Great news for everyone with their sights on those C-Suite positions: emotional intelligence is proving to be increasingly important in the workplace, even eclipsing intellectual intelligence as the most sought-after workplace skill.
Emotional intelligence, or our emotional quotient (EQ) is classified as our ability to identify, evaluate, control, and express our emotions. As modern workplaces become more diverse and better-attuned to the needs of their employees, it’s up to the next wave of C-Suite leadership to show that they’re ready to lead by example.
Here are three reasons why leaders with high EQ make the best CEOs:
1. High EQ Leaders Increase Workplace Happiness
Picture this: you walk into your office on Monday morning; you feel tired, but ready to tackle the workweek and get started on the new project. When your employees arrive, you don’t say hello or acknowledge them, but instead send out a short email outlining a new project’s needs and deadline to get going on it immediately.
Put yourself in your employees’ shoes - how would you feel? You aren’t being welcomed back after the weekend, you don’t receive any face-to-face interaction, and you might be feeling worried that your boss is upset with you. As a result, you spend your day with your head down, unmotivated, wondering why your boss isn’t speaking to you face-to-face.
Now, let’s re-frame the scene to picture you, the boss, with a higher EQ:
You walk into your office on Monday morning and immediately say hello. You make coffee together with your employees and briefly chat about what they did on the weekend. You then explain the upcoming project and ask for your employees’ input before assigning tasks and the deadline.
As a result, your employees feel happy, valued, and listened-to and spend their day putting in as much effort as they can into the project.
Being aware of your team’s emotional needs at work is key to being a successful C-Suite leader, and by developing your own EQ you can learn how to tailor your management style to each individual’s needs.
2. High EQ Leaders Increase Employee’s Confidence
When you feel confident in your work, you do better work because you believe in your skill sets and abilities. Confidence can be hard to boost on our own, but can increase dramatically when boosted by someone else, especially from a boss or supervisor.
When a leader calls an employee into their office, the team member usually views this as a bad sign - maybe they screwed up on an assignment or made a mistake in a report.
Emotionally intelligent leaders know how to turn this dynamic around: they make time to meet 1-1 with employees every week to review their work, help them understand what was missing if they made an error, and offer words of appreciation and motivation whenever possible.
This not only helps employees feel engaged in their work, but it gives them the confidence they need to keep pushing forward and giving their best, which increases the business’s bottom line and promotes a healthy workplace culture.
3. Emotionally Intelligent Leaders Promote Open Communication
C-Suite leaders who have well-developed EQ know to always make their employees a priority, no matter what they have going on personally.
This type of leader always make employees feel valued, appreciated, and purpose-driven when they arrive at the office every day. When team members know they can come to you to express frustration and talk about their challenges, it provides valuable opportunities to problem-solve together, which makes the employee feel empowered.
Make sure to let team members know your door is always open. If employees feel genuinely supported, they become happier people at the office, which produces higher-quality work and increased engagement with colleagues.
Become an Emotionally Intelligent Leader Today
Whether you want to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or the CEO of your small business, being a leader who is kind-hearted and who takes the time to invest in being supportive and encouraging can make all the difference.
If you’re ready to start developing your C-Suite leadership skill set, contact us for executive coaching.
We coach individuals on the foundation of emotional intelligence and focus on developing the emotional attributes that enhance four key dimensions of leadership: being authentic, coaching and inciting action in others, providing insight to communicate purpose and vision, and having the ability to innovate.
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