Whether an organizational change is sudden or carefully planned out, some repercussions cannot be foreseen. It is during times of change where a leader’s abilities to effectively take charge, support, and manage their team are tested.
Effective change management is a vital piece of leadership, and most leaders will have to step up to the challenge to help their business grow and thrive. Like many business-related challenges that go hand-in-hand with leadership, emotional intelligence (EI) can help leaders and executives manage change proactively. By addressing both the personal and professional byproducts of large-scale or long-term workplace changes with EI development, leaders can keep employees engaged during the onset of changes and inspired to help move the business forward.
How EI Can Generate High-Value Change
Change can be unsettling at the best of times. Both employees and leaders can experience a variety of emotions during these times. When these emotions are not managed effectively, professional and personal stress can increase and cause productivity and employee engagement to decrease.
Andrew Coleman defines emotional intelligence as “the ability to recognize one's own and other people's emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior." Emotional intelligence is vital for leaders seeking to understand how to help their employees deal with any organizational change
Leading Effective Change Management
During times of professional change, emotional intelligence helps leaders manage change and the people affected by it within their business. When utilized to its fullest potential, EI addresses how leaders communicate with their employees through the understanding and management of their emotions.
Lead change management with these helpful tips for using EI to help progress individual employees and your organization as a whole:
Make Proactive Decisions
During new or stressful situations like professional restructuring or team-based process change, it’s human nature to react quickly without careful deliberation when a problem occurs. However, without critical thinking, the first “solution” that comes to mind may not be productive for your team.
Using emotional intelligence to carefully consider the pros and cons of any decision made while facilitating strategy changes or introducing new team members to a close-knit team. By doing so, you can carve a path that allows you to implement and manage change while keeping the emotional needs of those affected in mind.
Practice Active Listening to Understand Employees
Leaders who consider the emotional impact of change on employees can create sustainable changes that help align their department with the values and mission of the organization. During all stages of change management, it’s vital that leaders take the time to sit down one-on-one with employees and ask leading questions about how changes are directly affecting them. This helps leaders gain valuable insight into the positive and negative emotions surrounding professional change.
By actively listening to the emotions of employees, leaders can better navigate and manage how employees feel about the change and develop processes that ease any challenges employees may be facing.
Provide Employees with EI Skills
Best-in-class leaders should have high levels of EI and understanding to lead change management effectively. However, employees can reap the benefits of EI in their professional lives, too. By investing in the development of your employee’s EI skills, you can help equip them with the knowledge needed to build positive relationships, navigate challenges, and become high-potential employees for your organization.
Although EI is not a set of quickly learned skills, great leaders use EI to equip themselves and their employees to deal with professional change on a personal level. Harness EI to guide employees through new experiences and lead change management successfully.
EI Advantage helps businesses like yours operate and thrive as a collaborative team. We use the Change Style Indicator® (CSI) to help you understand how you and your team approach change to shift behaviours and drive meaningful transformation.
Contact us today to discuss our customized programs for both individuals and organizations and connect on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.