Emotional intelligence is a critical part of our personal development. It not only impacts our personal lives, but can also have a positive (or very negative) effect in the workplace. Possessing low emotional intelligence can keep you from getting ahead or make you look like a bad manager once you do.
Managers have a responsibility to bring out the best in their team members.
As a good manager, you need to get to know your employees and try to anticipate how they will handle certain situations. If you’re about to relay information that has a significant impact, it’s important to give a lot of thought as to how and when to deliver this information. In fact, delivering sensitive information is perhaps the hardest thing a manager has to do and one of the biggest tests of emotional intelligence.
You’d be surprised by how many people tell me their managers notified them of major changes in their responsibilities in front of someone else, over text after hours or on a Friday evening right before the weekend.
It’s important to recognize that there are many pitfalls that can derail even the most emotionally intelligent managers.
These pitfalls are both external and internal and impact your personal brand as a manager. External examples include things like global company deadlines and the added pressure they create. Internal examples include your own emotions. It isn’t easy to have difficult conversations or deliver unwelcome news. As a manager, you’re not immune to the instinct to avoid unpleasant situations. Unconsciously, a desire to quickly deliver information and move on can take over. However, going against your better judgement will only sabotage the situation in the end. You can’t motivate your team and make sure they do their best work when catering to your own emotions before those of the people you lead. If you do fall into these or other pitfalls, it’s critical to be communicative and address it. Communicate to your employee that you recognize you made a mistake.
But here’s the good news.
Emotional intelligence can be developed and it only takes one minute to check in with yourself to get started. Be sure you’re acting with the highest emotional intelligence possible by asking yourself one question. How would I feel if I were on the receiving end of this news? Put yourself in the employee’s shoes. Consider how they are going to take this information and then adjust your delivery. Of course, not all your team members will react the same way. It’s up to you to know your employees and manage accordingly.
While there are many facets to emotional intelligence, being empathetic is key. As a manager, you need to understand when empathy is needed and how to apply it. Your relationship with your employees as well as your own job satisfaction will improve because of it.