Emotional Intelligence: The Key To Effective Leadership

When employees leave an organization, it’s typically not the organization they leave. It’s terrible managers or leaders. They’ve become fed up with how they’re treated and their leadership’s lack of emotional intelligence.

It’s why I left one of my jobs.

Emotional Intelligence: The Key To Effective Leadership

My manager became disengaged from his employees. He lacked an emotional awareness of what was happening in the lives of his employees and how those situations impacted the lives of his employees. He also failed to show up with emotional intelligence, trying to scare employees into staying with the organization.

Eventually, he was left with a gutted team, and the employees were left with negative memories of their interaction with him.

His lack of emotional intelligence killed his team. But it doesn’t have to kill yours.

Mental Health America defines Emotional Intelligence as the following:

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to manage both your own emotions and understand the emotions of people around you. There are five key elements to EI: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.

When we start to work on our Emotional Intelligence, we can have a more significant, more positive impact on those we lead. What steps can you take to become a more Emotionally Intelligent leader? Try the following.

Steps To Becoming An Emotionally Intelligent Leader

Be Self-Aware:

Self-awareness goes a long way in becoming more Emotionally Intelligent. As you recognize your actions and, more importantly, how your actions impact those you lead, you’re able to adapt your reactions, remarks, and tone to be more perceptive of the feelings of those around you.

You’ll struggle with being seen as emotionally intelligent without knowing how your actions affect others. Work on recognizing how your actions are viewed.

Ask For Feedback:

Look at getting feedback from others. A great tool to use is a 360-degree feedback survey. A 360-degree feedback assessment is an anonymous survey multiple people around you fill out. The assessment asks numerous questions relating to the workplace and beyond. The person receiving also fills out the same assessment. This feedback loop can show a dissonance between employees, coworkers, and the person receiving the feedback.

You can look at the feedback of others to see whether or not the feedback is unanimous, consistent, and correct. 

Express Your Own Feelings:

The climate of your team can be chilly if you’re closed off from the rest of them. Be the first to step out of your comfort zone and show your feelings.

Maybe let others know when you’re feeling down, have had a significant loss, or are facing difficulty. Not only will your team see you as a human being, but they will also be open to opening up to you.

Expressing your feelings allows you to share what you’re going through. It opens you up to understanding and seeing your feelings. Don’t be afraid to open up.

Ask About Other’s Feelings:

You can show you care about others by asking how they’re doing. You don’t have to go into a deep dive but you do need to let others know you care about what’s happening in their lives.

Bring up the question “How are you feeling today?” when appropriate. Your team members will see your question as an opportunity to share more about them and their day. You may discover there’s a hidden challenge in your team member’s life that has been hidden from you.

Emotions Are Good

We’re all emotional beings. We were made to feel, love, and care about others. Over time, we’ve been told that stuff doesn’t matter. It’s all about results.

As we’re seeing as people are fleeing organizations, that’s not true. People want to be seen and heard. They want to be understood.

You have that opportunity. You can be that sounding board or understanding leader.

But you’ll have to work on your emotional intelligence. The more you do, the more you’ll discover emotional intelligence is the key to effective leadership.

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