The idea of emotional intelligence has been around for quite some time now, but it seems to be gaining ground as leaders try to become more authentic and to lead in ways that get the best from their people and encourage them to be fully engaged in their work.
Emotional intelligence is simply the ability to understand others and their emotions, as well as being able to properly react to others’ behavior in an effective manner. Doing so can make us better and more effective leaders. Becoming truly authentic to do these things might be initially difficult, but it’s completely possible.
Turn the focus of your life away from constantly striving for more money and power and inflating your own ego. Instead, turn your focus toward those who work with and for you, and help them pursue their goals and dreams in a truly ethical, selfless and authentic way.
Here are 5 tips to lead with more emotional intelligence:
1. Dream of a brighter future. Emotionally intelligent leaders don’t just think outside the proverbial box, they look and dream outside of it, too — and they include others in their dreams. They create and communicate a compelling and inspiring vision of the future — one their employees and colleagues want to be a part of and help make real.
2. Manage your fears. Emotionally intelligent leaders learn to manage their fears by first acknowledging these fears and their causes. They’re more receptive to the idea of talking about their fears openly and honestly, and they voice their vulnerabilities transparently as they connect more meaningfully with the people in their work and personal lives.
3. Love and accept who you are. Being emotionally intelligent with others requires first being emotionally intelligent with yourself. When you love and accept yourself fully, you step into your authenticity and you’re better able to connect with your employees, your customers and others you work with and for.
4. Ask for feedback. Truly emotionally intelligent leaders seek honest and transparent feedback from others. They know it’s the only way they can determine if they’re leading in an emotionally intelligent way. Make a habit of seeking input from others with varying perspectives so you collect the most useful and unbiased feedback possible.
5. Don’t hesitate to leave your mark. Emotionally intelligent leaders leave legacies in the hearts and minds of those who work for and with them. Inspire others and set an example of leadership that will be talked about for years after you move on.