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Why Emotional Intelligence is Needed in Leadership

Why Emotional Intelligence is Needed in Leadership

From a very young age, we are taught how to read and write, we are taught about sciences, mathematics, languages, fine arts, and social studies. Unfortunately, though, we are not taught the fundamental skills of emotional intelligence (EI) – the ability to use the information provided by our emotions in an effective and meaningful way; to act appropriately in the face of daily challenges.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotionally intelligent individuals are self-aware, better able to regulate their actions, and have more empathy for others. An increased level of emotional intelligence can also help individuals manage stress better, build healthier relationships, be more effective at work, and be more fulfilled in general. Effective elements of leadership skills include these qualities and soft skills.

Increasing your emotional intelligence means increasing your emotional awareness of both yourself and others. People with high emotional intelligence are able to recognize and manage their own emotions while also being aware of and considering others’ feelings.  Being in tune with how you are projecting yourself and how others perceive your energy is a good indicator of your EI.

Human Resources professionals insist that while a high IQ might get someone hired, a high EQ will get them promoted!  Emotional intelligence skills are critical for career success – your attitude, your work ethic, your communication, conflict management, and stress management.

Consequently, why aren’t schools emphasizing these emotional intelligence skills in the classroom?

As a university professor, I see it almost every day. We, instructors, cause a lot of stress for our students, but we never think to teach them how to manage it.  We put students in teams; but rarely teach them exactly how to work within those teams – or give them any guidelines on how to collaborate with others who have different personalities, communication styles, or cultures.

The same holds true in the corporate world.  Corporations seem to expect people to know how to behave on the job. They assume employees innately know the importance of being on time, taking initiative, being friendly, thinking clearly under pressure, and producing high-quality work.

Why is emotional intelligence important in leadership? Not only is it an important skill to have if you want to be an effective and efficient leader because a “high EI is a [strong] predictor of success,” but EI has the ability to affect various aspects of your leadership role. “Being able to relate behaviors and challenges of emotional intelligence on workplace performance is an immense advantage in building an exceptional team.”

Leadership in today’s environment is all about inspiring, motivating, and igniting passion in others. This helps attract and retain top talent, in addition to increasing productivity. So, how do we coach people to inspire, motivate, and ignite passion? This is done through developing the skills of leading with emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is important in being a successful leader because it helps defeat communication deficiencies that are detrimental to any group and team. When leadership roles are filled with individuals who are not yet emotionally intelligent, communication difficulties arise – team members are not heard, leaders are not able to adapt to individual needs, and messages are lost in the midst of the chaos.

Effective leaders are able to lead their fellow people by understanding their needs and reacting to those needs, not from raw emotions, rather, from self-awareness – “How are my verbal and nonverbal communication styles affecting my team?”

The following are the four key emotional intelligence skills you need to build and enhance to be an effective leader.

How Emotional Intelligence Affects Your Leadership Skills

SELF AWARENESS

Self-awareness is your ability to recognize, understand, and regulate your own emotions, strengths, and weaknesses. Being self-aware allows you to fully understand your personal values, beliefs, motivations, strengths, fears, and limitations. When you know what is important to you, and the external factors which challenge you, you will be able to react in a controlled manner, rather than blowing up without first assessing the situation. This, of course, is an integral characteristic of being a strong leader. There is nothing worse than being in a leadership position and projecting your insecurities to those who you are trying to lead; when you don’t truly know who you are and what you need to work on, the people who are following you will feel just as lost as you appear.

 

SELF-MANAGEMENT

As one of your major duties in a leadership role, you need to be able to foster a positive work environment. Being able to practice self-management means staying focused and composed when times are difficult and trying. This is another important characteristic that leaders need to have.

If you lose your calm and controlled demeanor when situations turn challenging and chaotic, your team members may feel and internalize your energy, and they can project the same disordered dynamic. Inevitably, a lack of self-management will affect your work environment in a significant way – remember, when people look at you as the leader of the pack, they turn to you for cues on how to react and how to respond.

 

SOCIAL AWARENESS

Being socially aware is having the ability to practice compassion. Though closely related, compassion and empathy show differences in their nature. Compassion is the ability to show concern with one’s suffering or needs, whereas, empathy is the capability to understand those feelings and appreciate them as if they were yours – putting yourself in others’ shoes.

Practicing compassion and empathy is imperative in any leadership role. It nurtures a sense of trust between you, the leader, and the individuals you are trying to lead; trust in a group strengthens your personal and collaborative relationships, positioning you in a role of strength.

