How would you rate your emotional intelligence (EI)? Defined as an awareness of your own and others’ emotions, it is also the ability to manage those emotions in ways that help others productively navigate difficult situations. It is a prerequisite for good leadership in that it helps you to deal with challenges and build relationships.
Here are some practical strategies for understanding and developing your EI:
Keep the Emotional Climate on Your Radar.
The most successful leaders are aware of their own emotions and what those around them may be feeling; they also actively look for subtle shifts in the emotional climate. They take action and manage emotions early and effectively.
Name Your Emotions.
Understanding your own emotions allows you to handle them productively as you maintain control. In addition, emotional intelligence helps you present and express emotions to the people you lead, which models desired behavior and demonstrates understanding and empathy.
Consider How Your Behavior Impact Others.
This gets to the root of self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Our words and actions dramatically impact the emotions of our team (for better or worse). Be thoughtful in your approach and always consider what your team needs.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes.
By gaining the perspective of others, you will get a more well-rounded view of any situation. This practice invariably leads to better decisions. Everyone likes to be respected and understood, and an awareness of others’ experiences is a show of respect. It helps you to understand not just the how but also the why of people’s feelings.
Reframe Your Thoughts on a Situation.
The way you think about people and situations has the greatest impact on how you feel and how you manage emotions. Instead of playing the blame game, great leaders adopt an inquiring mindset by looking at factors that may be causing, exacerbating, or perpetuating a problem. This approach helps you appreciate complexity, and switching from a “judging” to an inquiring mindset allows you to replace blame with curiosity.
Help Others Develop Their Emotional Intelligence.
Emotionally intelligent leaders also coach others on the awareness and management of their emotions. Coaching in this way requires sensitivity, the ability to build trust, and demonstrating control over your own emotions.
How Can Innolect Help?
You cannot manage the emotional climate of your team without first managing yourself. If you are looking for guidance and support in leading with Emotional Intelligence, contact us to schedule a consultation: