Design thinking has helped my team reframe problem-solving to innovate for customers - but it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Consider these five lessons learned.
Emotional intelligence: How to be a more approachable boss
How well do you know your colleagues?
The title of this article suggests that increasing your EQ, or emotional intelligence, is the way to become a more approachable boss. Actually, the most effective way to become more approachable is to rid yourself of the “boss” moniker altogether. This may be the most intelligent decision you ever make as a manager. And it will be the beginning of your transformation from manager to leader.
People want to work alongside, and for, other people – not bosses. People who know them. People who inspire them. People who support them.
[ Culture change is the hardest part of transformation. Get the digital transformation eBook: Teaching an elephant to dance. ]
Modern leadership creates approachability, which creates sustainable results. Say it with me three times: I will serve and support my people. I will serve and support my people. I will serve and support my people.
That’s easy to say, but it’s much harder to put into practice. Why is the servant leader mindset so difficult? Because bosses like to boss, and there are many more bosses than leaders in today’s workforce. And due to this unfortunate phenomenon, employee engagement is at an all-time low globally.
3 changes to make
Step 1: Eliminate the “boss” title. It’s one thing to say you don’t want to be a boss – but you need to stop acting like one. And to stop acting like a boss, you must drop the belief that being one is desirable. Bosses work for themselves; leaders work for their people. Do you want people working for you just because of the power of a title, or do you want to enjoy the spoils of true influence? (I can’t answer that question for you, but I’m sure you get the hint.)
Step 2: Be the first to approach. A good leader engages first, engages frequently, and engages to further progress. Bosses sit back and wait for reports, which never tell the whole story. People will be reluctant to give all the facts to a person who focuses on finding flaws in everything they see. Those who can recognize brilliance in what they see and make it even better will see the whole picture the first time. Are you that person?
Step 3: Increase your positivity quotient – not necessarily your emotional intelligence. Positivity quotient signifies the degree to which you cultivate an environment in which ideas, engagement, productivity, and progress flourish. Bosses have the lowest positivity quotient in the management hierarchy because they don’t understand the power positive actions have on the performance of the team and the organization.
Leaders who cultivate the talents of others, smile despite stress, readily recognize and reward progress, empower and engage their people, and eliminate blame have the highest positivity quotient. And modern leaders who embody these practices are outgrowing their competitors by increasing shareholder value and creating the best places to work.
[ It takes more than tech skills to drive IT success. Read Essential skills for IT: 7 must-reads. ]
Putting emotional intelligence in action
Modern leaders who get results from modern workforces lead from the front and with authority, not power. They don’t wait for employees to approach them because they are working alongside their people. And they cultivate positive environments where talent thrives.
If you don’t see yourself in these descriptions, it’s time to make some positive changes.
Your people will thank you.
[ Culture change is the hardest part of digital transformation. Get the digital transformation eBook: Teaching an elephant to dance. ]