The Surprising Link Between Succession Planning and Emotional Intelligence

January 7, 2019

 Effective succession planning offers advantages that can impact your entire organization. By leveraging your emotional intelligence (EI) for your succession planning process you can develop a plan that is attainable, realistic, and takes the perspectives and motivations of multiple stakeholders into consideration.


Leveraging your EI when starting your succession planning ensures that your team members will have a self-esteem boost because they have an answer for what’s next for them within the organization. They know that they have been selected with care, and that their professional development path to succeed the outgoing manager or executive will be one that is tailored to their needs.


Are you ready to apply your emotional quotient (EQ) to developing a succession plan that works for your organization? Then follow these steps:


Be Proactive With Your Succession Planning


It can take time to find and prepare a candidate for a leadership role, which is why it’s best to start your search as early on as possible.


Not only does starting your succession planning process early help with keeping participants involved and on-task, but it can play an important role in acquiring “buy in” from key stakeholders within your organization.


Keep an Open Mind


It’s normal for an organization to develop an informal succession plan via internal promotions, but just because someone has been promoted to a middle-management level doesn’t necessarily mean they have the same professional goals in mind for themselves as you do.


This is why it’s critical to use your soft skills to actively listen and engage with team members to determine the best candidates to develop and nurture over time. By keeping an open mind you can encourage candidates who may have the will and drive to succeed to step up and take ownership over their own career path.


Communicate the Vision


Include key stakeholders in strategic conversations about succession planning and the skills needed to ensure that the next generation of leadership can assume the role with ease. Once senior leadership has been involved and the process has been determined, don’t forget to communicate your plan with the rest of your team.


By communicating how succession planning works within your organization, you can empower your most motivated employees to engage with senior leadership about how to participate in potential succession plans. This not only provides them with a sense of ownership over their career, but also motivates them to work as hard as possible for your company.


Groom Protégés With Regular Feedback


The easiest way to make sure someone succeeds is to show that you’re paying attention to their effort and output, so if you notice a team member has well-defined presentation skills, or goes above and beyond to complete a project, make note of it and communicate your appreciation regularly.


Not only does feedback motivate employees, but documenting professional successes also provides a strong framework to start from when starting to develop your succession plan.


Bonus: Apply Your Plan to a Hiring Strategy


Hiring the right talent is hard, but using your succession planning allows you to define a set of criteria which you can use in future hiring decisions.


Use this as an opportunity to make note of any talent gaps, retention issues, and challenges motivating team members and apply them to how you source, hire, and onboard your new staff to decrease turnover and hire the most qualified candidates for future leadership roles.


Remember: your succession plan is an investment in the future of your organization, and by leveraging the skills you’ve developed through Emotional Intelligence training, you can develop a plan that helps employees feel valued and helps them realize their potential within the company.


For more information about how assessments can support your succession planning efforts contact us about receiving your Change Style Indicator® and Change Navigator® Certification or EQ-i2.0 & EQ360 Certification.


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