Why is emotional intelligence so important for leaders?
Many of us are put into leadership roles without having any training on how to actually lead. There can be an emotional cost to leadership that can impact our mental health as well as the mental health of those we lead, manage and support. Higher levels of emotional intelligence can help reduce our own stress while positively impacting the effectiveness of our teams.
Emotional intelligence is described as the ability to manage one’s own emotions, as well as the ability to recognize and appropriately respond the emotional distress of others.
Leaders with strong emotional intelligence:
- Understand emotional triggers
- Are aware of making automatic assumptions related to other people’s behaviour
- Listen first, without interrupting, and acknowledge and validate what they hear
- Ask questions that recognize another person’s positive strengths
- Employ reflective listening skills
- Provide negative feedback in a respectful, helpful and effective manner
- Regularly touch base with each person who works under their supervision.
Communicating more effectively
Non-judgmental listening to develop an understanding of a situation to move forward effectively.
Speaking with employees individually and expressing your respect and appreciation for their work can be a powerful way to help build morale.
Learning about your interaction styles when you are under stress so that you are able to modify it to be most effective.
Evoking positive emotions through brief conversations.
Pausing and listening to others to gather information and build a connection with employees.
Providing negative feedback in a respectful, helpful and effective manner.
An effective communication method that involves listening, demonstrating, understanding, reflecting and paraphrasing.
Understanding the different communication styles to help you minimize your use of less effective patterns.
Taking time to connect to help create strong relationships and reduce the impact of negative emotions in the workplace.
Learning not to automatically assume the worst about the behavior of others.
Asking questions that recognize employee’s positive strengths by affirming their past and present achievements, abilities and potentials.
Acknowledging that someone’s feelings are valid can allow them to feel heard and therefore better able to listen.
Offering and accepting feedback can help create strong relationships in the workplace.
Preparing in advance for your response to employees during stressful situations by regularly asking them for their advice on what you can do to be helpful.
Conveying a strong sense of trust and respect, which can make employees feel included and compelled to work harder.
Becoming adept at tolerating conflict, and having the ability to respond appropriately when necessary.
Thinking about how you wish to be viewed by people you work with.
Using specific words and descriptors to consider how you are viewed by the people you manage.
A first step toward being comfortable and effective when dealing with negative emotions in the workplace.
Approaching the same situation in multiple ways, all working toward the same goal.