The concept of emotional intelligence was first introduced by psychologist Dr. Daniel Goleman in 1995. Dr. Goleman found that while intelligence (IQ) is an important factor in leadership, a high level of emotional intelligence (EI) marks those who emerge as highly effective leaders. Emotional intelligence involves soft skills such as discipline, motivation and empathy. Leaders with a high degree of emotional intelligence inspire their employees, boost productivity levels and ultimately increase the bottom line for their organization.
The Importance of Emotional Intelligence
Now more than ever organizations are taking the time to learn how leaders with a high level of emotional intelligence influence employees and create a positive workplace environment. Emotionally intelligent leaders have a deep understanding of their own feelings, and they are aware of how their emotions affect others. Leaders can have a tremendous influence on their employees, often far more than they realize. For example, if leaders of an organization stay calm in the face of problems, workers are less likely to react with rage when something goes wrong – and something always goes wrong, sooner or later. Employees who remain calm think clearly and are able to put their energy into finding solutions.
Becoming an Emotionally Intelligent Leader
Many highly intelligent, highly skilled workers never rise to the level of leadership, and others fail in a leadership role. Such workers may lack the emotional intelligence to handle conflict, adapt to change and elicit trust. The good news is that while that some people seem to be born with a higher level of emotional intelligence than others, it is possible to improve emotional intelligence with practice.
There are five main areas where leaders can develop their emotional intelligence skills to influence employees and boost productivity: self-awareness, self-regulation, internal motivation, empathy and social skills.
- Self-Aware LeadershipSelf-aware leaders have the ability to identify and name their own emotions and moods, and they understand what is driving those feelings. They understand that their emotions have a strong effect on those around them. Leaders with self-awareness assess themselves realistically, confident managers and are often comfortable enough in their own skin to demonstrate a self-deprecating sense of humor.
- Self-Regulated LeadershipSelf-regulated leaders control their moods and they think before they act. They take the time to assess the situation before they jump to conclusions and make judgments. Leaders with strong self-regulation skills have the self-control to keep their emotions to themselves. They are flexible enough to be open to change and they feel comfortable with ambiguity. Employees see self-regulated leaders as trustworthy.
- Internally Motivated LeadershipMany employees are motivated by external rewards such as status and money. Effective leaders are themselves motivated by internal rewards and they inspire their employees to strive toward inner satisfaction as well. Leaders who are internally motivated encourage employees to cooperate in achieving the organizational goals. Employees who are internally motivated become passionate about contributing to the team effort, and they hold an inner conviction
- Empathetic LeadershipEmpathetic leaders have a deep understanding of other people’s feelings to the point of experiencing another person’s emotions. Exciting new research from neuroscientists like Marco Iacoboni of UCLA tell us that there is a scientific basis for empathy. “Mirror neurons” located in the human brain help people understand the intentions and actions of others. Emotionally intelligent leaders are compassionate toward others and they build up employees’ skills so they are likely to stay on with the organization. Empathetic leaders also have a cross-cultural sensitivity that helps them deal with a diverse group of clients and customers, as well as employees.
- Leading with Social SkillsEmotionally intelligent leaders have highly developed social skills which they apply to teambuilding. They use persuasion to encourage employees to find common ground and work well together to achieve goals of the organization. Emotionally intelligent leaders are good at managing relationships and are highly effective at implementing change within the organization.
Improving Emotional Intelligence to Increase Productivity
Organizational leaders with emotional intelligence become cheerleaders for their employees to encourage them to higher levels of productivity. As a leader, you can improve your emotional intelligence by gaining a clear understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses so you can regulate your response to others. You can learn to recognize how certain situations can spark anger, and you can change your ways by calmly determining how to react. Emotionally intelligent leaders hold themselves accountable if something goes wrong, and they give praise to others where praise is due.
Leaders who are emotionally intelligent become mentors to employees by encouraging them to find satisfaction in the team effort. You can pay more attention to facial expressions, tone of voice and body language to understand your employee’s true feelings and react accordingly. Other ways to increase your emotional intelligence is to improve your communication skills to avoid misunderstandings and use effective conflict resolution techniques to solve problems between team members. As an emotionally intelligent leader you will want to remain optimistic, even in the face of failure.
Employee Productivity Monitoring to Measure Progress
Veriato is an employee productivity monitoring system that can help you stay on top of employee behavior and promote productivity in the workplace. Our system can track and record your employee online activity to ensure compliance with company policies. We provide video playback of all onscreen activity and alerts when necessary. Our daily, weekly and monthly reports inform you of the productivity of each worker. The Veriato system can monitor remote worker productivity as well as in-office worker productivity.
With Veriato, you will be notified of any suspicious activity and you will see who is working hard, and who isn’t. Knowing if a productivity problem exists will allow you to increase your management effectiveness and ultimately the productivity of your employees.
To find out more about the Veriato employee monitoring system and how it can help you increase productivity, visit Veriato.com or call 1-888-598-2788.
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