Emotional Intelligence is Key

In today’s ever-evolving world, only 21% of global employees are engaged. This affects retention, performance, trust, well-being, or leadership development. If you’re like most organizations right now, you are experiencing challenges in one or more of these areas. Think about how many resources go into addressing those issues. The good news is that Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a key driver in engagement, accounting for as much as 70% of the variation. And it is something that can be exercised and grown, like muscles.

EQ skills are also repeatedly named as some of the most critical for leading during the times we are living in. In fact, leaders high in EQ are 7x as likely to be high in leadership performance outcomes. And organizations that prioritize EQ development are 22x as likely to be high performing.

When leaders develop their EQ and their teams, they are able to:

  • Embrace Adaptability: Emotional intelligence enables leaders to adapt to change and uncertainty. They recognize the emotions that surface during challenging times and are able to manage them effectively, while also accessing the wisdom carried by them. Leaders and teams with high EQ regularly reflect and learn, knowing that change is an ever-present reality.
  • Communicate clearly: Clear and open communication is essential when facing complex challenges. Leaders with emotional intelligence understand the importance of effective communication. They listen actively, express their thoughts and concerns clearly, and encourage curiosity and dialogue within the team. This facilitates the exchange of ideas, fosters collaboration, and helps surface new possibilities out of tension and conflict.
  • Cultivate Empathy and Well-being: As employee well-being continues to decline in many industries, leaders and team members need to be able to empathize with each other. They also need to be able to offer themselves self-compassion. By understanding and acknowledging the emotions and needs that they and others may be experiencing, leaders can provide support. This cultivates a sense of trust, reassures team members, and strengthens relationships, fostering a resilient and united team. It also provides support and space for well-being on a continuous basis.
  • Encourage Emotional Resilience: Emotional intelligence helps leaders and teams resiliently bounce back from setbacks and adversities. Emotionally intelligent leaders create a psychologically safe environment where team members feel comfortable expressing their emotions and concerns. By acknowledging and validating these feelings, leaders empower their teams to rebound, learn from failures, and uncover novel solutions.
  • Facilitate Problem Solving and Innovation: Emotional intelligence equips leaders and teams with skills to address complex problems effectively. They remain calm and composed in high-pressure situations, maintain a strategic focus, and encourage collaboration. They are able to surface choices and possibilities in seemingly tight situations. Leaders with emotional intelligence inspire creative thinking and support the development of innovative solutions by promoting diverse perspectives within their teams.
  • Foster a Positive Work Culture: Emotional intelligence enables leaders to cultivate a positive work culture even in challenging times. They lead by example, promoting authenticity, optimism, and resilience. By acknowledging team members’ efforts and achievements, providing engaged feedback, and recognizing their strengths, leaders create an environment where individuals feel valued, motivated, and more likely to lend their full support during challenging times. They also solicit and welcome feedback, hold themselves accountable for their actions, and model a learning mindset.
  • Build Trust and Loyalty: Emotional intelligence plays a crucial role in building trust and loyalty within the team. Leaders with high emotional intelligence are transparent, reliable, and genuine in their interactions. They create an atmosphere of trust and psychological safety, where team members feel comfortable sharing their concerns, seeking feedback, and taking calculated risks.

What could be possible if you and your team boosted just one of these qualities?

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