These 4 EI Focus Areas Will Improve a Team's Competitive Edge

What I mentioned in the last article emotional intelligence is not a complicated process. You can develop the emotional intelligence you have, making some significant changes in certain areas, and be a more effective leader consequently.

 However, as I also mentioned earlier, developing emotional intelligence requires more than a two-day seminar. It is a process by which you can use emotional intelligence to your own advantage.

Know Thyself Emotionally

Creating a stronger, healthier emotional intelligence will require a fair amount of self-analysis and introspection. How you react to certain situations, especially those reactions which are possibly angry or irrational, permits you to identify when your emotions can get out of control. It isn’t just anger but anxiety as well. Knowing and understanding your reactions a little bit better will help in creating a positive sense of control.

The Strength of The Pause

Emotions get out of control when the response to circumstances is immediate. A leader cannot afford to fly off the handle or show extreme sadness over events. The pause is an act whereby an individual will stop and think a moment. It permits a more measured response to what could be very distressing or aggravating news. The pause also helps reduce impulsive behavior. A leader is better able to manage reactions.

Note the Signals

The body telegraphs feelings. It can be a quickening of the heart rate, butterflies in the stomach, or a sense of physical heaviness brought on by depressing news. When a leader can identify physical manifestations, this person is then able to know what emotions are coming to the surface. Paying attention to the signals allows for better management of any emotions that could adversely affect a work situation. The signs also indicate what countermeasures, such as deep breathing exercises, can put negative emotions in check.

Practice Response Behaviors

This isn’t some New Wave therapy; practicing how to respond to given circumstances is an ancient technique which was used by sovereigns in the past. What a leader would do is imagine certain situations that may arise at work, either expected or unexpected. Deciding what the best way to respond ahead of time allows for a more deliberate and controlled reaction to what could be bad news and a more subdued response to what might be great news.

Request Objective Feedback

It happens that a person does not know how he or she is being perceived by other people. It is possible that someone who is very empathetic comes across as being gruff or insensitive. It can help to get objective feedback from someone who has observed various behaviors. That person can explain how a leader is being viewed by subordinates, peers, and even superiors. Along with the information can come some suggestions on how to make improvements is not always easy for anyone to accept constructive criticism. Nevertheless, developing emotional intelligence can be helped by getting an idea of how to change communication styles.

Progressive organizations recognize the value of coaching programs. These have been shown to boost the emotional intelligence of managers and other leaders effectively. Interpersonal skills can be worked on with the understanding that people can change for the better. It is necessary to use the best possible coaching programs, and those which centers on cognitive – behavioral therapy or psychological flexibility are proven to be some of the best. Relaxation and meditation tactics are also valuable in moderating responses. Having an idea of coachability levels before any program can provide a better picture of what learning strategies must be used.

Not everybody is open to the notion of coaching. Problems with insecurity and resistance to criticism can make coaching efforts fail. The person really does have to desire change for these activities to be successful. It is critical for a leader to understand how valuable he or she is to productivity. The trouble with engaging employees is going to cause efforts to fall short of goals and objectives. It can’t be allowed to happen in this busy economy. Better emotional intelligence will also mean less stress, and consequently, fewer instances of stress related problems. A leader can develop emotional intelligence and refine interpersonal skills. But, as with any therapy, the leader must be willing to adapt and change to improve better.