Skills in Emotional Intelligence for Managers
The technical skills that propelled you to your promotion may not be sufficient for your future advancement. If you want to land that new leadership position it is important to recognise the significance of emotional intelligence. This critical element plays a role in guiding teams navigating through high pressure situations providing constructive feedback and fostering collaborative relationships.
Emotional intelligence often referred to as EQ refers to the ability to understand and manage ones emotions while also recognising and influencing the emotions of others. The term was first coined in 1990 by researchers John Mayer and Peter Salovey, gained popularity through psychologist Daniel Goleman.
A decade ago Goleman emphasised the role of emotional intelligence in leadership. He stated in an interview with Harvard Business Review that “the effective leaders share one trait; they all have a high level of what is now known as emotional intelligence. It’s not that IQ and technical skills are insignificant; they are considered requirements, for executive positions. “Over the years emotional intelligence (EQ) has become a skill that cannot be overlooked. Extensive research conducted by TalentSmart, a provider of EQ services reveals that emotional intelligence is the predictor of performance. Employees who have emotional intelligence are better equipped to handle pressure effectively resolve conflicts and respond to co-workers with empathy.
If there is a lack of skills it can often lead to conflicts in the workplace due to misunderstandings caused by an inability to understand or perceive emotions accurately. One of the signs of low emotional intelligence is struggling with managing and expressing emotions. You may face difficulties addressing your co-workers concerns appropriately or struggle with listening. Take some time to reflect on your interactions with co-workers. Do you notice conversations? Are you quick to assign blame when things don’t go as planned? Do you find yourself having outbursts? These can all indicate a lack of intelligence.
To develop skills it is crucial to understand and practice empathy along with the core aspects of intelligence.
Emotional intelligence can generally be divided into four competencies;
Developing self awareness forms the basis, for creating intelligence. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is crucial. Its equally important to acknowledge your emotions and how they can impact not only your performance but also that of your team. Surprisingly research conducted by organisational psychologist Tasha Eurich reveals that while 95 percent of individuals believe they have self awareness only a mere 10 to 15 percent actually have it. Working with co-workers who lack self awareness can significantly reduce a teams effectiveness by half. According to Eurichs findings it can lead to increased stress levels and decreased motivation.
Self management refers to the ability to regulate emotions in high pressure situations and maintain an outlook despite setbacks. Leaders who lack self management tend to react and struggle with controlling their impulses.
To bring out the best in others it’s important to start by bringing out the best in yourself. This is where self awareness becomes crucial. A practical way to assess your self awareness is, through 360 degree feedback. This involves evaluating your performance and comparing it with assessments from your superiors, peers and subordinates. It provides insights into your behaviour and how others view you within the organisation.
While reactions are often instinctive developing intelligence allows for a transition from reaction to thoughtful response. It’s essential to pause take a breath regain composure and employ strategies for managing emotions—whether that means taking a walk or confiding in a trusted friend. These practices enable responses to stress and adversity.
In addition, to understanding and managing our emotions it’s also important to have awareness—the ability to gauge the emotional atmosphere of our surroundings. Social awareness refers to the ability to understand and perceive the emotions of others as the underlying dynamics, within your organisation. Leaders who excel in social awareness practice empathy. They make efforts to understand and appreciate the feelings and perspectives of their co-workers, which leads to effective communication and collaboration. According to a global leadership development firm called DDI empathy is ranked as the leadership skill. Leaders who are skilled in empathy perform over 40 percent better in coaching interacting with others and decision making. Another study conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership found that managers who show empathy towards their reports are seen as high performers by their superiors.
By communicating you can provide support to your team while also improving your individual performance. Relationship management involves your ability to influence, coach, mentor and effectively resolve conflicts, with others. Some people may prefer to avoid confrontations. It is crucial to address issues as they arise. Research shows that every unresolved conflict can result in eight hours of wasted company time spent on gossip and other unproductive activities. This not only depletes resources but it also affects morale.
If you want to maintain a team you must be willing to engage in those conversations. According to a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management 72 percent of employees ranked “treating all employees with respect at every level” as the important factor affecting job satisfaction. The role of leaders in shaping the environment is crucial. A lack of intelligence can have consequences, such as decreased employee engagement and higher turnover rates.
Even if you excel technically in your job your ability to effectively communicate with your team and collaborate with co-workers is essential. By developing intelligence skills you can advance your career whilst contributing to the progress of your organisation.
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.