Emotional Intelligence in Action

This is a lovely blog from the HBR web-site: A Simple Communication Mistake.

Whilst the author writes about his ‘communication mistake’, what is interesting for me is how he then becomes aware of what he is doing as well as the anxiety he is feeling and then alters his behaviour.

I have to admit to a similar experience in teaching one of my kids to cycle in recent days. I had to manage my anxiety so I wouldn’t transfer it onto her and impact her confidence. We might not think this matters, but at one point I was holding her shoulders going around a bend and I was smiling. She could not see me as I was behind her, but she asked ‘why are you smiling?’ I was smiling with a sense of pride and she picked up on this – likewise she would have picked up on my anxiety.

Emotional Intelligence matters in every day life. Improving it can enhance working relationships and consequently improve performance. The great thing is that it can be improved and the first step is becoming aware of those emotions and checking them before we take action.

Image Source: ziggyskier.com

Leadership Lessons

I read a great item on a discussion group (The Emotional Intelligence Network) this morning which asked people for the best leadership lessons they learnt. I thought I would share my top 5 with you from this list:

  • Understand your values and lead by example.
  • Surround yourself with smart people and listen to them.
  • ‘Shoe Leather’ – lead by walking around. By doing this you see, hear and learn so much.
  • Be specific in asking for deliverables so expectations are clear, but focus on the outcome not the task. Their way of delivering may be better than yours!
  • Appreciate the differences in people.

Finally, I would add that it is useful to understand what motivates (and de-motivates) each person on your immediate team. By understanding this and acting on it (where possible) we have a better chance of working well together and allowing each individual achieve their potential within the context of the team.

Image Source: Taiga Company