As a leader or manager, improving your Emotional Intelligence and EQ (Emotional Quotient) can help you to better succeed in your role. Below you can read about the benefits for you, your workplace, and organization of improving your emotional intelligence and, in turn, your leadership skills.
Strengths of Leaders with High EQ
Let’s start by looking at the strengths of developing good emotional intelligence in the workplace, in terms of how it can help your leadership.
1. Helps You To Create a Low-Stress Work Environment
As you and your colleagues learn how to better manage your emotions, it becomes easier to create more positive energy and thus to reduce the negative emotional ripple effect on the team.
Having better emotional intelligence, in other words, can help in creating a calmer team.
Furthermore, it enables team members to better help their team members to manage their emotions by offering support.
2. Able to Find Solutions Quickly
On one hand, leaders with high EQ can manage their stress levels, which helps them focus more on problem-solving.
Likewise, as they listen to other people, leaders with high EQ encourage team members to brainstorm and come up with creative ideas.
So, the whole team can be effectively involved in problem-solving.
3. Participative Management Style
Emotionally intelligent leaders are interested in other people and want to empower them.
You will, in other words, become a better natural leader and who is seen as empathetic and who cares about others and their progress.
4. Put People at Ease
In addition to having better skills in terms of how you show empathy, someone who has good EQ skills will naturally develop better and good social skills.
These skills help you to put others at ease, whether they be colleagues, people you manage, or people you meet and come across in your personal life.
5. Easy Communication Flow
Emotional intelligence improves communication, as we discussed earlier, thus leaders with high EQ are good at facilitating communication.
Communication skills are essential in any workplace, as I am sure you agree, with so many issues that can occur, a result of poor communication.
Emotional intelligence skills are great for developing better communication skills.
6. Helps to Inspire and Motivate Others
As you learn to observe and understand other people, you will begin to know and understand what motivates the team.
Thse observation skills are a part of emotional intelligence training.
7. Know Your Team’s Strengths and Weaknesses
With EQ, you wil also develop your social awareness skills and relationship management abilities. Social awareness is an extremely useful thing to build and as a manager or someone who works as a part of a team, it is great for communication and productivity.
Being more assertive but whilst doing so in a non-aggressive but decisive way is not necessarily the easiest thing to be able to do.
Learning how to be assertive in the right way is a skill you can develop as you increase your emotional intelligence.
You will find that you will become even more supportive of your work colleagues and people in your personal life, as you develop EQ skills.
This is because of their empathy skills and because they genuinely care about other people.
Weaknesses of Leaders with Low EQ
1. Creates a stressful work environment
For managers and staff with a low EQ level, their unmanaged negative emotions affect the rest of the team.
2. Poor communication flow
Their emotions get in the way of effective communication and they are not willing to listen to other people.
3. Impulsive and unable to deal with stressful and/or unexpected events
This is due to their inability to manage their emotions.
4. No clear direction
As they cannot manage their emotions, they lack focus and this lack of focus impacts on their ability to lay out a clear strategy for the team.
5. Put people on edge
This is due to their lack of understanding of others and limited ability to put themselves in other people’s shoes.
They do not know what motivates other people and they do not know how to leverage other people’s emotions to achieve positive outcomes.
7. Blame others for everything
They lack self-awareness, so they are not prepared to see their limitations.
8. Do not value different perspectives
Their vision is one-sided and they are not able to open their mind to different possibilities.
This is due to their low level of empathy and little interest in other people.
How To Improve Organizational EQ and Emotional Intelligence – Training Activity
At first, start showing the three parts of the pie and explain. However, ask some questions before you show the bullet points. You can recreate the slide without the bullet points.
There are three parties involved in improving the emotional intelligence of an organization as a whole.
These are: the leaders, the organization and the employees. They all need to work together.
Ask the question: ‘How do you think leaders can contribute towards creating a work environment that is conducive to emotional intelligence?’
Wait for answers.
After the participants have answered, show the bullet points near the ‘Leaders’ section (on the top right corner of the slide) and explain.
Some things that leaders can do include:
Encourage expression of feelings
Make sure their team members feel comfortable expressing their feeling.
Foster positive emotional climate
For example, they can encourage their team members to develop their own emotional intelligence. Also, they can use their knowledge of emotional intelligence to build workplace relationships.
Open door policy
Be open and available anytime to support their employees.
Develop own EQ
Work on improving their own emotional intelligence. As we mentioned at the beginning, even though some people have a more naturally developed emotional intelligence, this quality is also something that we build with experiences. So, we can all work on it and improve over time.
Ask the question: ‘How do you think an organization can contribute towards creating a work environment that is conducive to emotional intelligence?’
Wait for answers.
After the participants have answered, show the bullet points near the ‘Organization’ section (on the bottom left corner of the slide) and explain.]
Integrate EQ in training programs
Organizations need to deploy training programs that develop emotional intelligence. In addition, they can identify the skills linked to emotional intelligence that are important for their workforce and provide training for those. For example, service orientation for people involved in customer service, conflict management for leaders and communication for everyone.
Include EQ evaluation in recruitment process
Organizations should not just check for technical skills in their selection processes. Instead, they should also select their staff based on their emotional intelligence abilities and their potential and willingness to develop in this area. For this, recruiters can use quizzes or ask questions that require interviewees to give examples of how they behaved in situations that required emotional intelligence.
Make EQ a factor for rewards
Organizations should provide incentives for employees to develop their emotional intelligence abilities. They could incorporate assessment and evaluation of emotional intelligence into their promotion, performance management, and reward practices.
Ask the question: ‘How do you think individual employees can contribute towards creating a work environment that is conducive to emotional intelligence?’
Wait for answers.
After the participants have answered, show the bullet points near the ‘Employees’ section (on the bottom top left corner of the slide) and explain.
Develop own EQ
Just like leaders, employees at any level should seek to develop their own emotional intelligence.
Seek support when needed
They should not be afraid to ask for help when needed.
Be open and cooperative
They should be open-minded, curious about their colleagues and willing to help.
Dr Valeria (Lo Iacono) Symonds
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