The importance of emotional intelligence in leadership continues to rise. While it is recognised that Emotional Intelligence is important in all levels of a business, it becomes more crucial in leadership. Studies show a direct negative impact of bad leaders on employee morale and retention, as well as productivity. Emotionally intelligent leaders are more self aware and aware of the needs of those they serve, leading to high employee retention rates, as well as developing companies that are known for being a great place to work.
Here are five questions that leaders high in Emotional Intelligence ask themselves daily:
Did I recognise people when they went above and beyond?
One thing that leaders high in Emotional Intelligence excel at is to constantly look for opportunities to show appreciation to their team members who do something well. They are aware that broad appreciation is the lazy way out for leadership and can actually be a demotivator for those who are going above and beyond. Because of this awareness, they spend the time and effort to get to know the roles of their team in order to spot those who are excelling.
Did I empower enough?
Leaders constantly walk a line between giving their team enough freedom and taking charge when necessary to prevent things from going off the rails. Recognising the importance of allowing people to create, take calculated risks, and learn and grow from mistakes, they allow their team maximum freedom. These leaders are constantly asking themselves where they are in terms of giving their people freedom vs stepping in when they see things going in the wrong direction.
Am I listening well enough?
Leaders high in Emotional Intelligence are great communicators. As well as being able to get their message and ideas across, they know the importance of being effective listeners. They excel not only at giving clear messages, but also at being aware of what is going on with their team. This helps them understand their teams and gives them early indicators of what their concerns and challenges are. They are able to become aware of (and resolve) issues before they become a crisis.
Am I supporting my team to deliver their goals?
Emotionally intelligent leaders not only know the roles of the people who work with to them, but also are aware of these teams’ individual goals. They want to know if their current roles are satisfying, and if they are learning and growing toward their overall goals. With leaders aware of the individual goals let’s team members know that they care about what benefits they bring to the business and show that they want to support their overall personal goals.
Is my business vision clear and consistent?
One of the roles of a leader is sharing a clear and consistent vision for their business with their team. The desired outcome is not only that everyone is aware of the goals and vision they are working toward, but also that they know how their individual roles contribute to that outcome. An emotionally intelligent leader is open, transparent, and timely in sharing changes within a business, as well giving continuous updates in how well the team is doing at reaching their vision.