Managers play an important role in guiding their teams and shaping the productivity of each employee in the company. Seemingly small interactions in conversation can have a ripple effect to influence employee satisfaction and daily tasks. As a manager, how are your responses affecting the rest of your team?
Many companies provide training on the logistical aspects of being a manager. But one gap that needs to be addressed is emotional intelligence. When managers are aware of how their reactions affect others, then they can be proactive in creating optimal conditions to support the team.
Emotional Intelligence: Moving Beyond Reaction
Sometimes, it feels like our words and actions are outside of our control. It might seem involuntary to speak harsh words in an emotionally charged situation. But, developing better emotional intelligence puts you back in control, so you can manage how you are interacting with others – regardless of the emotions that are occurring.
Emotional intelligence is a valuable skill for managers because it shows how interactions can create problems or provide solutions. When managers are leading with mature emotional intelligence, it can help to diffuse stressful situations and promote overall balance for each employee.
Tips for Increasing Personal Awareness
The key to improving emotional intelligence is to start focusing on your personal awareness. When you see how your behavior is affecting others, then you are better prepared to adjust your responses to shape employee behavior.
Here are a few questions you can ask to help you increase personal awareness and apply better emotional intelligence:
What behaviors set me off? There are times when team members and customers can be frustrating. While you can’t avoid these irritating interactions completely, it’s helpful to identify your emotional triggers so you can prepare an emotional strategy for these situations. Identify who or what is setting you off. Then, evaluate what you are expecting from that person and why your emotions are being triggered.
Are you open or closed in conversation? As a manager, it’s helpful to create the ideal conditions where team members feel comfortable talking to you about anything. Evaluate yourself to see if you are open to all conversations, or if you are closing off these conversations by making other people feel uncomfortable. Offering support and advice is the mark of an effective leader.
Do you have an effective feedback system? Not only do you need to have a safe, supportive way to offer feedback to employees. But it’s just as important for others to have the opportunity to offer you feedback. If systems need improvement, then it’s essential that you have open communication for employees to share their thoughts and suggestions.
How are you appreciating your team? In addition to offering advice and training, managers should also be looking for ways to praise team members. Strive to focus on the good things that are happening, which will give your team members positive reinforcement for the desired behavior.
Ultimately, emotional intelligence helps you get the results that you desire. If you find that the team isn’t performing to the level that you need, then it’s time to evaluate yourself and see how you are contributing to the current results. Work on your emotional responses, and you’ll have the influence to change the dynamic in your workplace.