8 Ways to Identify an Emotionally Intelligent Leader

8 Ways to Identify an Emotionally Intelligent Leader

It is sad to say, but the professional world has its share of toxic people and managers. With all daily tasks we have dealing with personal and work stress, it can sometimes be overwhelming, and the last thing we need is an emotionally unstable person telling others what to do.

This article is not meant to highlight or criticize other people’s characteristics, but rather as a leader, it is to help you reflect and examine your personality, so you know which areas of your emotions you need to work on. Here are 8 ways to identify an emotionally intelligent leader:

1. Quick to Apologise

They are not afraid to say sorry and admit that they are wrong. You will notice that a person who is not emotionally intelligent finds it hard to admit fault. I’ve talked and seen abusive people for decades and one of the things that is common among them is that they tend to blame other people for their wrongdoings. “She/he made me do it” – familiar? Is this you or is your leader blaming others for their faults?

2. Open to Feedback

I have worked with someone in the past that becomes really emotional when her boss gives her feedback. The boss is probably one of the nicest people I know. I have never seen him angry, never pushy, and is soft-spoken and yet, this employee would walk out on him every time he provided constructive criticism. They eventually promoted this lady because of her tenure ship and however, she was probably one of the most disliked leaders in that company. Knowing that she was not able to handle feedback well, her then-subordinates, lacked respect for her and in turn, took any feedback she gave as a manager very lightly. It became a domino effect that led to her being made redundant. Conclusion – being open to feedback counts.

3. Honest

Telling your employees how it is. Being transparent. People appreciate an honest leader. Honesty means that they can trust what you say. Do you know anyone who’s always dishonest? How do people react with this person’s promises made? Do they believe what the leader says? Reflect on how important honesty is in a relationship – professional & personal. As they say, the relationship is based on trust. No trust = bad relationship.

4. Empathises

 Empathy is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. People nowadays have a hard time displaying their emotions because there are many people who lack empathy. “I don’t feel good today” will sometimes be commented with “You should feel good today”, or “I need a little break” will be followed by “No, you don’t”. As leaders, we do not know how people feel and why they feel these emotions. Allow them to feel sad, have a break, feel angry, and say what they want to say because they do not feel these emotions with no reason. You do not need to know what their situations are, but you need to show consideration for their feelings.

5. Never Assumes Quickly

 I sent an email to an employee once that in some way offended him. He responded quickly and told everyone how offended he was. Naturally, I could have been defensive and respond by emailing everyone about inappropriate and rude his response was. However, I approached the situation differently. I did not assume that he meant it to blame or shame me. I took my time and talked to him about the email. He said that he had been working diligently, putting a lot of hours in and really felt unappreciated. So, when he received my email about an extra task that needed to be done, he probably was so stressed that he responded back in anger. As a leader, to not assume quickly means to give your person the benefit of a doubt. They are human beings too and are in situations we are unaware of.

6. Always on Time

People who are always late has been always a ‘pet peeve’ of mine. As a leadership coach, I tell leaders to always be on time because that shows your employees that you value their time as much as you value yours. It is a matter of respect.

7. Applauds Others Achievement

Have you met leaders who are never happy about other people’s achievements? Or if one of their employees receives an award, they always take the credit for it? It’s a sign of a very emotionally insecure person. We all have different paths in life, excelling in different things. Be happy for someone else’s achievements and celebrating with them is a sign that you are very confident in yourself.

8. Displays Vulnerability

Now you may think, how can displaying vulnerability be a sign of emotional stability? Simple, this is admitting that you are a human being going through life just like everyone else. You make mistakes, you make bad decisions, you fail but the difference is that you learn. It is ok to tell someone about what you’ve been through to help them relate to you. Your vulnerability can tell someone how tough life has been for you, but how you came through it can be a powerful tool to help motivate others to rise up and be successful as well.

If you are a leader and you need help to become emotionally intelligent, send me a message so we can start your journey to become a great leader!

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