We are living in the future. Artificial intelligence (AI) and technology were already beginning to integrate their way into our everyday lives, but during and after the pandemic, that slow-wave became a tsunami washing over every aspect of how we live and work.
While technology has improved our lives in remarkable ways, it can never replace actual, real human interactions and feelings. In fact, for leaders who are navigating virtual and hybrid workplaces, the human aspect has become even more vital to their success.
The greatest leaders understand that the role of emotional intelligence in leadership is key to leading with love. Bringing in a leadership keynote speaker to assist with these efforts is the best first step toward building a strong, cohesive and supportive team that seamlessly collaborates in a united effort to meet your business’s mission.
When you combine emotional intelligence and leadership, you will become a leader that inspires your team to follow in your footsteps.
Why Emotional Intelligence is Important in Leadership
Think about a time when you were upset at work and feelings of frustration, anger, disappointment or sadness bubbled up to the surface.
Now, envision building up your inner strength to speak to your supervisor or leader in this emotional state, with hopes of releasing these emotions and receiving guidance on how to successfully move forward. What if, instead of an empathetic, insightful and calm response from your supervisor, you are met with a cold, robotic stare and zero emotion?
Not only is this not going to help solve your problem, it’s also likely to escalate the situation.
As a leader, it’s critical that you make your team feel comfortable and supported. By connecting emotional intelligence and your leadership style, you can ensure your employees feel seen, heard and understood, which naturally builds trust and loyalty and leads to greater outcomes.
When you incorporate the real-life tips below into your leadership style, you will be well on your way to leading with emotional intelligence and love.
Create a Passionate & Productive Workplace Environment
True leaders bring so much more to their team than just their authority. They also set good examples and inspire others to be at their best.
When you lead with love, you create a positive work environment that promotes growth and success, not only for your business but for each of your employees as well.
It is absolutely vital for senior leaders to shed the old notions of being cold and businesslike at all times and lead with emotional intelligence instead. When you let your human side show up at work, you are empowering your employees to do so as well, which will create a passionate and productive work environment.
Build Trust and Cultivate Empathy
Empathy, which is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person, is one of the most crucial ways to fulfill your role of emotional intelligence in leadership. Being an empathetic leader is essential for gaining a different perspective, fostering a deeper connection with your team and building a mutually respectful working environment.
Trust is exceptionally slow to build and astonishingly quick to break.
And it is one of the most important elements of emotional intelligence in leadership. When you exhibit complete trustworthiness as a leader, your employees are more engaged and committed to the long-term success of their work and your business.
Manage Conflict Effectively
One important role of emotional intelligence in leadership is managing conflict effectively. Having emotional intelligence enables you to be aware of and understand your own emotions and the emotions of others. With us humans, emotions are always just under the surface, influencing every decision we make. Being able to recognize the feelings behind your team’s actions is a major component of emotional intelligence in leadership.
Developing your own emotional intelligence equips you to handle challenging situations that are bound to arise at work, such as conflict resolution and crisis management. The role you play in guiding your team through these difficult situations toward a positive resolution is imperative to a productive work environment and greater employee well-being.
5 Ways to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence as a Leader
Learning why emotional intelligence is important in leadership is critical, but it’s also just as important to follow real-life tips that will help you incorporate emotional intelligence into your leadership style on a daily basis.
Engaging in emotional intelligence training for leaders and following these five ways to fuse emotional intelligence and leadership should be at the top of every Extreme Leader’s to-do list.
1. Develop Self-Awareness
One of the most significant traits you can exhibit as a leader is to be aware of your own emotions, as they impact your decision-making, even if you don’t realize it. When you aren’t aware of your own emotions or sweep them under the rug, you will struggle with managing them effectively and recognizing how they impact others around you.
Start by paying close attention to what triggers or sets off an emotional reaction in yourself. It’s also paramount to evaluate yourself by comparing your performance with your team’s feedback and how you react to that feedback.
Once you have identified and understood your emotions, you will be on the right track to effectively managing them.
2. Work on Your Self-Management
Leaders who know how to effectively manage their emotions are highly successful in achieving their short-term and long-term goals. When you have the ability to control your emotions, you have the power to make clear-headed decisions, relate better to others and be more resilient in the face of stress.
Emotions are tricky, but with practice, you can keep them under control.
A great way to enhance your emotional management skills is to practice mindfulness. When you find yourself feeling angry or upset, it’s of the utmost importance that you take a step back and breathe for a moment. Count to 10 or 20 if necessary, until you feel calm enough to re-enter the situation or conversation.
With regular practice, you will attain greater self-control and be able to avoid saying or doing something you may regret later.
3. Focus on Self-Motivation
Just like trust, emotional intelligence is not something that can be built overnight. Creating true emotional intelligence in leadership requires time, effort and a deep commitment. In addition to participating in emotional intelligence training for leaders, a solid start to developing emotional intelligence is by focusing on self-motivation.
Motivated leaders are much more likely to put forth the effort necessary to develop their skills, manage their emotions and successfully achieve their goals.
When you commit to practicing self-motivation, you will be ready to lead through stress and discover the opportunities ahead.
4. Enhance Your Empathy
When you integrate empathy into your everyday leadership style, you are able to tune in to and understand your own feelings and those of your team, which is an essential element in understanding why emotional intelligence is important in leadership.
Emotionally intelligent leaders use empathy as a foundation to build strong relationships, resolve conflict with ease and inspire others.
You can cultivate empathy in the workplace using the following methods:
- Open up communication within your team
- Be an approachable and accessible leader
- Be mindful of your own emotions and reactions
- Appreciate your team members, which will in turn boost morale
Enhancing your empathy and incorporating these elements into the workplace will be a win-win for you, your team and your business.
5. Elevate Your Social Skills
The most successful leaders understand the importance of leading with emotional intelligence, know how to read the room and adapt their communication style to meet their team’s needs. Elevating your social skills is one of the most impactful ways to build your emotional intelligence.
When it comes down to it, business is all about people.
And when you hone your ability to interact with others and display your dedication to leading with love, your relationships with others and your ability to manage conflict will vastly improve.
At the root of emotional intelligence is a genuine interest in people and understanding their individual needs. When you commit your time and energy to get to know your team members, colleagues and clients on a personal level, you are fostering an environment of trust and respect.
Improve Your Oranizational EQ with Emotional Intelligence Training
We know that human emotion is complex and dynamic and cannot be replicated by artificial intelligence, but it can be mastered through emotional intelligence training. Start incorporating emotional intelligence into the workplace by hiring a leadership keynote speaker.
Love cannot be automated, and neither should your leaders.
Taking the steps to build your emotional intelligence and lead with love will allow your team to see and connect with your human side and create a positive and productive working environment. At the root of it, your team is made up of people who crave happiness, and as a leader, it is your job to create a workplace that helps them find it every day.