Technical competencies might get you into management, but it takes emotional intelligence to make you a leader. In fact, research from the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) found the main reasons for failure ─ struggling to handle change, inability to work in a team setting, and poor interpersonal relationships -are caused by a lack of emotional competence.
Emotionally intelligent leaders are better equipped to manage stress, think clearly, and act decisively. Those who lack emotional intelligence are likely to come off as cold or like a ‘loose cannon’ to others.
The good news is you can develop emotional intelligence by adopting certain habits and behaviors into your daily life. Here are three personal growth tips you can do over the course of a weekend to become a better leader by Monday:
Start a New Hobby
Fun plays a big role in the lives of the emotionally intelligent. They actively seek out enjoyment in their personal and professional lives. This is a sign of strong self-awareness and self-motivation. So, identify a new hobby you want to try and take action.
As you build more hobbies into your life, you will learn how to inject fun into the workday for you and your employees. This reduces stress and builds a more positive, healthy workplace culture.
“If your team is harboring anger and frustration, with no outlet, they’re going to develop resentment and be less productive and happy.”
Try taking up a new hobby as a team. For example, attend a cooking class or take improv lessons together. Not only is this is a fun way to learn new skills, but also it encourages teamwork and builds a stronger sense of camaraderie among co-workers.
Your improved self-awareness and motivation is contagious in the workplace. By leading these fun activities, you’re showing employees the importance of having fun at work and building self-motivation through levity.
Thank a Loved One
The act of expressing appreciation to others or even to yourself helps you focus on the positive side of circumstances. This is an important practice to follow every day.
Aside from helping you see this brighter side of things, gratitude also helps you better connect with others on an emotional level. Start with your loved ones. For example, call your cousin and thank them for a specific favor they did, no matter how small. Tell your spouse how much you appreciate their help around the house. These small gestures have big advantages.
Practicing gratitude is a great method for developing social skills and basic emotional expression. As you learn how to clearly articulate how you feel and what you’re thankful for with loved ones, you can better use that skill with your employees.
And expressing appreciation to your staff makes them feel appreciated, which can boost engagement.
What’s more, gratitude helps build a safe space for your employees to express themselves. This way, they can feel comfortable speaking up and you can respond and help as needed.
Emotions influence people and the decisions they make. If your team is harboring anger and frustration, with no outlet, they’re going to develop resentment and be less productive and happy. Create a comfortable space by hosting one-on-one sit-downs on a regular basis. Take the time to proactively seek out your employees’ thoughts and concerns. Only then will they feel heard and supported.
Do Something Uncomfortable
Another important aspect of emotional intelligence is self-regulation. When you’re able to monitor and control your emotions, you can face self-imposed doubts and fears.
So, seek out situations that are uncomfortable and likely centered on rejection. For example, ask for a 20 percent discount the next time you order a latte at the coffee shop. This is a polite, safe way for you to step out of your comfort zone. You’re facing the fear of rejection and embracing the discomfort of potential failure.
As a leader, you’re likely to hear ‘no’ and face the discomfort of rejection on a regular basis. For this reason, adopting habits to develop emotional intelligence is important.
This way, if you’re worried about rejection during your next client call, you’ve developed resilience. When your employees provide feedback on your idea, you’re able to control your emotional response and focus on finding a better solution together.
These emotional intelligence practices are essential and easy to start right now. Make the most of your personal time to become a better person and a better leader.