With the arrival of the New Year comes fresh starts, resolutions, and an unparalleled motivation to find organizational success. Whether you’re a C-Suite leader of a major enterprise or a high-potential employee trying to cultivate high-value leadership skills, emotional intelligence (EI) and leadership capabilities go hand-in-hand.
According to a study by TalentSmart that tested EI with 33 other vital workplace skills, EI was found to be the strongest predictor of performance, demonstrating that 58% of success in all types of jobs stem from EI.
Start the New Year off right by focusing on leveling-up your leadership capabilities with these eight helpful tips:
1. Align Yourself with Your Unique Leadership Style
The first step to becoming a successful future-forward leader is by aligning yourself with your leadership style. It’s difficult to become the best version of yourself when you’re busy trying to mimic the leadership styles of a colleague or mentor. Take time to lean into what processes feel good, your individual strengths, and natural professional tendencies to amplify your personal leadership style.
2. Lead By Example
As a leader, you know what professional and personal traits make an ideal employee. They’re passionate, motivated, enthusiastic, and personable. However, to find these types of people and reduce employee turnover, it’s up to the leadership team to also encompass these key traits.
When you’re working side by side with your peers and employees, make sure that you’re demonstrating the skills that you want to see reflected in others. This can be done simply by positively engaging daily with your team members, giving them recognition when deserved, and sharing your passion for your organization and what you can accomplish together.
3. Practice Mindful Leadership
The mental health of both you and your employees is vital to a successful organization. Leaders who can prioritize the mental health and wellbeing of all team members help cultivate an understanding and compassionate environment that drives success and increases engagement.
In a survey from Mental Health America, 35% of respondents reported that they miss three to five days of work each month due to workplace stress. When you take the time to practice mindful leadership by emphasizing the importance of mental health, you’re not only enhancing your success, but that of those you lead.
4. Cultivate Empathy and Compassion
Empathy is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” When leaders are able to utilize their EI and develop empathetic skills to understand their colleagues and team members, they can create meaningful professional relationships that provide a win-win for both parties.
The more that a leader can relate to the decisions made by their employees, the better they can change their own actions to create high-value change.
5. Focus on Leadership as a Skill
Leadership isn’t simply part of a job, but a set of skills that can be developed.
Take the time to invest in leadership development exercises: find books and courses dedicated to honing your leadership skills, and watch your leadership capabilities increase.
6. Build Your Social Skills
When a leader is simply focused on their wellbeing and livelihood, they cannot connect with their team members on a level necessary to drive positive change in the workplace.
By building your EI and social skills, you can better communicate with others while propelling your organization in a positive direction.
7. Self-Regulate for Positive Professional Development
Self-regulation is a powerful EI tool for enhancing leadership capabilities. When you can redirect any disruptive emotions and adapt to change easily, you can change your perspective and make level-headed decisions during stressful situations.
8. Set Goals and Reflect On Them Regularly
Goals are not necessarily about breaking personal records or receiving a promotion. Sometimes, goals can simply focus on the outcomes of exciting changes that you want to make in how you perform as a leader. Goals allow you to find a new purpose, change your outlook, and redirect feelings of negativity. With the New Year in full-swing, there’s no better time than now to consider what professional goals you want to achieve this year to become a better leader.
By focusing on enhancing your leadership capabilities through positive changes, you can drive valuable change not only in your own life, but throughout your organization. At The EI Advantage, we’re dedicated to helping leaders and teams explore their emotional intelligence and level-up their leadership skills. For more information about EI, contact us today.