Your company is undergoing major change, which is being met with excessive resistance. The harder you push for new initiatives, the louder and stronger the resistance becomes. You have reached an impasse with your team. What do you do? Look no further than the option of using emotional intelligence.
The term, as popularized by Daniel Goleman (1996) identifies a skill in recognizing, understanding, and managing the emotions we experience in ourselves, as well in the emotions experienced by others.
Leadership is all about influence, both with your direct reports/team members, as well as with your peers, and even competitors. Leaders create, defend, and grow their presence within an organization through establishing trust and commitment from the people around them. In fact, nearly 90% of our success in business dealings can be attributed to our interpersonal skills such as emotional intelligence (Hunkler, 2017).
Taking it to another level: When emotional intelligence is guided by connection
According to Goleman (1996), there are four components to emotional intelligence:
3. Social awareness
4. Relationship management
I would conjecture that there is a fifth element: connection. What is emotional intelligence without connection? Connection goes beyond understanding what others think. Rather, it invests in the recognition, understanding and management of emotions that EI is able to ascertain.
Emotional Intelligence in a time of COVID-19
During times of intense change,
It is connection that allows leaders to remain resonant, thoughtful, and compassionate.
It is connection that drives leaders to prioritize employee focused policies and client focused services.
It is connection that propels leaders beyond crisis management and problem solving, into a higher perspective, evolving their viewpoint to pre emptively identify the forthcoming needs of their people and customers.
As you navigate the changes through the COVID-19 pandemic, have you reflected on how to help your teams come to terms with, and successfully adapt to a new normal? As many employers move their teams to remote working conditions, compounded by school closures, leaders need to exhibit an awareness to the new demands placed on their people. For some staff, this may mean sharing the dinner table with their children, as one does their school assignments, and the other completes office work.
Sharing Wi-Fi, feeding children, managing rising tensions as everyone settles into confined spaces for days on end, can impact productivity. What considerations can you make for your people? Rather than pushing for their conventional schedules in a time of crisis, consider the impact of not being open to change at this time. You will likely be faced with resistance, increasing absenteeism, and a general drop in productivity and quality output. By recognizing the layers of stress your team may be enduring at this time, offers an opportunity for leaders to exercise their emotional intelligence and connection with team members, through adaptability, and utilizing simple solutions such as flexible working hours. Doing so expresses trust in your team, awareness of their realities, and empowers them during a difficult period.
Merits to employing Emotional Intelligence and connection as leaders
How does one begin to consider the perspectives and needs of others? To create a mindset prepared for connection, leaders must start from a place of self-awareness. Where do your trigger points, your biases, and your blind spots lie? We cannot connect to people we do not understand, or subconsciously do not wish to understand. Emotionally intelligent, connected leaders, are leaders for everyone, not for a select few. When we are not connected to the people we employ, or the people we serve, it shows in the limited goods and services we offer our clientele. It becomes the breeding ground for brand irrelevance and lowered customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Thinking about others isn’t just the considerate thing to do. Recognizing the value of others needs and perspectives fosters better decision making. According to Wallace and Rijamampianina (2005), emotional intelligence allows leaders to think beyond the confines of their own judgement, and calculate for other points of view, even dissenting voices, before making a decision. By virtue of this fact, it also ensures that leaders remain open to feedback, giving them the resolve and ability to evolve. I often reference this concept with my clients: The heart and mind are meant to compliment, not compete with one another. Leaders who feel are leaders who endure, because they are committed to what they are working for, and in turn, create a community committed to sustaining their leaders.
About Nadiya Manji
Nadiya Manji is a sought after business leadership and emotional intelligence expert who helps clients breakthrough their personal, professional and social vulnerabilities. She works to improve self-awareness and create balanced, empowered and resilient leaders in all divisions of life and business. Nadiya has lived and practiced in three continents, where she developed a love for helping people identify and overcome their inner blocks and barriers that prevent them from reaching their human potential. Nadiya is a Transformational Master Coach, International TEDx Speaker, and Author of the self- help book titled, “Searching for Balance”. She has spent over 20 years honing her skills in science, spirituality and intuition. Now, Nadiya offers a wide range of coaching programs and services including in person coaching, corporate workshops, training sessions and on-board consultations.
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