Emotional Intelligence is the secret sauce of leadership. First, clarify what your strengths are in the following three:
- Self-Awareness - know when you are experiencing an emotion and why
- Self- Regulation - know how to calm your emotional state down when appropriate
- Empathy - see and know the emotional state of others
Of these three, I find empathy the most challenging. With our customers, any combination of these three can occur. The good news is that your emotions are a personal call to action - you telling yourself that something needs to change. Learning to listen to that inner voice is critical to great leadership. Emotions are a muscle, that with practice, are easily grown.
There are many EQ assessments and programs. I believe emotions are the critical drivers of awesome and terrible leadership. Businesses are starting to pay close attention to the EQ of their leaders and teams. My advice is to start simply - focus on just these three. We're all prone to trying to do too much, and the same can happen in growing EQ.
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In addition, leaders need to make sure that the people they lead are healthy. It's hard enough to exercise, sleep, eat well and manage emotions effectively. And it's also the leaders responsibility to be aware (empathy) of the signals from members of their team that all is not well. The leader may not be the right person to intervene in every problem and he/she is the right person to coach and direct to the best resources.