How can you be a more mindful leader? Consider these 8 practices for bringing more mindfulness to your work day and team - to boost well-being and innovative thinking.
10 emotional intelligence tips from the masters
Your EQ impacts almost every aspect of your career success
6. Take responsibility
While you’re thinking of those occasions when you have felt guilty, angry, upset, jealous, or disappointed, consider your first reaction. Did you blame someone else for feeling the way you did? At any point did you think or say “You / he / she /they made me feel… ? “In the future, try to be more aware of the situations and events when you blame other people and situations for how and what you feel. In any one situation where there is difficulty or contention, ask yourself 'How or what do I feel?” and then answer yourself by saying ‘I feel’ and not 'he’s is making me feel,'” says Hasson.
7. Display EI to elevate your credibility
Most leaders view emotional intelligence as integral to the personal connections they have at work. But that’s only part of the story, Atkins says. “The self-awareness you demonstrate through your humility and the self-control evident in your restraint both contribute to the trust and connection you can generate with others,” Atkins says. “In addition, your emotional intelligence can contribute to how credible others see you as a leader they want to follow when you demonstrate resonance in being attuned to where others are on an issue and composure in times of stress. Both composure and resonance are qualities honed through experience and demonstrate you’ve been able to learn and become an even better leader.”
8. Leave judgment at the door
EI can be particularly helpful when offering feedback to individuals or teams. Effective feedback can inspire or motivate; but poorly delivered feedback can lead to resentment, anger, and decreased performance. Deutschendorf suggests keeping a couple things when preparing to deliver feedback. First, “make it timely,” he says “Check your emotions before meeting with the employee. Ask them for feedback and actively listen and let them know what you heard them say. Stick to the facts and leave out judgments.”
9. Boost your empathy
EI and empathy go hand in hand. In fact, empathy is what differentiates the best leaders, argues Iain Aitken, CEO of RocheMartin, which offers EI training and assessment to individuals and organizations. “It involves two dimensions: a cognitive dimension – understanding the task that other people must perform – and an emotional dimension – acknowledging the humanity of others.”
Leaders should get to know their employees better on a personal level in order to recognize and then validate their emotional experiences, he says. “Responding with empathy means letting your employee know you heard and understood both what they said, as well as how they feel,” he says. “It’s harder than it sounds, and will take some practice, but people will appreciate even the clumsiest of efforts.”
Asking questions is a good place to begin. “Don’t limit your questions to what they’re thinking,” Aitken says. “Ask how they feel, or check an observation you’re having, such as by saying, ‘I noticed you haven’t said much about this change. How’s this going for you?’” Once a leader can understand the emotions of others, they can better align them with tasks to achieve better outcomes.
10. Recognize that building EI takes work
“When people read about emotional intelligence, it seems pretty easy,” says Dr. David Caruso, management psychologist and research associate with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. “And it is pretty easy. What’s hard is to do these things on a consistent basis and in real time. You have to practice.” The good news is that it can be a dynamic process and its effects cumulative.
“The extent to which you can understand and manage your own emotions influences your ability to understand and manage other people’s emotions,” says Hasson. “And the more you understand other people’s emotions – their intentions, motivations and behavior – the more appropriately you can respond and the more effectively you can interact with them.”