Emotional intelligence for leaders
We are now 20 years into this century, and it has become increasingly clear that with new, emerging business challenges and younger employees, the qualities of a “good” leader have also evolved.
Of course many would agree that this still must be someone who can make strong business decisions, but others would add that a good leader nowadays should also be able to connect with each team member and create a welcoming, positive work environment.
This could perhaps be summarized as someone who could decide using one’s mind but runs the organization using one’s heart.
We asked Anna Esperanza, our resource person on leadership and organizational development, to explain further what these traits are.
Leaders having high levels of emotional (EQ) and social (SQ) intelligence tend to be excellent at working with teams—either face to face or electronically. They are great in decoding the mind of the other, even with a simple email.
EQ and SQ are simply having the ability to manage your self: one’s reaction toward others and how these reactions affect other people.
To develop further one’s innate EQ and SQ, it requires self-awareness, self-regulation and social perceptiveness.
Simply know and understand how you are wired. Observe your levels of energy in a day, your feelings toward certain people or situations, your environmental preferences, your sources of motivation and disillusionment.
Keep tabs and get to know yourself to help you understand your own unique personal dynamics.
For example, if you are the type with higher energy in the morning, it will be beneficial to you and others if you set meetings in the morning.
Have one-on-one discussions with your team members when you can give your utmost attention.
Once you understand yourself, it is easy to know how you react to your external environment. Learn to control what you can: your reaction and subsequent action. Flag your triggers, decide to have a change in behavior and respond with an appropriate reaction. Self-regulation reflects one’s personal accountability and mutual respect to the team.
For instance, there may be times that you feel uncomfortable with a specific person in the workplace. You don’t trust him/her and nothing he/she does seems to meet your standards.
It will be helpful to step back and reflect why. The trigger might be because he/she reminds you of a classmate who bullied you in school. From this self-awareness, you need to decide on the steps to take for a more productive environment for the two of you.
When you self-regulate your actions, it needs to be in sync with your social perception of the situation. Do learn to read and get cues from your environment, using empathy as your means to discern human observations.
When you get the knack of reading emotions of other people, you will be better at responding appropriately.
For example, conflicts among team members are usually downplayed especially in the Filipino workplace. But when you are able to identify and resolve this quickly, everyone saves time and energy and is able to enjoy doing tasks.
Ultimately, having high levels of emotional and social intelligence in your organization builds up its collective leadership style and sets the tone of your company culture.
Esperanza will facilitate a course titled “Emotional Intelligence in Leadership: Knowing Yourself and Leading Your Team Effectively” on Nov. 26.
The Inquirer Academy is at 4168 Don Chino Roces Ave. corner Ponte St., Makati City. For more information about the workshops or if you would like to add your input on the article, please email [email protected], call (02) 8-834-1557, (02) 8-771-2715 or (0945) 2158935 and look for Jerald Miguel or Karl Paz, or visit www.inquireracademy.com.
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