Have you ever considered how you make your followers feel? Do you realize that both your positive and negative emotions are influencing the performance of your team? Emotions are woven throughout every facet of your life, including work, and as the leader of your organization, they are either helping or hindering engagement and productivity every day.
How a leader perceives, understands, and manages their emotions and the emotions of others is known as emotional intelligence, and it is one of 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% better than your peers. You will be able to better connect emotionally with your team, affecting your leadership ability and relationships with your people.
Four key traits of being an emotionally intelligent leader include:
If you do not know or understand yourself, how can you possibly understand those you are leading? It all starts with you. Self-awareness is having the ability to understand your feelings, thoughts, and actions. When you are self-aware you are better able to recognize how other people experience you.
Self-management is how you manage your emotions when you are stressed or faced with a challenge or setback. If you lack self-management, you may react impulsively. When you have emotional intelligence, you will respond by taking a pause, a breath, and time to gain perspective.
Social awareness is about your ability to read the room. Social awareness helps you to recognize the emotions of others and the unspoken dynamics at play. When you are socially aware you will use empathy to understand the feelings and perspectives of others, which will in turn increase communication and collaboration.
Relationship management is the influence you have on others and your ability to coach your team toward success. This trait allows you to address issues as they arise. You are better able to manage unresolved conflicts, improving team morale and, ultimately, productivity.
Empathy is understanding the emotions of others. 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 one is faced with change and uncertainty. They ebb and flow with achievement and failure. How are you managing your emotions and the emotions of others? 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.