Emotional Intelligence has only been around for about 3 decades. Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer coined the term ‘Emotional Intelligence‘ in 1990 describing it as “a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and action.” (history on EI)
HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Emotional Intelligence has several articles providing great insight on what it takes for leaders to develop EI. The book talks about the key components to emotional intelligence which includes:
Self-awareness | Self Regulation | Motivation | Empathy | Social Skills.
Some of my favorite quotes from the book below:
“It’s tough when markets change and your people within the company don’t.”
Innovation is key to keeping ANY business sustainable and relevant. Change in markets, customers, technology all affect the destiny of a company and in order to succeed, the people within the organization have to grow and change with the company. More often than not, companies “blink”, meaning they are too comfortable with current operations of a business and are afraid to change. This sets the company up for future long term failures.
Leaders motivational and empathy EI will assess the changes needed in the talent and culture to get them to the next level. Great leaders will bring out the best in others to evolve and help them grow as the company grows, that is if people are on board to do so.
“Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile has conducted extensive research on employees working in creative endeavors in order to understand how work environments foster or impede creativity and innovation. She has consistently found that work environments in which employees have a high degree of operational autonomy lead to the highest degree of creativity and innovation. Operational autonomy, of course, can be seen as the extreme version of process fairness.”
As leaders, trust your people by creating environments that foster autonomy. Allow employees to solve through innovation and back them on ideas that are viable and worth investing in. Take a chance on your employee’s solutions for internal improvements.
“Once you become a victim, you cease to become a leader,”
How do you handle internal change?
Go with the flow?
Kick and scream?
How you self regulate to maintain a focused leaders mindset will keep you out of the downward spiral of becoming a victim and not acknowledging your role in the choices it takes to move the company in the right direction.
“Smile and the world will smile at you”
We as humans will pick up and take on emotional cues from leaders in the workplace.
Laughter is the most contagious emotion. Use humor during presentations or work conversations (refrain from being sarcastic).
Be the beacon of light with your smile and eye contact and help spread a positive emotion position throughout the workplace. As a leader, say hi to new faces, and take the time to know your team.
The book covers so much more about Emotional Intelligence, I highly encourage you to read the section on how effective managers manage their negative thoughts and feelings. It provides deeper insights on how to recognize your patterns, label thoughts and emotions, accept them and act on your values.
Whether you’re managing 10,000 people or new to the management role, HBR Emotional Intelligence is one of those key books that will help shape your ability to be an effective leader.