Managing with emotional intelligence
What does it take to be a great manager? If you think it’s subject matter expertise or the ability to adapt quickly to change, you’re only partly right. To lead others effectively, managers also need a high degree of emotional intelligence—the capacity to understand their own and respond effectively to other people’s emotions.
The missing link
Although individuals with subject matter expertise are often promoted to management positions, technical know-how and effective leadership are two different skillsets. This explains why new leaders sometimes struggle to connect with team members, enhance engagement, and forge meaningful relationships. Without appropriate training, managers don’t always realize the role that human factors play in motivating their people and interacting productively with employees, clients, and other key stakeholders.
Making managers stronger
Managers responsible for people leadership need a clear framework and training in the soft skills necessary for maximum success. In many cases, this means taking steps to enhance their emotional intelligence—and it’s true for both new managers, as well as experienced leaders interested in improving their people management skills.
One of the foundational elements of managing with emotional intelligence involves gaining a clear understanding of your own relational strengths, as well as your blind spots as a leader. Through this level of awareness, you can start to notice how you react to emotionally-charged situations—equipping you to self-regulate. This does more than instill confidence in the people around you. It also helps you understand the struggles others face in difficult situations, so you can effectively guide staff through challenging experiences and help them respond positively to conflict and change.
Communicate with care
Armed with a practical understanding of emotional intelligence, leaders can do more than interpret and understand their own, and their team’s, emotional states. They can also:
- Connect with others more effectively to improve interpersonal interactions
- Strengthen team performance by better managing relational dynamics
- Engage more effectively with the viewpoint of another person—enhancing tolerance and empowering team members to share diverse opinions
- Become more aware of their impact on others
- Better manage challenging personalities
- Strengthen their ability to deal effectively with conflict and change
- Help to embed a culture of emotional intelligence throughout the organization by leading by example
Strengthen your leadership skills
In today’s high-pressure business environment, emotions can often run high. Understanding how to identify emotional triggers before they impact organizational performance is increasingly critical.