Have you ever noticed some managers seem to have employees who would walk on hot coals for them? Not surprisingly, many of these employees would do so without pay or benefits just to please their boss.
Think it’s not possible to achieve that level of devotion among your staff? Think again.
The business world is not only more complex and competitive, but the demand is truly global. The pressure to perform – and outperform, is consistently at the forefront of every task. Successful managers have a genuine need to get the most out of their employees, while at the same time, being cautious to avoid burning out valuable team members.
The key for modern leaders is to tap into their emotional intelligence to motivate, guide and inspire employees.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Instinct, empathy, compassion – these are all trademarks of a high emotional intelligence quotient. More than people skills, emotional intelligence starts and ends with awareness; about yourself and about those you are leading.
Studies have proven that leaders who invoke their EQ have stronger, more productive teams, lower turnover and less stress. Furthermore, leaders themselves are able to manage stress more effectively and are less likely to explode in frustration or anger.
Three Ways to Build Your Emotional Intelligence
You can no more train yourself to become smarter than you can train yourself to be taller. Some things are simply predestined from birth. Emotional intelligence, however, is a powerful tool that anyone can build into their arsenal of skills.
- Understand that one size doesn’t fit all. Every employee is unique; they communicate differently, they feel fear or anxiety differently, they are motivated and inspired differently. When you’re responsible for managing a team of ‘individuals’, do you treat them all the same? You may need to ask yourself some tough questions about your skills, but answer like an employee. Such as: Do I understand what motivates my employees? Am I a good listener? Do I take others problems seriously? Am I compassionate? Do I make people feel valuable? Do I really understand how to get the best from my employees? Are you aware of their body language?
- Self awareness and management. As the leader of the team, employees feed off your energy and unconsciously reflect the way you behave. So, the way you are, is how they are. Self awareness is your ability to accurately recognise your emotions and stay aware of them as they happen. Self management is your ability to use your awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and positively influence your behaviour. Controlling your emotions in an appropriate way to reflect an appropriate ‘vibe’ is a skill; one that leads down the road to successful leadership.
- Start building trust. It won’t happen overnight, but your team needs to have faith that you will not abandon them or throw them under the bus if things go wrong. Once established, trust among your team members is the biggest competitive advantage you will have. It opens the lines of communication, free flowing ideas and candid conversations about things that are dragging down a project. Trust is the difference between employees coming to you with potential problems or hiding them from you.
Everybody has a Hot Button
The biggest benefit to unlocking your emotional intelligence is using it to bring out the absolute best qualities in those around you. Everybody has a hot button, something that motivates and propels them beyond expectations.
Connecting with people on a personal level allows you to zone in what makes others thrive. Making them feel significant and like they matter, is one of the most important skills of a manager. Building stronger connections is more than creating a positive work environment, it’s adapting your leadership to each individual so they can excel.
And believe me, they will excel. As will you. Once you consciously decide to improve your emotional intelligence, you will be amazed at how quickly you can change the workplace dynamic for the better. A team that is all too happy to stay late or come early. A team that will gladly walk on hot coals for you. Best of all, a team that is inspired and motivated for success.
It’s no secret that as the younger generation take over the workplace, implementing new management and leadership styles is increasingly important.
I help businesses up-skill their managers and improve their level of EQ using behavioural profiling tools and coaching techniques.
Love, MD x