Research has found that when senior managers had high emotional intelligence capabilities, their divisions outperformed yearly earnings goals by 20%, while those without a similar level of emotional intelligence underperformed by about the same amount. Why? Because what we tend to describe as soft skills (and I wish we wouldn't because they are profit-making skills...) in leaders lead to better collaboration and higher levels of motivation and self-confidence in the people they lead. Emotional intelligence is what will get leaders through this and ensure that their teams stick with them after it’s over. But what are the key skills these leaders have?
They understand the impact they are having on the rest of the team and the possibility that their own emotions will filter down through the organisation. If you are a very anxious leader – your team is likely also to be very anxious. If you show frustration, your team is likely also to feel frustrated. Understanding this is vital in creating a high-performing, thriving business.
This is extremely important. Leaders with emotional intelligence can monitor and control their thoughts and behaviour. If you choose to let your anxiety show by shouting, cutting people off, imposing undue pressure, your team will quickly become demotivated.
Imagine what you would need to stay motivated if you were 24 and stuck in the small kitchen of a shared flat? People will stick around for leaders that show empathy and understanding, and when all this is over, they’ll move on from those who don’t show it. Put them first.
Want to test your EQ? Click here for a simple starting point (and try to be honest - no-one else is watching!)