Emotional intelligence involves a set of skills that help us to perceive, understand and influence our own and others feelings. Workplaces that either don’t have these skills, or don’t encourage people to apply them, aren’t fun places to work. Beyond this, they’re also highly unlikely to be as effective or productive in the long term, as the people in the business never truly connect and collaborate with each other. For long term success, businesses need leaders that inspire people, connecting the hearts and minds of all employees. These businesses need emotionally intelligent leaders.
Leaders high in emotional intelligence test DISC are connected to the people around them. They present as authentic and empathetic, willing to practice expansive thinking, constantly seeking to include and understand rather than exclude and ignore. This means resilient and empowering leadership that isn’t afraid of others opinions and doesn’t feel the urge to have the final decision or always be proved correct. These leaders are centred and in control of both themselves and the world around them, which inspires confidence and trust, creating an atmosphere where employees energetically collaborate to produce the best possible results for the business.
The question is – who do we think of when we reflect on our own personal experiences of emotionally intelligent leadership? The sad truth is that, for most of us at least, there’s a relative paucity of these people in the places we work. The majority of businesses still think of emotions and feelings as valueless and reward people not for HOW they get results but WHAT results they deliver. As a result, when we consider our own experiences, we are far more likely to recall distracted and busy leaders that don’t have time to listen or who don’t really listen even when they’re sitting in front of us watching our mouths move.
The good news is emotionally intelligent leaders are ‘out there’ somewhere; and some companies are even actively seeking to foster and encourage these people. These businesses aren’t blazing a trail of innovation and cutting edge practice. They’re simply accepting that there is a better way of doing things. They believe that creating a better place to work is achievable, and that assessing and developing the necessary skills is far from rocket science – it’s actually tried and tested practice that has been around for years.
These businesses seek to identify and develop the five practices that all emotionally intelligent leaders have in common. They:
1. Perceive and understand their own feelings
2. Effectively express how they feel
3. ‘Tune in’ to the feelings and emotions of others
4. Manage facts and feelings to produce great results
5. Positively influence their own and others feeling