December 19, 2018
5 Pillars of Emotional Intelligence (EI): the Main Ingredients of Powerful Leadership.
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It seems that in all the fuss and news about Artificial Intelligence (AI) we often forget that we are still human. We forget that before developing a sophisticated AI, we first need to develop and improve our own emotional intelligence (EI). The emotional factor is huge when it comes to us, people, making everyday decisions. For those of us in leadership positions, it is even more important because our decisions impact many, many other people. And it's therefore crucial for us to have a hold of our emotions. Just think how many times you regretted things that you said in the heat of the moment? And unfortunately for us, what had been said cannot be unsaid, cannot be deleted like an email or a message. Therefore, I want to help you become more powerful when it comes to managing your emotions and feelings. Too many times they have gotten in my own way, and I’m sure you can come up with your own examples of when emotional decisions cost you a promotion, deal, sale, business, friend, partner, or even worse a job or a career. So, without further ado, here are the 5 pillars of Emotional Intelligence for Leaders:
Understanding your own strengths and weaknesses, AND more importantly the impact of your actions (including spoken or verbal actions) on other people. Being PRESENT to the way you're being in the moment. Being able to welcome constructive criticism. Being able to welcome people's candidness and not see it as being wimpy or too weak to lead. In order to become more aware of yourself, your surroundings, circumstances, and people involved, get out of your own head and stop listening to your inner chatter and commentary about what’s going on and/or what’s being said. Stop being strategic about what you're going to say next. Be in the moment, pay close attention, listen newly every time and allow others to finish their statements and arguments before jumping in with your “5 cents” (no matter how tempting your conclusions, opinions, judgments, and disagreements may be).
Being present to biological impulses that drive our emotions and feelings AND having a choice to react to them in a different way or NOT. That frees you up from being a prisoner to your own feelings. Self-regulation to leadership enhances integrity. Impulsive behavior (reacting to emotions and feeling instantly, without acknowledging that you have a choice to react or not) has zero workability in any situation. Instead of reacting to a particular feeling immediately and uncontrollably, take a moment to realize that you actually have a choice to let it go. Yes, you do. You have a choice to speak up or stay silent based on what’s best in a particular situation. You have a choice to blame and criticize others or take full responsibility and ownership instead. You have a choice to lead powerfully. You have a choice to compromise, to find consensus instead of standing your ground and proving someone or everyone wrong. Being right is just a short-term gain, a stroke to your ego. It often comes with a high cost of losing your people’s hearts and goodwill. As such, utilize self-regulation to create choices in situations where you typically had no choice. This way, you’ll make exponentially more allies and will achieve desirable outcomes more frequently, with less effort and no resistance from your people.
In emotional intelligence, empowerment is a way of enabling people to move, take action, be intentional, purposeful and inspired, not simply feeling good about what they are doing. It’s about being able to empower people to achieve results because they understand that there is a reward, fulfillment, and accomplishment waiting for them. It’s about helping your people see the bigger picture while adding transparency and clarity to the process. That leads to a better understanding of how their actions contribute to the overall goals and objectives of an organization. Through empowerment, a leader can help people realize that they are valuable no matter how small their contribution is. Productivity gains, better efficiency and higher output are all byproducts of empowering leadership.
Understanding other people's emotional makeup. Being able to care for and relate to other people. Using enrollment conversations as a way [and a tool] to get related to people, stand in their shoes and show them that you truly understand their perspective, reasons and/or arguments. That creates a much deeper connection and appreciation with a person [or many people], which in turn creates more workability in a given situation. Consequently, more workability enhances
Ability to interact with other people. Social skills allow leaders to put their emotional intelligence to work. If you don't have good social skills you may not have access to empathy and your leadership skills will mean nothing if
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