How to be an emotionally intelligent leader: 7 key ideas

How to be an emotionally intelligent leader: 7 key ideas

Leading is more than just creating the right conditions for team members to work hard. The logic of controlling workers to meet the minimums has become totally obsolete for a simple reason; it focuses on individual work, rather than on the main thing in these cases: the relational processes of a group of people.

That is why emotional leadership is something relevant . Instead of being based only on the fulfillment of tasks according to objective criteria, emotionally intelligent leaders work so that teams function as a unit in which everyone understands the meaning of what they do themselves and others. In the end, getting to work in an organization does not stop us from being human, and that matters.

In this article we will see a series of key ideas that promote emotional leadership applied to companies, sports or any other area where teamwork is required

Keys to Being an Emotionally Intelligent Leader

It is increasingly clear that in the world of organizations those who lead best always take into account the emotional side of themselves and others . Fortunately, the days when playing the role of leader seemed to be synonymous with commanding and enforcing the rules are long gone.

For better or worse, guiding teams towards goals is no longer about reaching written objectives, but about taking into account the real objectives and needs of individuals and groups (or organizational departments).

On the other hand, it is also evident that emotional leadership is not applied by following the theoretical instructions of a book or manual, but rather that getting it right requires practice and practice. However, the fundamentals of this type of leadership can be summarized in simple ideas so that from them we have some notions about what to do. These basic foundations are, in general, the following.

1. Prioritize assertiveness

There are people who seek to lead by generally letting their dependents detect and solve their own problems in terms of productivity and work dynamics.
While this does not sound crazy if you only work with certain highly specialized and highly trained professional profiles, it is usually a mistake. Not everyone has by default such a proactive attitude , and even less so when it comes to giving bad news.

That is why it must be clear that on most occasions it is the leaders who must bring up any problem they detect, even though this may generate some uncomfortable moments until a solution is found. Avoiding these moments when you are talking to a team or a worker about things to improve will only make the problems accumulate.

2. Avoiding inconsistencies in communication

In organizations, communication establishes how all the people and teams that make up the organization should be coordinated. Therefore, it is crucial that there is no inconsistency or contradiction in what is said, which requires putting oneself in the place of others and interpreting what is communicated by putting oneself in their place.

One mistake in this regard can cause dozens of people to work on what they should not or in a way that they should not, which generates tremendous damage to the whole. It is also necessary to take into account word-of-mouth communication and that, when faced with two versions of the same fact, people tend to stay with the one that has more positive consequences for them .

3. Knowing how to set the limit of informal communication

Emotionally intelligent leaders distinguish themselves by connecting with the people in their care based on their needs, beliefs and motivations, but that does not mean they should pretend to be everyone’s friend. In fact, pretending to be friends only creates discomfort: overreaching can be seen as an abuse of power.

4. Knowing how to eliminate unnecessary protocols

An organization cannot be an accumulation of initiatives that look good on paper but make no sense to anyone or bring any practical benefit. Therefore, it is good to pay attention to those joint weekly routines that, according to the point of view of the team members, do not make sense, in order to decide, knowing this, whether to explain better their usefulness, readjust their format or directly eliminate them .

5. Transmit the values of the organization

Any organization is governed by a set of values, even if there is no Public Relations manual document created expressly to establish what they are. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that these values are transmitted through all communication channels , both through joint actions and through the image and aesthetic component that define the team or organization.

6. Not to be obsessed with mistakes

Mistakes cannot be a taboo for either the leader or the people he supervises and encourages. Otherwise, a culture of idealization and concealment of imperfections will be promoted that will damage the progress of the teams as time goes by.

Furthermore, promoting the communication of problems and errors makes it possible to create useful diagnoses that prevent the chain of events that have led to that mistake from continuing to affect the group negatively.

7. Getting used to constant learning

Through emotional leadership we work with people, but also with theoretical and practical content of all kinds that must be learned as the organization or team burns stages of its development. That is why emotionally intelligent leaders must maintain an extremely flexible attitude with regard to learning . However, always taking into account the feasibility of learning certain things and the opportunity costs involved in training in any competition.

How can you get trained in this field?

As we have seen, emotional leadership is much more than following a series of perfectly specified steps on a daily basis and expecting them to bear fruit without further ado. It is one who must drive the positive changes in a team, orienting oneself from the right knowledge.

That is why it is important to gain quality theoretical and practical experience to deepen the art of being an emotionally intelligent leader. The Specialisation Course in Emotional Leadership of the Institut de Formació Contínua-IL3 (University of Barcelona) is a good way to get hold of the fundamental tools to learn how to boost and energise teams and organisations in the best possible way.

The course, which consists of 3 ECTS credits and begins in Barcelona on October 19, 2018 (ending on November 10 of the same year), has the participation of experts in leadership who work in the professional field and is designed to be a practical experience in which individual, team and organizational leadership tools are internalized and perfected. To learn more about this training program, you can click on this link.

On the other hand, any process of perfecting one’s leadership requires frequent practice. Therefore, it is important to surround ourselves with the right people and not waste our skills to get the best out of work teams. Only by learning from the mistakes made and from coming into contact with everything that makes an organization a complex system, we come to understand the dynamics to be applied in each case.

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