Many leaders have discovered that emotional intelligence isn’t about being weak or indecisive. It’s a valuable tool that helps them connect with their employees and create happier workplaces. The trap we tend to fall in is thinking that only certain emotions are acceptable in the workplace and others are inappropriate. Emotions are a valuable tool to understand how our employees are doing and what may need some additional attention. Here are three key ways that leaders can use emotional intelligence to improve the functioning of their workplaces.
Be Able to Read People More Accurately
Have you ever worked for someone who seemed to react the same way regardless of the situation? Perhaps they had no idea that people have emotions for a reason. Emotions signal that something needs attention. A leader who has a high degree of emotional intelligence will be able to tell what’s going on with a person and will be comfortable dealing with whatever emotion comes his or her way. They use emotions to create workplaces that run more smoothly instead of environments where everything comes to a screeching, uncomfortable halt when someone feels something.
Empathic leaders understand what their employees are going through and are able to let them experience their own feelings. They can step outside their own heads and give importance to someone else’s perspective. Leaders like this aren’t uncomfortable when emotions come their way and they comprehend that other people’s way of dealing with things may be different but is not inferior, weak or inappropriate. They understand that emotions aren’t something to run away from but an opportunity to make a difference and help people grow. Empathic leaders set an example by accepting emotions and using them to create more cohesive and caring workplace.
Being Comfortable with Your Own Emotions
Many experienced leaders have found out that when they are comfortable with their own emotions (and not just happiness and anger) they are able to deal with a range of situations in the workplace. Healthy leaders have learned how to deal with their own emotions and use them in a positive way that improves workplace functioning. They know how to not let their own personal feelings affect others negatively and lead from a perspective that uses emotions as a way to build better relationships with themselves and others. Leaders who understand and accept their own emotions are less likely to overreact or behave inappropriately toward others.
The next time you notice some kind of emotion visiting your workplace think of these three key tips to use it as a tool to improve your workplace. You’ll find that, as you and everyone else get comfortable with accepting emotions, your workplace becomes a more enjoyable place to be. How will you encourage emotional intelligence in your workplace?