The ability to interpret, understand and appropriately respond to other people's emotions is incredibly important in the business world. That's called emotional intelligence, and great leaders use it to better understand their employees, connect with their clients and build stronger businesses.
Leading with emotional intelligence can create a teamwork-inspired environment and increase productivity. Here's how to use it in your office to produce maximum outcomes and boost your business:
Care About Your Employees
True leaders are able to balance their hearts with their heads. This means sometimes letting up on employee expectations and showing compassion. Employees want to be appreciated, and bosses who consistently say “thank you” for good work and mentor employees are rewarded with better performance, increased loyalty and a stronger team.
Today's work environment is more diverse than ever before, and people want to feel free to be themselves at work. Embrace the difference in your team, and leverage what makes your employees unique to make the best use of abilities and talents. Celebrate the differences while also looking for common ground that will unite your team.
Great leaders are still equals with their employees on many levels – they hold themselves accountable, they follow the same rules of engagement, and they are integrated members of the team instead of mysterious, unavailable entities in a corner office. Be brave enough to admit when you are wrong, show your employees you can be trusted, work on improving your weaknesses and be approachable.
The best leaders use emotional intelligence to give feedback, make suggestions and guide their employees to realizing their full potential. Be mindful of your employees' needs and help them grow and mature in their positions, even if a project has ended or a department's performance has already met expectations. Invest in your employees in this way, and they will become more engaged and invested in your business.
Effective communication is a hallmark of emotional intelligence. Work on clearly conveying directions to your staff, stay in communication regularly and really practice the art of listening. Too often, people equate communication with talking, but great leaders know that listening is the most important part of the skill.
Resolve Conflicts with Emotional Intelligence
Conflicts in the workplace disrupt efficiency and threaten productivity. Handle conflicts the emotionally intelligent way – by listening to both sides and creating a fair resolution that restores workplace productivity.