Evolving leadership in 2020 (what a year!) and beyond means elevating emotional intelligence in business. As we examine the impacts of remote work socially and psychologically, there will be a greater focus on quality communication and sustaining motivation. This being said, in what ways can emotional intelligence heighten leadership and motivation, especially virtually?
Most people would summarize emotional intelligence as reading the emotions of others, but its features and uses are more nuanced. Understanding and reading emotions may seem less applicable without in person interactions when in fact, the opposite is true… is that person on Zoom laughing or crying? Are they holding a beer?… We joke, but that’s why this post will breakdown the pillars of emotional intelligence and strategies used by leaders with high EQs.
What Is The Role Of Emotional Intelligence In Business?
Increasing your awareness of emotional responses can uncover how people are motivated, how they ask for help, and how they work with others. Creating management styles around this information builds a strong sense of culture and belonging. A recent survey done by Slack on remote work and collaboration revealed that 45% of newly remote workers said that their sense of belonging suffers at home.
The study also found that nearly half of experienced remote workers felt their sense of belonging was better at home. These stats appear to be conflicting, but they actually imply that a successful remote work culture can be built and nourished over time, and EI is a big part of this.
Overall, the role of emotional intelligence in business is multifold, for managers and interacting with coworkers. Utilizing your EI can be as simple as identifying where recognition is needed on your team, or where stamina is waning.
The 5 Key Features Of Practicing Emotional Intelligence
The first aspect of emotional intelligence may also be the most challenging. Practicing self-awareness means identifying your emotions, strengths, weaknesses, and how you interact best with others. Being more observant of yourself and your impact on others heightens your awareness of your surroundings.
→ In practice: check in with how you react to certain people or recurring situations. Is there something that needs to be addressed more directly?
→ In practice: Take an extra ten seconds to form a response. Better decisions and evaluations can be made after our gut feelings have passed.
A hallmark of emotionally intelligent individuals is being self-motivated beyond reasons of status, money, or external approval.
→ In practice: Listen to and elevate other people. Giving someone your undivided attention can actually mean a lot these days. Also, share the ways you stay motivated in team meetings.
Has anyone ever told you to read the room? Hopefully not, as this remark is usually directed at those who forget to take stock of others’ emotions. Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s position.
→ In practice: Imagine how you might feel under the pressure of someone else’s role. Then, imagine how you might go about solving those issues to meet someone where they are.
Or social skills, this feature of EQ is perhaps the most important in leadership. Understanding how to effectively manage, diffuse, or motivate others is emotional intelligence in action.
→In practice: Pay attention to how others react. People will tell you a lot in their body language and facial expressions, and you can even bring about a more open conversation by asking people to unpack their thoughts on a situation, whether positive or negative.
How To Elevate Your Team’s Awareness Of EI
While emotional intelligence in business comes naturally to some, it’s good for humanity that EI can be improved and practiced. Leaders that have a high sense of emotional intelligence lead more successful teams because they foster authentic connections and trusting relationships with employees and clients.
Consider the exercise of “finding meaning.” Ask your team members to share what they are grieving, as they are comfortable, and how are they finding meaning through it. For example, many missed in person graduation celebrations this year, but instead cherished unique time with their children that may not have come about otherwise. Taking a moment to listen to someone’s joy or struggle allows us to support one another on a higher level. In some way, ensure there are opportunities for offering appreciation and genuine communication.
When it comes to managing remotely, each and every employee will have a different personal road map. As a business built on fostering relationships, emotional intelligence is crucial to understanding the needs of our clients and employees in complicated times. We have seen in real time how being emotionally in tune helps your team and brand flourish. In this way, being intentional about how your company’s values come across in practice is foundational to growing emotional intelligence in your organization.
Here at BWBacon Group, we know and live what you are experiencing as an employer or job seeker in Denver, Boulder, Dallas, San Francisco, New York City or any of the other cities we work in. We believe great recruiting starts and ends with understanding people.
If you have any questions about living, working or playing any of the areas we serve, please contact us. We are happy to help. Seize the day, every day, that’s what we say!