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7 Ways To Increase Emotional Intelligence for Leaders


Career performance in today’s terms will not only require head knowledge or intellect (IQ) but also Emotional Intelligence that will assist in building better relationships with all stakeholders from customers to colleagues.

Understanding and managing emotions in the workplace is very important to creating high performance teams in organisations. The preferred approach of “prevention is better than cure” should be taken in the selection and recruitment process to hire emotionally mature employees.

Recruiters are often focused on selecting and recruiting for skills and experience (intellect) but once hired; employers often have performance and productivity issues due to “emotionally immature” employees. Use an emotional inventory tool when recruiting the right candidates.

So, what is the difference between Emotional Quotient (EQ) and Intelligence Quotient (IQ)?

Emotional quotient is the ability to control, manage and evaluate emotions (inner messages); it is a set of competencies to manage moods that result in the best situation or outcome whereas Intellectual Quotient (IQ) is all about understanding the ability of a person to reason.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) will enhance relationships strengthen teams and the benefits are endless but here are a few:
• Healthy and happy work environment with strong relationships.
• Employees can handle their emotions and then let it go and surrender to things that they cannot control.
• Employees are able to deal with conflict and come up with a faster resolution.
• Managers are able understand the team and individual’s emotions better.

Daniel Goleman an international psychologist and author on Emotional Intelligence (EQ) explains that EQ consists of:
1. Self awareness: Means identifying what emotion you are experiencing.
2. Managing emotions: Ability to handle feelings and how quickly you are able to recover setbacks experienced.
3. Self motivation: motivation from within.
4. Empathy: Recognising others emotions.
5. Handling relationships: This is important for leadership and interpersonal effectiveness.

There are indicators that an employee may have a low EQ (Emotional Intelligence) and not only does this cause a toxic environment for employees but it costs the company in the long term by low productivity levels and low morale.

Have a look at these signs to identify employees with low EQ :
– The source of politics and counterproductive behaviours.
– A bully and exerts power over others.
– Attempts to control others and blame when they don’t get their way, instead of looking internally.
– Will justify their feelings and manipulate.
– Highly sensitive and act as a victim in the situation.
– The behaviour is irrational and has unpredictable moods.

We can all enhance our Emotional Intelligence skills and here are 7 practical ways to increase Emotional Intelligence:

1. Prevent venting: As it can amplify emotions. If you do find yourself angry then take a few breaths and/or take a walk to remove yourself from the situation and think of a more empowering meaning or perspective to the current situation.
2. Shift your focus: Don’t ponder on negative emotions and feel sorry for yourself. Focus on solutions that will move you forward or do something that will lift your mood.
3. Ask empowering questions in tough situations: Example “What can I learn from this negative experience?”
4. Practice empathy: You can develop this emotion by helping others.
5. Offer constructive criticism: Be specific and find solutions, face to face.
6. Think first: Pause before responding and control your reactions. Know that you can only manage your own emotions, don’t try to control others and manage their emotions.
7. Acknowledge others viewpoints: Use rational solutions and keep calm, by understanding that we view the world from our own perspectives.

In summary, emotions have it’s place in the workplace. It is important to listen to the way you feel.Knowing yourself enough to stay away from situations that you know may upset you in order to make sound decisions and acknowledge your “gut feeling” when making decisions.

Written by Lead Your Brand Communications

Visit A.T .A  for more information on our Emotional Intelligence training and objectives covered.

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