 

HAVE WELL MAINTAINED RELATIONSHIPS

Emotionally intelligent leaders have well-maintained relationships. They are able to develop and maintain relationships both outside and inside their positions. Conflicts are inevitable. But how are you managing them? Are you a person who blows up and makes the situation worse? Or are you a person who acknowledges the situation and tries to mend the problem, turning it into something productive? If you are the latter of the two, then you are on the right track for exhibiting emotional intelligence. Leaders who are adept at this skill know that conflicts will arise undoubtedly. However, these leaders are able to push through the superficial issues and turn them around into a productive experience from which the entire team can benefit.

There it is, the four personal skills you will need to develop if you want to grow into the kind of powerful, yet personable leader you want to become.

Remember, as an organizational leader, you are leading people, and people have feelings. Ultimately, this means that you are also managing people’s feelings so they are able to produce quality work. By improving your emotional intelligence through the use of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and maintaining relationships, you are en route to honing your leadership skills. If you want more tips on how to Learn More. Be Better, check out our services!

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help leading your organization to success, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

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Five Tips on How to Coach Employees

Five Tips on How to Coach Employees

So, you have been coaching employees within your business for quite some time now. Your employees’ lives have drastically improved and they have achieved more than what they thought possible before. Nonetheless, you feel like you have reached your peak as a coach; you have given them your best work and all the techniques you know, and have taken them as far as you can take them. However, now you’ve run out of tricks up your sleeve, or tools in your toolbox, and you need a kick in the pants to take your coaching career and your coachees’ lives to a whole new level. Luckily, we’re revealing five tips on how to get a grip on coaching for greater effectiveness so that your employees or coachees will be challenged to be their absolute best.

We have all been there…we have all reached a point where we are stagnant in our careers, and we want to push further. When we get complacent in our coaching, we become too comfortable with the coaching techniques and tools we use and share with our clients. Yet, we know deep down inside we need to introduce some new ones for your own skill development. Fundamentally you know you need to be continuously monitoring your work to stay current and ahead of the marketplace in order to enhance your personal coaching brand and increase the value of your coaching sessions.

Let’s be honest. The Internet has assured us that there are no secrets. Anyone can get anything, anytime, anywhere, and for free. Essentially, everyone knows what you know. Therefore, great coaches understand this ideology and constantly strive to accelerate their learning. As a coach, you must be committed to life-long learning, honest personal and professional evaluation, and continuous self-improvement.

With that in mind, here are five tips on how to coach employees and the techniques to use during your coaching sessions to step up your game.

1) Focus on the word “Instead”

Have you ever had a coachee that is faced with a problem, but seems lost as to where they actually want to go? If this is the case, there is a simple technique you can use with them when they lose sight of their goal. It can help them get to where they want to go if they aren’t quite sure where that is.

The coaching technique I have found that works well is to use the word “instead”. For instance when your coachee is faced with a big problem…ask them to focus on the following:

  • What do you want to be doing, INSTEAD of what you are doing now?
  • What do you want to be thinking, INSTEAD of what you are thinking now?
  • What do you want to be feeling, INSTEAD of what you are feeling now?
  • What do you want to be saying, INSTEAD of what you are saying now?

Once they determine what they want to do, think, feel and say, you will be surprised at how quickly your coachee can come up with alternative solutions to do INSTEAD of what they are currently doing.

2) 10,000 Hours to Master Your Craft

In the book Outliers: The Story of Success, author Malcolm Gladwell, says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field.  To motivate your coachee to step up their game, ask them to think about their goal, and work out how many hours they have put into achieving it. Then have them think about how they can increase these hours, and what they can do to reach their goal.

Asking your coachee to break their goal up into the number of hours they have dedicated to will help them figure out a tactical plan on what they need to do to achieve it, and when. Ask them how will they achieve their goal? Do they need support from anyone else? What resources do they need? If any problems come up then what can they do to overcome this?

Focusing on the fact that everyone needs to put in 10,000 hours to master their craft will help your coachee to push themself beyond what they think they can do. This will help them when they need the extra mental energy to push.

Challenge your coachee to push themselves to take one step further to reach their goals, even when they feel they can’t do anymore.

3) Help Them Learn From Their Mistakes

A technique on coaching and developing employees I find to be helpful for my clients is to encourage them to learn from their mistakes. Albert Einstein once said, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

Unfortunately in our society, making mistakes is often frowned upon. However, the purpose of coaching employees is to develop their careers and build meaningful relationships. Mistakes are bound to happen, therefore, the key is for your coachee to learn from their mistakes.

As their coach it is your job to encourage them to try new things…and help them realize that making mistakes should not be so feared or considered taboo. Whatever the past mistakes your coachee feels they have made, as their coach, you need to help them reframe it and look at them as learning opportunities. They need to look back and realize that they made a choice based on the knowledge and experience they had at that particular time, and that’s okay.

