It seems like everywhere you turn someone is talking about Emotional Intelligence and leadership skills, these things actually aren’t a new idea and, in business, we’re only just catching up. There’s such a massive body of work out there and a tonne of books to devour, that it seems crazy not to take advantage of it! (There’s a handy list at the end of this blog if you’re interested in learning more!)
One study of manufacturing supervisors, following Emotional Intelligence training, revealed significant improvements. Most impressively a 20% drop in formal grievances and an increase of $250,000 in productivity revenue.
Looking at the statistics, it’s safe to say that if this was sold in stores, we’d all be lining up for it like the newest iPhone! But, unlike technology now days, it costs nothing more than your attention and understanding – that’s a pretty good deal I’d say. But what is it exactly?
Put simply, Emotional Intelligence is a measure of a person’s capability in self-awareness and social awareness. Put slightly more complicatedly, it’s a true skill that can take years to master and can raise you to the highest heights of professional excellence. All you need to do is dip your toe in the water – here are some tips to help:
1. Own your feelings.
Relate your feelings back to yourself rather than a person or situation. For example instead of saying “You’re really annoying” say “I am feeling annoyed”. Your feelings are your own and it’s important to understand that.
2. Discover your why.
Instead of reacting outwardly to a feeling, ask yourself why you are experiencing it. Just keep asking why – you’ll move past the emotion and skip straight to a solution.
3. Use your feelings.
Before making a decision or taking action, ask yourself how you will feel if you do it and how you will feel if you don’t. Your emotions are a useful guide to put you on the right path.
4. Use the feelings of others.
Just like the last tip, the emotions of others also need to be considered. Before making a decision or taking action, ask yourself how others will feel if you do it and how others will feel if you don’t. Emotional intelligence is just as much about others as it is about yourself.
5. Convert your emotions.
Emotions like anger can be used in really positive ways. Use it to energise yourself and get things done, the energy is already there you just need to direct it.
6. Know that there isn’t always a solution.
Sometimes people just need someone to listen. You don’t always need to offer a solution or opinion. By just spending time with the person, you are telling them that they are valued.
7. Check in with yourself.
Taking a minute every day to ask yourself “How do I feel?” and “What will make me feel better?” is incredibly important. Sometimes we can get worked up over time and not notice how it is impacting us. Connect back in with your emotions and address them.
8. Check in with others.
At any given point in the day, one person can be experiencing a whole range of emotions. Be aware of the people around you, if you notice something is not right, ask. “How do you feel?” and “What will make you feel better?”
9. Validate others.
Do your best to understand other people’s point of view. Everyone sees and experiences the world differently and one way is no more right or wrong than another. Show understanding, empathy, and try to accept people’s feelings.
10. Step out of judgement.
Judgement comes from assumptions, opinions of others, and generalisations – and all of these hold people back. When meeting someone new, try to wipe the slate clean and walk into the room opinion free. You’ll have a much clearer head and be ready to listen.
If an emotionally intelligent leader means greater leadership and productivity, wouldn’t this also translate to employees? Creating a more emotionally intelligent culture, greater engagement and bigger, better outcomes?
So, here’s the question – Are you developing this with staff?
It’s time to consider every companies greatest asset – the team at the front line. Get nurturing, get developing, and get the Emotional Intelligence boost that will change the way we see business, forever.