are triggered when faced with change and uncertainty. They can arise each time you have an encounter with a colleague. They flood in when you need to address conflict.  They ebb and flow with achievement and failure. How are you managing these emotions? As a leader, you set the standard for your organization. When you improve your emotional intelligence you will improve employee engagement, reduce turnover, and have happier employees. 

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