Throughout the past 6 months the amount of writing on certain points has probably been a little overkill with blogs on remote working, crisis management and digital transformation being written a thousand times over! Now this isn’t a bad thing, here at Collingwood we have produced lots of material looking at these exact points as there is no doubt they are increasingly important at the moment. However, what has surprised me with so much of the content written is the focus on NOW! Of course certain things are more important now than they were in January, take digital transformation as a case in point, but so many of these topics have always been and always will be critical to success.
The importance of emotional intelligence in a leader is a perfect example. Organisations globally now have increasingly diverse workforces, with a real blend of gender, ethnicity and age, this places real pressure on leaders to understand that this means an organisation and its leaders need to be agile and emotionally intelligent enough to understand that different individuals have different emotional needs, are motivated in different ways and the old rule with an iron fist blanket approach is long gone.
Now of course, at times of crisis that becomes increasingly important and employees needs reassuring and should be made to feel secure, comfortable and motivated. But as an organisation and a leader this isn’t a focus that should be reserved just for times of crisis - A study in 2018 showed that employees who felt their leader demonstrated high emotional intelligence were 4x less likely to leave their organisation, crisis or no crisis. There are so many benefits that come from leading with emotional intelligence – Talent attraction, talent retention, employee productivity, employee creativity are just some of the positive outcomes on offer. But surely any leader and organisation would want this all the time?
Here are a few of the considerations and changes you can make to start improving your emotional intelligence;
- Focus on being approachable and sociable.
- Empathise with others and seek to understand their situation.
- Focus on self-awareness. Always focus on how your actions may be perceived by others.
- Be considered and not reactive.
Of course the above will help massively at the moment, with distributed teams and increased pressure placing increased emotional pressure on everyone. However there is no doubt that this is how employees now want to be led, research shows us that the best leaders demonstrate emotional intelligence and the reason they are considered the best, is because their leadership typically translates into results.
Our research over the past two decades demonstrates that emotional and social competence are essential components of effective leadership, particularly the kind of entrepreneurial leadership needed to navigate the uncertainty and ambiguity we currently face