If they were faced with making that choice again today, they would make a more informed decision. As a journaling exercise, have your coachee share their learning lessons, and knowing now what they do, have them share how they would make different decisions currently. With their knowledge, ask them what they would do differently today based on what they learned from their mistakes.

4) Set Manageable Goals

To be a better coach, set manageable goals for your employees. Ask your coachee to set a goal that is short and to the point. In the book, Your Brain at Work, author David Rock states, “A goal that is three to seven words is fantastic. If you can’t remember something, it doesn’t live in your world. It’s got to be embedded in your brain.”

Ask your coachee to come up with goals that are expressed positively rather than pessimistically. For instance, “Relax More” versus “Be Less Anxious.” Then ask your coachee to draw out a chart and write down all of the items they want to achieve in one column. In the next seven columns beside each goal ask them to document what they did each day that week to focus on their goal.

By the end of the week, your coachee will have a record of how their week went. Did their actions line up with what they valued or wanted? If not, then why not? Where did their week break down? What areas need their attention?

This is a clear tool and technique for your coachee to see how their actions are lining up with their goals.

5) What Would My Hero Do?

We have all had someone we look up to. It could be a great artist, philanthropist, a fictional hero from the movies or a comic book, or even a mentor or family member.

They embody who you want to be and have something you want. Now ask your coachee what your hero would do to get what they want.

Ultimately your hero is an ideal version of you…a better version of yourself. They will tap into what this third person would do and realize their true potential.  Your coachee will then use the strength, imagination, and qualities that they admire from their hero to get them closer to their own goals.

So there you have it – five coaching points on how to coach employees to help you stay on top of your game. Whether you are a manager or a coach, you need to be constantly finding new techniques that will help you get the best out of your coachee.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If these five coaching tips above are not enough to help you and your coachee maximize your full potential, connect with us for more tips and programs on how to reach your coaching goals.

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How to Build Quality Relationships

How to Build Quality Relationships

In the corporate world, it’s easy to see the importance of relationships, and the benefits they can bring to your business. In his book, Stop Networking! Building Relationships, Meeting New People and Connecting with Authenticity, Mike Fishbein highlights the importance of truly connecting with others on a deeper level versus the superficial niceties we are expected to do at networking events. “Both consciously and subconsciously, people are motivated to do business with people they know, like, and trust.” This means you can’t just try to develop a relationship with someone because you want/need something from them. There needs to be a benefit to both parties. Not to mention, people know when you are trying to befriend them for ulterior motives. This is where emotional intelligence comes in. We need to strengthen our interpersonal skills and develop mutually satisfying relationships in business.

Dale Carnegie, in his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, states, “If we want to make friends, let’s put ourselves out to do things for other people things that require time, energy, unselfishness, and thoughtfulness.” This means we need to learn to be more supportive. Being socially responsible means caring about others and contributing to the community. That community may be the community in which they live, the organization in which they work, or the people in which they lead. In essence, it means giving back.

On a personal level, we all know how much high-quality relationships matter. In his e-book, Transformation Truths, Brandon Burchard states, “Much of the quality of your life depends on the quality of your relationships. Healthy relationships are those that support your well-being and growth.” Having strong connections with others satisfies a basic human need for us to be close to and supported by others. Many studies show we are happier, healthier, and can even live longer when we have solid relationships in our lives. Helen Keller, an American author, political activist, and lecturer, who also happened to be the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree said it best, “walking alone in the dark with a friend is better than walking alone in the light.”

So, knowing all of this, why is taking time to strengthen our relationships put on hold so often? Many people have difficulties networking & building professional and/or personal relationships. For some, the ability to build strong connections comes naturally; for others, it is a challenge.

Here are four simple tips to deepen your relationships:

1. Schedule It

We often get so caught up in our daily activities that we don’t stop to take time to strengthen our relationships. We may forget the importance of scheduling time with friends. Whether it is a week or a month in advance, make sure you have a day and time picked out to spend time together. Scheduling a specific date instead of saying something like, “let’s hang out next week sometime,” will dramatically increase the chances that it will happen. Tony Robbins states, “If you talk about it, it’s a dream, if you envision it, it’s possible, but if you schedule it, it’s real.” When you actually schedule something, you are making it a priority in your life.

2. Disconnect to Connect

With technology limiting our face-to-face interaction, building strong relationships is more valuable and more challenging than ever before. When you are out with others, be it business or pleasure, unplug and listen! Today, the majority of our communications are filtered through virtual media devices. Multitasking is commonplace. When you put your phone down and listen, you will improve your listening skills and become a better friend or business partner. The quality of time you are spending will improve, and it will give your brain the much-needed break from the next item on your to-do list.

