Can You Develop Emotional Intelligence as a Leader? Ryan Ayers

mickyates Empathy, ideas, Inspiration, Leader, leadership 0 Comments

The concept of emotional intelligence first circulated in the 90s, and it gave a name to qualities that most of us can recognize and appreciate, but have trouble measuring. Emotionally intelligent people are better able to understand, perceive, and control their own emotions and the emotions of others. This makes them easier to communicate with, and gives them an edge in the workplace.

The good news is that unlike IQ, anyone can work on improving their emotional quotient (EQ). If you are in a leadership role, improving these “soft skills” is one of the best ways to become a more effective, well-liked manager, no matter what kind of team you’re leading. But how difficult is it to improve your EQ? Here are some insights and tips on becoming more emotionally intelligent.

How We See Ourselves

One of the most difficult aspects of developing more emotional intelligence is that many of us don’t have an accurate idea of how others see us. If you’re in a leadership role, you might have some notions about how your team feels about you, but they’re not necessarily true. It takes an honest outside perspective to help us step back and reevaluate how other see us—and how we see ourselves. In most cases, people have an easier time generating a realistic idea of their IQ—simply because it’s easier to quantify objectively. Getting to know your EQ, however, can take the help of a coach to figure out.

How Difficult is Enhancing Emotional Intelligence?

EQ can be difficult to build, but it’s not impossible. Unlike IQ, which is thought to be mostly fixed, EQ can be improved using the right methods. It takes a lot of hard work, but it’s a good idea for anyone, especially those in leadership positions. Anyone, even those with high EQ can benefit from working on their communications and interactions with others, since this can strengthen relationships both in and out of the workplace.

Strategies for Growth

Improving your emotional intelligence is an ongoing effort, and there will never be a time when the work is finished. However, once you start getting used to the routines of EQ work, it will become easier as time goes on. Here are some strategies for growth that can help you get started.

Start to Track Your Emotions

Tracking and awareness of your emotions is the first step in improving your emotional intelligence. Whenever you start to experience an emotion, take a step back and try to figure out what it is you’re feeling, and why you’re feeling it. Journaling can also help you work through and understand your emotions.

Practice Responding

When we react, we’re just instinctively acting based on our emotions, not thinking about how we actually want to respond. Taking a moment to think about how you would like to respond to someone else can help you become a better communicator and open you up to more positive interactions. For example, if someone gives you constructive criticism, don’t immediately react defensively. Pause, think about how you would like to respond, then continue the conversation in a positive way. Emotionally intelligent people are in control of their communications, and have the confidence to take criticism well.

Don’t Avoid Conflict

Seventy percent of people avoid difficult conversations in the workplace, but avoidance doesn’t help communication—it breaks it down and allows feelings to fester. It’s important to deal with issues as soon as possible, using the interaction to deal with the problem in a healthy way. That means avoiding accusatory or punitive language or body language. Dealing with conflict in this way can actually strengthen relationships!

Get a Coach

Objective feedback and accountability can be just what you need to improve your EQ. Whether you meet with a coach regularly in person, or choose an online coach, an outside perspective can be very helpful in building your EQ and getting constructive feedback.

A Big Payoff

In the end, you can’t control anyone else’s actions but your own, but you can control your reactions. By working every day to improve your emotional intelligence, you better equip yourself to navigate all kinds of relationships, from family to your team at work. Emotional intelligence may be difficult to develop, but with a conscious effort, you can earn a big payoff—better reactions from those around you, and a happier life you’re in control of. It’s a lifelong journey, but in leadership and in life, emotional intelligence will help you reach your goals.

How to Create Trust With Your Employees – JP George

mickyates ideas, Inspiration, Leader, leadership, Organization, Teams, Trust 0 Comments

The act of reading this article shows concern for your staff. It’s certain you have many traits that generate goodwill. Some work practices that encourage trust may already be in place. Conversely, perhaps you’re rebounding from a blunder.

A 2013 study of 290 companies found that employee trust has a significant impact on business performance. Employees who esteem their manager will likely give their best. Here are ways to foster credibility.

  1. Connect on a personal level.

Authoritative positions imply power and influence. Employees automatically fear threatened by corporate stature. This is the observation of psychology professor David DeSteno, author of The Truth About Trust.

You can counteract this anxiety by personally connecting with your staff. Inquire about their interests, hobbies, and family life. Likewise, lower your guard, allowing them to see you as a fellow human being.

Potluck meals promote bonding. Invite staff members to contribute their signature dishes. Some firms host onsite barbecues or off-site picnics. Informal gatherings and sharing food encourage camaraderie.

At staff meetings, announce milestones and achievements, like a child’s graduation, running a marathon, or supporting a charity event. You can also use this forum to give glimpses of your personal interests. You needn’t befriend staff members, but showing you care about them is edifying. From Entrepreneur, here are ways to engage your team.

  1. Keep staff apprised of developments.

Distrust ensues when employees are kept in the dark about work issues. Lack of adequate information breeds insecurity. Even if announcements are potentially upsetting, keep your staff in the loop of company status. Although confidential data is off-limits, try to share what directly affects your team. When feasible, divulge meeting outcomes, business decisions, and your company’s financial standing.

