When we talk about leadership, many people still think first about management. Often managers are considered the leaders of an organization and carry the important history and technical expertise of the company.
There are other leaders in the organization too, and they are not always the ones that occupy the corner office.
These are the people on your team that can often hold influence over situations, bring calm to their co-workers and seem to be able to get along with almost anyone. Do you ever wonder why it is that they innately seem to understand what their counterparts are thinking, and are easily in tune with the emotions of those around them?
It could be, in part, because they are strongly in-tune with their own emotions, responses , strengths and weaknesses. They have developed the ability to understand this about themselves, and therefore also others, and use that information to guide thinking, reactions and decision making.
Individuals with a strong skill set in this area can often be informal leaders in an organization, even if they do not hold a senior level position. They are influential and good communicators, so they often have credibility with their colleagues.
Those that demonstrate high levels of Emotional Intelligence are often seen as more socially skilled, self aware and pleasant to be around. This may be why they are easily listened to, their opinion is trusted and their participation is valued.
Some of the key aspects of improving Emotional Intelligence are embedded in the same skills we often attribute to strong leaders. The ability to actively and sincerely listen, place yourself in another person's position, have empathy and communicate in a style that fits the recipient of the information - not the sender, are common examples.
Emotional Intelligence is a skill set and not necessarily a natural quality. This is something to keep in mind as we rapidly move forward into a new economic model that has a greater focus on career happiness, cultural fit and intrinsic rewards. When management has a strong foothold in both the formal and informal leadership of an organization, the concept of a strong and dedicated team is also a sincere part of the "who we are" that describes the organization. When leaders can relate to the team and demonstrate respect and understanding of everyone in their environment, communicating goals, targets and values is clearer, and often better received.
Take a moment to reflect on your communication style, your relationships with others in
your organization, your personal awareness. Like most of us, you can probably identify an area that isn't as strong as you would like it to be. If that is the case, there are many resources, books and training opportunities that are available to help develop these skills.
Would you like more information on developing these skills, and how we can help your team reach the next level? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.