3. Don’t Be Judgemental

As we get older, we tend to settle into our daily routine and may even start judging others who do things differently than us. It’s important to be open-minded and realize that different people do different things. Jim Morrison stated it best, “A friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself.” Instead of judging your relationships, try instead to understand the person. Use your emotional intelligence and empathy skills, and try to put yourself in their shoes. This open-mindedness could create an opportunity to face a problem in your life with a different perspective, open up the potential of a business idea, or make you more effective at communicating with that challenging team member.

4. Stay Connected

Making time is important, but staying connected when you are not physically together is just as important. Like most of us, your schedule may fill up quickly, the to-do list is never-ending, and you forget to schedule time for yourself, let alone for your friends. Your friends, peers, or subordinates will appreciate you checking in, even if you don’t have time to get that face-to-face time scheduled.

Follow these four simple tips, and you will be one step closer to building stronger friendships!

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our monthly newsletter here!

If you need help building quality relationships in your organization, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

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The Art and Science of Leadership

The Art and Science of Leadership

Leadership is a science and an art. To be a great leader, one needs to incorporate both dimensions.

George Ambler said “The science of leadership concerns the observations, study and classification of leadership practices, resulting in a reliable explanation of what makes leaders effective”. Styles, traits, behaviours, and contingencies are topics in the scientific model of leadership, where each explanatory approach is carefully designed and tested. The scientific approach then attempts to define leadership and report on its effectiveness.

The art of leading is not an issue of evidence, it is an issue of awareness and choice.

Artful leaders first need to explore and become aware of what their personal and organizational values are. Then, they need to make the choice of whether they want to connect and live by their values, and if so, lead accordingly.

Exploring leadership as an art, leaders are asked to look inwards, perhaps at an unconscious level, and on occasion, make decisions based on their intuition or “gut feelings.” Times have changed, and leaders are moving at a much faster pace, and are confronted with issues more complex and diverse than ever. Artful leaders need to blend their rational thinking with their intuitive skills to make important decisions.

The art of leadership is about learning and gaining different perspectives.  Leaders need to be aware of how to trigger their own insights, in addition to triggering those of their team. Profound personal and team learning can occur when leaders choose to incorporate different techniques such as questioning, storytelling, humour, and reflection.

Julian Barling, author of The Science of Leadership discusses how often organizations make mistakes in regards to leadership as they are always looking at the big picture, and missing the fact that what really inspires employees is the small behaviours their leaders display. Leaders who are able to lead their teams to success are the ones who have awareness of how their leadership style impacts those around them.

Understanding how the concepts of values, intuition, and insight are used in leadership as an art and sciencethrough awareness and making more artful choices, a leader can improve their effectiveness.

To learn more about leading with emotional intelligence and how it impacts your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help upskilling your leadership skills, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

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Mastering Self-Leadership

Mastering Self-Leadership

Self-leadership is the ability to use your own personal strengths efficiently and effectively as well as having a proper understanding of your own personal behaviors. It is characterized by the 8 c’s of self-leadership: compassion, clarity, curiosity, calmness, confidence, creativity, courage, and connectedness. It is the ability to use your own personal strengths efficiently and effectively as well as having a proper understanding of your own personal behaviors. The question we should ask ourselves is; how can we lead others when we are not able to lead ourselves? Mastering self-leadership applies not only to your business life but to your personal life also.

SELF-AWARENESS IS THE KEY TO EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP.

One of the most important things you need in order to be a self-leader is self-awareness. In order to be a great self-leader, we must be able to identify our own strengths and weaknesses. What are you good at? What do you need to improve on? Self-reflection is a great way to identify this. Once you are aware of what your personal strengths and weaknesses are, then you take on leadership roles that you will be good at in regards to your strengths, or that will personally challenge you in regards to your weaknesses.

Being a great self-leader also means being able to seek and be okay with feedback from others. When looking at our own strengths and weaknesses we can sometimes be biased. Seeking feedback from others allows you to get a different opinion, which may reveal something about yourself that you never thought of before. Although you may not always agree with someone else’s feedback, it is still extremely helpful to look at it from a different perspective. Sometimes we see ourselves differently than how others see us, and this is not always a good thing.

As a self-leader, you must always empower yourself as opposed to discouraging yourself.

Israelmore Ayivor stated, “those who mistrust their own abilities are being too wicked to themselves, discouraging themselves from doing what they should have been excelling in. If you are good at discouraging yourself, you can’t be a good leader because leadership is built on inspiring others to face challenges.”

In order to master self-leadership, you must truly know who you are, the good and the bad. You must be able to overcome challenges and take full responsibility for all your actions. You must be honest and truthful with yourself and others. Being a great self-leader means being the best you and embracing all your strengths and weaknesses. If you love, embrace, and are proud of who you are, others will shortly follow.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it impacts your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help mastering self-leadership, book a call with us here; we’d love to offer self-leadership coaching or provide support in any way we can.

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