As someone who has trained leaders for more than 25 years, one of the biggest challenges I see leaders facing is making the transition from team member and subject matter expert to leader. This transition is further complicated when organizations make the mistake of selecting new leaders based on length of employment and/or technical skill.
In today’s rapidly changing world, leaders need more than just longevity and technical skills to be successful. They need emotional intelligence (EQ), which is the ability to understand, use, and manage their own emotions in positive ways to achieve their goals. Why? Here are just a few reasons:
- Leaders with EQ build trust and rapport with others. They’re able to understand and empathize with others’ emotions, and they’re able to communicate in a way that is both genuine and respectful.
- Leaders with EQ motivate and inspire others. They’re able to tap into the emotions of others and create a sense of shared purpose. They can also create a positive and supportive work environment where people feel valued and respected.
- Leaders with EQ make better decisions. They’re able to think clearly and rationally, even when they’re under pressure. They can also consider all sides of an issue and make decisions that are in the team’s or organization’s best interests.
- Leaders with EQ resolve conflict more effectively. They’re able to understand the emotions of everyone involved in a conflict, and they’re able to find solutions that are acceptable to everyone.
- Leaders with EQ build stronger teams. They can create a team environment where everyone feels valued and respected. They can also motivate and inspire their team members to achieve their goals.
The bottom line is EQ is a dealbreaker for today’s leaders. The good news is, it can be developed. So if you’re looking to move into a leadership position in your organization, you can take steps to start developing your EQ today. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Be aware of your own emotions. Pay attention to how you feel in different situations, and try to understand why you feel the way you do.
- Manage your emotions effectively. Once you are aware of your own emotions, you can start to manage them more effectively. This means learning how to control your emotions so that they don’t control you, and it also means learning how to express your feelings in a healthy way.
- Empathize with others. Empathizing means you can “put yourself in someone else’s shoes” and understand and share the feelings of others. It is important to remember that everyone experiences emotions differently, so try to be patient and understanding when dealing with others.
- Build relationships. When you build relationships with others, you can connect with them on a deeper level. This can help you to motivate and inspire others, and it can also help you to resolve conflict more effectively.
- Be positive. A positive attitude is contagious. When you are positive, it rubs off on others, which can help create a more positive and productive work environment.
Finally, if you’re looking to promote an employee into a leadership position, be sure to look beyond how long they’ve worked for you or how well they do their assigned work. Take a look at how they’re demonstrating EQ. If you’re not seeing what you need to see, consider providing training in EQ to help them grow!