Developing Emotional Awareness Skills
Emotional Intelligence plays a role in effective leadership. Being able to understand and control our emotions while recognising and influencing the emotions of others is a predictor of success in the workplace. Studies show that an overwhelming 90 percent of achievers display levels of emotional intelligence.
While technical expertise is undoubtedly important it has its limitations. For those aspiring to be leaders or currently holding leadership positions developing emotional intelligence is essential. This effort empowers leaders to bring out the best in their teams and foster the growth of performing units.
Emotional intelligence, also known as quotient or EQ refers to our ability to understand and manage our emotions as well as those, around us. Unlike IQ, which measures abilities, emotional intelligence focuses on our capabilities.
Emotional intelligence is valuable, for individuals in roles. It holds even greater significance for those in leadership positions. Leaders who have emotional intelligence can understand and connect with others communicate effectively and navigate conflicts skilfully. These qualities are essential for leadership.
To improve your leadership abilities it’s important to focus on developing these five intelligence skills;
Self Awareness; Self awareness involves having an understanding of your strengths, limitations, emotions, beliefs and motivations. Despite its simplicity a surprising 79 percent of surveyed executives (according to consulting firm Korn Ferry) have at least one blind spot—an area they consider a strength but others perceive as a weakness.
Leaders who excel at recognising and managing their emotions are better equipped to understand the emotions of others and inspire their team effectively. On the hand those lacking self awareness may experience a decline in performance. Research published in the Harvard Business Review suggests that teams led by individuals, with self awareness tend to make decisions and struggle with conflict management.
By acknowledging your weaknesses and taking ownership of development you can build trust and transparency within your team. Self regulation refers to the way we handle our emotions, behaviours and impulses. Developing self awareness is crucial, for self regulation because it allows us to understand our emotions and what triggers them empowering us to respond
It’s important to avoid outbursts or overreactions as they can undermine our effectiveness as leaders. To improve self regulation here are some strategies you can consider;
- Taking a Pause before Responding; Give yourself some time to reflect and think before responding. Taking a breath and pausing for 20 seconds can create space for more thoughtful responses ensuring that your judgment isn’t clouded by emotions.
- Stepping Back; Sometimes it’s beneficial to step from a situation. Taking a break getting hydrated or seeking support from others can be wiser than making decisions sending written emails or reacting strongly towards team members.
- Recognising Your Emotions; Keep track of your emotions and the things that trigger them. By identifying patterns in your responses you’ll be better equipped to manage situations, in the future.
By implementing these tactics you can enhance your ability to regulate your emotions effectively and make decisions as a leader. By recognising and reflecting on emotions we can respond thoughtfully. Avoid actions that might jeopardise the goodwill we have worked hard to establish. Empathy plays a role, in leadership as it involves understanding peoples experiences and emotions.
Prioritising empathy can lead to increased revenue, employee retention and productivity. By listening to our employees and understanding their desires and needs we can boost levels build trust enhance coaching effectiveness elevate morale within the organisation and foster a stronger company culture.
Motivation goes beyond rewards like fame, money or recognition. Individuals with emotional intelligence are internally driven to fulfil their own intrinsic needs and goals. Motivated leaders set goals for themselves; they exhibit a drive for achievement; they take initiative in challenging circumstances while maintaining optimism.
Positive leaders have the ability to instil confidence within their teams. Their intrinsic motivation permeates, throughout the organisation effectively empowering their employees. Social skills refer to the ability to understand and engage with others effectively including perceiving emotions and communicating well. Leaders who have intelligence are able to enter a room and sense any tension present actively addressing and resolving conflicts before they escalate.
Your awareness of emotions greatly enhances your capacity to assess the feelings of others, which in turn helps build and maintain relationships. Leaders who excel in skills know that success relies on collaboration, effective communication and a shared vision.
Here are some steps you can take if you want to develop your intelligence skills;
Reflect through Journaling; Set aside time at the end of each workday to reflect on your interactions, meetings and projects—whether they were positive or negative. By documenting your thoughts you can identify patterns, in behaviour and reactions both within yourself and others. This introspection helps you recognise areas where you excel gauge employee sentiment and gain insight into situations or individuals that may have caused frustration. Recognising triggers empowers you to avoid outbursts while implementing actions that boost employee morale.
Undergo a 360 Degree Assessment
A 360 degree assessment involves seeking feedback, from your manager, co-workers, peers as conducting self assessment. This process offers insights, into how your co-workers perceive your strengths and weaknesses helping to uncover any spots that may exist. It’s noteworthy that than 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies use 360 degree feedback because it contributes to increased self awareness leading to enhanced effectiveness in the workplace reduced stress levels and stronger relationships. One interesting fact mentioned in Psychology Today is that around 10 percent of people are considered listeners. To become a communicator and intelligent leader it is critical to develop active listening skills. This involves not focusing on what the speaker’s saying but also actively engaging through paraphrasing and use non verbal cues such as nodding.
By practicing listening you can establish connections with others and genuinely understand their thoughts and emotions. Another aspect worth mentioning is the importance of paying attention to your emotions in order to understand those of others. When experiencing emotions, whether positive or negative it’s beneficial to analyse and identify the reasons, behind these feelings. This practice promotes self awareness of your emotions while also enhancing your understanding of your co-workers emotional state. Being a leader allows you to foster a performing team.
To deepen your understanding of emotional intelligence and enhance your leadership abilities you may want to consider taking an online leadership course or training program. Online courses provide professionals, with the flexibility to complete their coursework at their pace while also connecting with a global community of like minded individuals.
This assessment can help you gain insights into your leadership style and how others see you as a leader. By developing your emotional intelligence skills not will you grow as a leader but you will also be able to effectively motivate and coach teams. This in turn will have an impact, on your organisation by fostering morale, productivity and communication. Ultimately it will contribute to the advancement of both your business and career simultaneously.
David Alssema is a Body Language Expert and Motivational Speaker. As a performer in the personal development industry in Australia he has introduced and created new ways to inspire, motivate and develop individuals.
David Alssema started his training career with companies such as Telstra and Optus Communications, and then developed Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) within workplace training as principal of Paramount Training & Development.
As an author/media consultant on body language and professional development David has influenced workplaces across Australia. He contributes to Media such as The West Australian, ABC Radio, Australian Magazines and other Australia Media Sources.