Emotional intelligence (EI) has become a vital part of how today’s leaders meet the significant challenges they face and can also give developing leaders the competitive edge.
EI has twice the power of IQ to predict performance. If you are highly intelligent but unable to be a rounded individual who can communicate well, manage your emotions, have empathy and inspire your team, you will always struggle to reach your full potential.
Leaders set the tone of their organisation. Research shows that employees perceive their organisation’s climate is attributable to the actions and behaviours of their leader. A leader creates the environment that determines people’s moods in the workplace and their mood, in turn, affects their productivity and level of engagement.
EI is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, and those of the people around you. People with a high degree of EI know what they are feeling, what their emotions mean and how these emotions can affect other people. One of the most important qualities of EI is self-awareness: because when you know yourself, you can do something about the parts of yourself you are not happy with. You have the power to change your own character, diminish your negative qualities, and change your experience in relationships.
According to Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who helped to popularise EI, there are five main elements of EI and the more that you, as a leader, manage each of these areas, the higher your emotional intelligence. So, let’s look at each element in more detail and examine how you can grow as a leader.
- Self-awareness:People with high emotional intelligence are usually very self-aware. They understand their emotions, and because of this, they do not let their feelings rule them and do not let their emotions get out of control. They are also willing to take an honest look at themselves. They know their strengths and weaknesses, and they work on these areas so they can improve performance.
- Self-regulation:Leaders who regulate themselves effectively rarely verbally attack others, make rushed or emotional decisions, stereotype people, or compromise their values. Self-regulation is all about staying in control. This element of emotional intelligence, according to Goleman, also covers a leader’s flexibility and commitment to personal accountability.
- Motivation:Self-motivated leaders work consistently toward their goals, and they have extremely high standards for the quality of their work. Every time you face a challenge, or even a failure, you try to find at least one good thing about the situation. It might be something small, like a new contact, or something with long-term effects, like an important lesson learned.
- Empathy:For leaders, having empathy is critical to managing a successful team or organisation. Leaders with empathy have the ability to put themselves in someone else’s situation. They help develop the people on their team, challenge others who are acting unfairly, give constructive feedback, and listen to those who need it. If you want to earn the respect and loyalty of your team, then show them you care by being empathic.
- Social skills:Leaders who do well in the social skills element of emotional intelligence are great communicators. They are just as open to hearing bad news as good news, and they are expert at getting their team to support them and be excited about a new mission or project.
Leaders who have good social skills are also good at managing change and resolving conflicts diplomatically. They are rarely satisfied with leaving things as they are, but they do not sit back and make everyone else do the work: They set an example with their own behaviour.
In conclusion, EI is a basic tool that, deployed with finesse, is integral to professional success.
Are you willing to accept that you are not perfect and that you could work on some areas to make yourself a better person? Have the courage to look at yourself honestly – it could change your life both professionally and personally.
Employee relations involve maintaining employer-employee relationships that contribute to satisfactory productivity, motivation and morale. Essentially, employee relations revolve around preventing and resolving problems involving individuals which arise out of, or affect, work situations.
Great employer-employee relationships are vital for the success of any company or business. Having a plan and building relationships with your employees is the key to ensuring that you have positive employee relations which result in a happier workforce and greater productivity and employee engagement.
While most chief executives focus on creating shareholder value and devote their attention primarily to customers, Richard Branson believes that the correct pecking order is employees first, customers next and then shareholders. His logic is simple and sound: if your employees are happy, they will do a better job. If they do a better job, the customers will be happy, and thus business will be good and the shareholders will be rewarded. Employee relations also deal with the times when you may need to address poor performance or misconduct. In such instances, discipline procedures may be considered. Identify problems and deal with them as soon as possible because failure to address behaviour and actions of people that are inconsistent with stated and published company expectations and policies has a negative impact on morale and those employees that try their best every day.
If you need to action a disciplinary or grievance, this has to be undertaken by supervisors or line managers that have had training and understand how to resolve employee grievances and appeals in accordance with applicable employment regulations and legislation.
Information should also be provided to employees to promote a better understanding of management’s goals and policies to assist them in correcting poor performance, on or off duty misconduct and/or to address personal issues that affect them in the workplace.
FAIL TO PREPARE…
Having a plan to achieve positive employee relations is as important as having a financial plan. Below are some tips on how to achieve that:
- Recruiting: Select people that believe in what you are trying to achieve and who will deliver on your brand, behaviour and attitude are essential – the candidate must fit into your existing team and culture.
- Create a pleasant atmosphere: Your employees spend a large chunk of their lives working, so you should try to make the work environment look as friendly and appealing as possible – also great to have an area where people can get away from their work station for a break or lunch.
- Culture: Establishing strong core values provides both internal and external advantages to the company. Core values are what support the vision, shape the culture and reflect what the company values. Company core values are the guiding principles that help to define how the company would behave. They are usually expressed in the company’s mission statement or Mantra.
- Training: Make sure you have a plan to ensure that your employees have all the know-how they need, empowering them to deliver a good job.
- Feedback: Employees need to know how they are performing, so make sure you observe them and give them feedback and coaching where required.
- Development: Most employees are extremely motivated to achieve, especially if this means that advancement awaits them, so ensure you have succession planning in place.
- Leadership: What kind of workplace environment are you trying to create as a leader? Is it a culture of passion, energy, fun and teamwork? As a leader you need to set the tone by example.
- Motivation: The triggers that motivate people to achieve are unique for everyone. Many would say it is money, some would say recognition for a good job, some security and more people are starting to claim that they are driven to make a difference. Be aware of what motivates individuals.
- Rewards and recognition: When your team reaches a significant milestone, do you celebrate? Set team goals and then celebrate your successes as a team. Doing so rewards and recognises your employees for their efforts and contributions; it does not have to be expensive - try a public thank you, a bouquet of flowers, a reserved parking spot for a week, an extra day’s holiday etc.
- Communication: Ensure you are keeping employees in the loop, promote a better understanding of management’s goals and policies, sharing your challenges and making them a part of the solution.