Leadership and Emotional Intelligence
As we approach 2023, many of us will look back at 2022 as the year the dust began to settle post-pandemic. Many organizations can safely admit that in 2022 they were not operating in crisis mode; however, it will still be seen as a year of challenges. From labour shortages and supply chain issues to quiet quitting and employee demands for better work-life balance, “business as usual” never returned to many places and may never do so.
The good news for leaders entering 2023 is that we will bring a wealth of knowledge from 2022. In 2023, remote work will no longer be an experiment; leaders will be more prepared to provide clear direction to their teams. In addition, a renewed importance of mental health will continue to ensure a healthy balance between home and work. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will remain organizations’ top priorities. Lastly, leaders will continue being grateful for incredible teams and are continually thankful for a solid team that will carry them to the road ahead.
Since the pandemic, we have heard a lot more about Emotional Intelligence, and it will be one of the most critical skills that many leaders will bring into 2023, which I will highlight in this last article for 2022.
Emotional Intelligence has long been recognized as one of the main components of being a good leader. Daniel Goleman, the renowned Psychologist and Journalist, stated in his book “What Makes a Leader.” He stated that while IQ and practical skills are still significant, emotional Intelligence is the core of a good leader and not an entry-level requirement. He said that a person could have the best training in the world, a sharp mind, and many great ideas but still not be very good at leading. I happen to agree with him.
The essence of Emotional Intelligence is the ability to be in tune with yourself and your emotions and be aware of the current situation. You know, understand, and respond to various emotions, overcome the moment’s stress, and see how you and your actions affect others. It is essentially a powerful leadership tool in most organizations. No matter what field you are in, demonstrating Emotional Intelligence is very important, especially in building and managing teams.
Simple ways leaders can demonstrate Emotional Intelligence:
Set an example; By showing your team what you believe in, they will naturally follow.
Be humble; Leaders are not perfect, and owning up to that inspires others. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your team for help. This humanizes you and helps create an environment where people learn from each other.
Praise sincerely; Carve out time in your daily schedule to communicate to team members how they are valued and point out something specific that you found their actions were beneficial.
Be kind but not weak; Corrective feedback is equally essential as sincere praise. If there is a problem, not addressing it would not allow growth.
Listen; We can only learn while listening. When you listen skillfully to others, you stay in touch with their reality. The message you will send as a leader is that what’s important to them is crucial to you.
In my role as a leader, the most important lesson I have learned in the past years is to respect and appreciate my staff, as they are the organization’s backbone. I have learned to listen to their concerns, value their input, and be ever so grateful for all their contributions and dedication, and I will continue on the road ahead.