It would be remiss of me at this time to not have a little bit of a chat about the working environment that we now find ourselves in, the potential pitfalls and trials and tribulations that may befall us.

The term emotional intelligence has only really come to the fore in the ’90s after being popularised by the Psychologist Daniel Goleman. Many of us consider ourselves to be relatively intelligent people, but how do we measure up when it comes to emotional intelligence?

What is emotional intelligence?

Salovey and Mayer (1990), define emotional intelligence as “the ability to monitor ones own and others feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s own thinking and action”.

Emotional intelligence is often experienced across four key areas:

  • Self-awareness or your ability to identify your emotions and how they impact you.
  • Self-management or your ability to manage your emotions in a healthy way, to control the feelings and behaviours that the emotions may illicit.
  • Social awareness is the ability for a person to show empathy and take the perspective of someone else.
  • Relationship management, your ability to build and maintain relationships, work well as a team.

How emotional intelligence impacts what we do

Many of us may struggle with our interactions face to face when the world is rolling along “normally”. How does that look now in the midst of a global pandemic and a workforce that is now far more remote than ever before?

Those of us in leadership positions may be thinking about how we can best add value to our team. With this in mind, we should be checking in with ourselves with the four areas of emotional intelligence in mind. Some thoughts you can consider include –

Self-awareness

What’s going on for you and your emotions as a leader?

This is a significant event that none of us has experienced before, it’s going to impact us all differently.

What’s my stress level?

How am I going to keep myself healthy?

Self-management

Ok, you’ve taken a minute you’ve felt those feels, what’s the next step?

How am I interacting with my people, clients and suppliers?

How should I be interacting with these groups?

Social awareness

How’s the team doing?

What am I seeing from them?

How am I impacting people and creating a positive, productive, performing culture?

Relationship management

What does the team need from me as a leader?

What do they need to see, what do they need to hear?

Can we stay connected?

How can I best serve people internally and externally to get positive outcomes?

How have things changed?

Hmmm actually… many of these questions that are arising due to the pandemic are ones that I am sure you were asking yourself as a leader before COVID-19.

So what’s the difference?

The big one that I have heard is the feelings of helplessness and the inability to control the situation. We are all having to weather the storm and have been impacted in different ways. That’s a very challenging position for a leader in a workplace or an organisation.

Whys that you ask? A leadership role implies that you have some kind of plan or direction that you are leading your team in. A great deal of that planning has been either put on hold for a time or adjusted in some way.

So what have you been doing? You have been adjusting, re-aligning, pivoting. All great things to be doing looking forward to getting back to a semblance of normality and exploring what’s next, creating new plans and more meaning. You never know there may be now opportunities to view things differently. With change, even enforced change, comes opportunity. These can be challenging times for leaders and a deep understanding of ourselves and ownership of our roles is necessary.

How do you display your emotional intelligence as a leader?

Maybe this time has been one of reflection for you and to think about who you are as a leader. First and foremost, you are CEO of yourself after all. Maybe you have been reflecting on your business and your team and how things were tracking and what has shifted due to this event.

That’s a lot of maybes and we are after all living in a VUCA world (a world filled with volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) maybe this is also the opportunity for you to talk to someone like me who can help you put this all into perspective and help with those plans moving forward?

If this sounds like a plan, get in touch with me today.