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  • Writer's pictureNick Figueiredo

Lead with high Emotional Intelligence

It's important to consistently work on your emotional intelligence. This is often called "EQ", or Emotional Quotient. Having a high IQ is not the only thing that makes a great leader, teammate or employee. Investing in developing your own emotional intelligence takes time, practice, and acute awareness of your emotions at all times. You need to remember that it's important to be human, and express your emotions; but as a leader, your bar is different...it's higher, and more people are watching. Especially those whom you lead, if you are a people manager, or those who view you as a leader.




Remember...we can all be leaders, and often are. We're all "leading" something. You don't need to be a people leader, to be considered a leader. So how do you work on your emotional intelligence - your "EQ"?


Three tips to work on your EQ


1. Process your emotions quickly and be conscious of them

Quickly doesn't mean you need to suppress them immediately. If you're facing emotional situations, stressful situations, etc. take a deep breath. Think. And act. Acting may mean a difficult decision when you're putting out a fire. Or it could be a situation where you're giving feedback to someone and they've had one of those knee-jerk anger eruptions because of the feedback. Always take a moment to process, before reacting and speaking further. Your audience will appreciate it, and so will you.


2. Reflect afterwards

If you've just been through a stressful or difficult situation with one or more colleagues, reflect on how you handled it. How do you feel things went? Was the outcome good? Are all people involved feeling positive about the situation? You don't necessarily need to go ask them, but reflect on your instincts about the events, and whether you handled things well, or have things you could improve upon in the future. Self-reflection is an incredibly powerful tool for career growth and our growth mindset.


3. Put yourself in their shoes

The third, but most important tip: remember to empathize and put yourself in the shoes of others. Where are they coming from? Not necessarily their country origin, but more the context of their feelings, behavior, or words. Ask them why they feel this way. Ask yourself if you've ever been where they are, in their position. Remember they're human, and processing emotions on the fly, quickly, and sometimes without pause. By understand their context, and their feelings, you're empowered with more information about the situation, and how best to handle it. When in doubt, always ask "Why?".


Conclusion

In times of stress or difficulty, the best leaders, teammates, and employees have high EQ. They understand the challenges today and ahead, manage stress, keep team engagement high, and work FOR their team, teammates, peers, and fellow leaders. It's important, no matter how difficult it gets, to process your personal emotions quickly and adequately, and be there for others. Remember to process, rationalize, and put yourself in the shoes of others when considering the next action.

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