Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
With Covid-19 firmly in the rear-view mirror in most parts of the world, entrepreneurs are now developing creative ways to mold inclusive and healthy work environments for employees. Rocky economic forecasts make this even more vital as companies double down on profitability overgrowth. Stay caught up; join the wise employers who swear by leading with emotional intelligence.
What is emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence is the ability or quality that enables leaders to confront challenges with patience, insight and control. Through emotional intelligence, leaders achieve a higher level of problem-solving in the work environment. The ability to identify and monetize opportunities is also improved through emotional intelligence. Here are a few ways to pivot 2023 output by leading with emotional intelligence.
How to lead with emotional intelligence
1. Embrace diversity:
Diversity in the workplace is synonymous with variety in the human body. We each rely on copious amounts of biological systems, cogs and energy to stay alive and thrive. Every cell in your body varies slightly from the next, and so does the workforce. Each employee is different in their unique way. As a leader, it is important to embrace each employee with their eccentricities without judgment or victimization.
2. Prioritize the needs of your employees:
The best way to create a positive work environment is by considering your employee’s needs at every step. Employees are more likely to perform exceptionally in 2023 when they feel their needs are being met.
3. Practice self-awareness:
Self-awareness is recognizing how your emotions impact your behavior, particularly toward your employees. Leaders who lack self-awareness often have a high employee turnover. According to a study performed by Georgetown University, the average employee lost commitment to their jobs due to low emotional intelligence displayed by leaders.
The best way to develop self-awareness is by closely examining your behavior and attitude toward employees. How do you react when slighted? Are you calm and collected, or do you fly into a rage? Introspection will open your eyes to your flaws; if it does not work, you can always ask your employees for feedback.
3. Keep emotions in check:
Let’s face it, life is not always a walk in the park, especially when running a company. However, when dealing with employees, you must keep your emotions in check. A huge part of emotional intelligence is learning to identify different emotions you are experiencing. If you notice you get angry often, try and deal with the situation without reacting emotionally. Instead, employ facts and empathy to deal with the situation and see how it goes.
4. Learn new concepts:
Learning is a lifelong journey for everyone looking to keep growing. Learning new ways to manage situations as a leader is a fantastic way to keep your employees satisfied. Show your subordinates that you are making an effort to change, and they will be grateful and more cooperative in their daily tasks. Some new concepts you can pick to help with emotional intelligence include the art of meditating and empathy.
Journaling is a fantastic way to express your thoughts and emotions, giving them form. Through journaling, you can identify wanting behavior and also learn about critical triggers in your daily life. Once you know where you are going wrong, you can swiftly devise a plan of action to improve your behavior for the company’s sake.
6. Learn to communicate effectively:
Excellent and practical communication skills are among the more positive byproducts of emotional intelligence. However, excellent communication skills can sometimes be used to achieve higher emotional intelligence. As a leader, your communication skills must always be on point. When it comes to communication, everything from the tone to how you say something matters. When it comes to communication, it is not always one size fits all, so you need to learn how to approach each employee for maximum impact.
The benefits of emotional intelligence
1. Reduced employee turnover:
Emotionally intelligent people can maintain a level head in high-stress situations. They can see the reality for what it is by reading through numerous guises employees put up. In the highly competitive business industry, employers struggle to keep good talentand emotional mastery is one of the top tools to achieve this goal.
2. Improved output:
A leader with high emotional intelligence can make all employees feel like they belong. When employees feel a sense of fitting in, they are more than likely to put in extra effort toward daily tasks. In the current challenging economic times, companies are placing more value on output and profitability, which makes this benefit even more valuable to your business.
3. Better teamwork:
Like other forms, emotional intelligence can be transferred through practice and teaching. Showing your team emotional intelligence will likely rub off and create better teamwork. People with high emotional intelligence communicate better within their teams, making them work better together.
4. Creates a healthy working environment:
In a work environment where leaders have high emotional intelligence, the employees enjoy a healthy work environment. Employees are also more likely to enjoy longer and more fruitful careers. A leader with a high emotional quotient (EQ) can maintain excellent relationships within the company, encouraging teamwork and innovation. Employees also enjoy growth opportunities with the support of said leaders who nurture and support the employee’s interests.
The data is in, and the numbers strongly suggest that leading with emotional intelligence allows you and your company to identify and grab more opportunities. 2023 is the year you should add emotional intelligence to your wheelhouse, for posterity’s sake. Harness the exponential potential hidden in emotional intelligence, and make 2023 your best-performing year yet.