Emotionally intelligent leadership fosters the engagement that will lead to increased wellbeing, greater job satisfaction, increased productivity and growth.
“There is convincing evidence that success … depends greatly on fostering employee engagement in the pursuit of wellbeing… it rests very much on the trust and commitment that characterise real engagement.” Professor Dame Carol Black
Effective leadership is essential to the success of all organisations, particularly in establishing and sharing the way forward; living the values that are required to deliver it. As you may know, leadership and management development often focus on the ‘hard skills’ or ‘task’ aspects of management. Our research at Impact Consulting Psychologists has consistently shown that it is the ‘people skills’ which define the most successful leaders.
So what is Emotional Intelligence?
Daniel Goleman has defined Emotional Intelligence (EI) as ‘the capacity for recognising our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships’. We are talking about things like: Listening and speaking clearly, adaptability, creative responses to setbacks and obstacles, pride in accomplishments, effectiveness in groups, being cooperative, teamwork, and negotiating disagreements skilfully.
The work we have done with our own clients has proved our theories. For example, Brother UK increased their profits with emotionally intelligent selling skills. MEPC, one of the largest property investment organisations, increased employee engagement through an innovative performance appraisal process which led to increased staff satisfaction.
Research has found a number of other benefits; for instance employees much prefer working with managers high in emotional intelligence rather than those only high in IQ because there is a noticeable improvement in attitude towards colleagues and customers. Emotionally intelligent leadership also decreases stress levels; a study showed that there were changes in financial service advisors after emotional competence training. Not only did stress levels decrease but the total amount of revenue generated increased for 2 years after the training.
So the bottom line is – if you don’t select and train your managers based on emotional intelligence, it is likely to have a major impact on your business results. Emotionally intelligent leadership doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it works in relation to other factors. If leaders can create balance across a number of key skill areas, it will lead to improved performance outcomes. The key skill areas are shown by the Psychologica™ Model; click here to read more.
What are emotionally intelligent leaders like?
• Resilient, adaptive and creative – in response to setbacks and obstacles
• Manage themselves with confidence, they are motivated to work towards goals
• Effective interpersonally, co-operative and team-focused
• Efficient and participative in the organisation