Transparency shows respect and concern for workers. Secrecy undermines trust. Coax goodwill by being honest, underscoring your integrity.

  1. Inspire versus issuing orders.

Employees are more likely to stay with a company that motivates rather than pressures them. There are several ways to spur incentive. One method is modeling enthusiasm. Smile often, make positive comments, and be agreeable. Demonstrate the dedication you’d like to see in your staff.

Note the strengths of each individual, tailoring work to their talents. You can also adapt tasks to personality type. Introverts may excel at telephone customer service. Outgoing staff may be comfortable with presentations. By customizing workers’ responsibilities, you’ll foster commitment to the business in ways that match their abilities.

It’s important to show workers their contributions matter. Emphasize that every role enables your company to function and thrive. For example, if your business has a year-end sales goal, assert that it can’t be met without their vital efforts.

Also, roll up your sleeves, and help with the grunt work. Brew coffee, make copies, run errands, and pitch in where help is needed. By jumping in the trenches alongside workers, you’ll be seen as a team player rather than an aloof boss.

  1. Show appreciation.

Feeling valued is a powerful motivator! When attributes and achievements are recognized, employees are inspired to do their best. Here are some novel employee appreciation ideas:

  1. Have employees vote for “CEO of the Day.” The honoree gets to grant a company-wide privilege, such as:
  • 15 minutes extra for lunch
  • 20 minutes of dancing in the cafeteria
  • 30 minutes of karaoke in the conference room
  1. Arrange lunch for staff with the company president. It’s his job to primarily discuss employees’ personal interests. Curb the office talk!
  1. Offer spontaneous, on-the-spot gifts, acknowledging shining acts of service. For example, reward an eloquent presentation, outstanding telephone etiquette, and a can-do attitude. Possible awards could be gift cards, movie tickets, or leaving 15 minutes early.
  1. Acknowledge special events in a parent’s life with a work-from-home day. This privilege spares the stress of juggling work and family activities. They’re free to be present for their child’s dance recital, school performance, or starting kindergarten.
  1. Bestow a traveling trophy. When you see an employee excel at a task, confer an award they can showcase for a specific length of time. Here’s how to establish a traveling award program.
  1. Grant early departure to a deserving employee with a surprise email, saying, “It’s a beautiful day. Enjoy the rest of it!”
  1. For employees who work long hours, mail thank-you letters to their home addresses. This gesture acknowledges their sacrifice of personal time.

Here are additional ways to recognize employee efforts.

  1. Provide growth opportunities.

You can also instill trust by supporting employee advancement:

  • Host on-site classes and in-service demos.
  • Pay the tuition for courses related to your industry.
  • Fund attendance at business conferences.
  • Enroll staff in expense-paid seminars.
  • Buy a subscription for your team to a career-related magazine.
  • Send employees on business retreats, combining training with relaxation.
  1. Act on feedback.

There are several ways to elicit staff opinion. Some companies display a Suggestion Box. Others send out questionnaires and tabulate results. You can canvass advice at staff meetings. Hold brainstorming sessions or create a think tank. Have you heard this buzzword – hackathon? Computer wizards meet, tackle a problem, and design solutions for websites and mobile apps.

Then, after obtaining insightful ideas, work them into your policies. For example, implement suggestions that can increase revenue, save costs, enhance safety, improve customer service, or upgrade quality standards.

Staff ideas are the basis of innovation! Even somewhat peculiar concepts can be tweaked to succeed. Ingenious products developed by employees are Post-It notes, Gmail, and Sony PlayStation.

Here are other examples of impressive inventions birthed from staff suggestions.

  1. Shun gossip and favoritism.

Both ends of the spectrum kill staff regard for management. Badmouthing an employee hurts a team in two ways. First, it shows they’re vulnerable to the same lack of professionalism. Secondly, it reflects poor leadership. Great managers uplift rather than downgrade employee morale.

Preferential treatment generates bitterness and jealousy among those not favored. Discrimination can be subtle, such as revealing information to certain employees first. It can also be blatant, like only inviting an elite few to lunch. Both types of behavior are prejudicial, a trait contrary to trust.

  1. Follow through on promises.

When a manager defaults on their word, it jeopardizes faith. Even if a lapse stems from forgetfulness, employees feel betrayed.

Make your words golden. If you pledge to discuss an issue with higher-ups, report back to staff with the outcome. If you promise to discipline an employee who’s wronged another, don’t shirk the responsibility. To maintain staff loyalty, keep your commitments.

Here are additional ways to build employee trust.

Seeds of Success

Sow the seeds of trust, and you’ll reap teamwork, helping to reach business goals. To earn employee confidence:

  • Connect on a personal level.
  • Keep staff apprised of developments.
  • Inspire versus issuing orders.
  • Show appreciation.
  • Provide growth opportunities.
  • Act on feedback.
  • Shun gossip and favoritism.
  • Follow through on promises.

Your stellar employees will appreciate you.