You’re a leader or an aspiring leader and you want to make 2019 count. So, here’s a question for you to consider.
What kind of leader are you?
Leaders can come in all forms. Beyond the obvious authoritarian vs democratic leadership styles, there are many other types of leaders. There are transformational leaders who prioritise change; transactional leaders who prefer a give and take relationship; laissez-faire leaders who give their staff more freedom; and situational leaders who adapt their leadership as needed.
So, take a moment to think about what kind of leadership style best describes you. Once you’ve thought about that, here’s one more question to consider – are you the leader you want to be?
Take your time as these questions can be difficult to answer. Answering these questions honestly, requires you to dig deep, do some soul searching and possibly acknowledge difficult truths.
However, this exercise is vital if you want to become a stronger leader in 2019. Understanding your leadership style, and whether it’s the right style for you and for your workplace, is a crucial step in shaping your leadership for the future.
This is an example of how EQ (emotional intelligence) can positively impact on your leadership ability. Emotionally intelligent leaders understand themselves. They are aware of their strengths and how to capitalise on them. They are equally aware of their weaknesses and are open to working on them too.
Leaders with strong EQ recognise how their internal thoughts and feelings can impact on their behaviour in the workplace. They understand how to regulate their responses in stressful situations. They have strategies to reduce the impact of their own stress on those around them.
Improving your emotional intelligence will help put you on the path to becoming the leader you want to be. Here are 6 ways EQ can help improve your leadership ability and shape you as a leader for the future.
6 Ways to Use EQ to Shape Your Leadership
Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s position and gain an understanding of their point of view. Learning to understand yourself, such as how your feelings impact on your behaviour, will also help you better understand the behaviours of others, building your empathy.
Empathy is a vital skill in leadership as it helps you make better decisions, relate more genuinely to staff, negotiate more effectively and build trust and goodwill in your team.
Keep an Open Mind
Developing an open mind allows you to challenge your existing assumptions and appreciate new ideas. This can be difficult, as it requires you to question what you already know and understand, in order to become more accepting of alternate points of view.
Having an open mind can help in your interactions with staff, build a more inclusive workplace, improve organisational culture, increase innovation and enhance problem solving.
Taking ownership of decisions, actions and issues is an important aspect of leadership. Successful leaders earn the respect of their team, their colleagues and their own leaders by accepting responsibility and leading the way in finding solutions.
Accepting ownership of your actions, as well as the actions of your staff, builds trust, increases accountability, promotes innovative thinking, improves productivity and models responsibility.
Successful leaders deliver timely and constructive feedback to their staff and can accept honest feedback in return. It’s important to learn from mistakes, create clear understanding and build a culture where feedback is appreciated, actioned and welcomed.
Delivering and accepting constructive feedback can improve performance, increase communication, result in better solutions, lead to higher staff engagement and build trust.
Emotionally intelligent leaders build strong communication channels with staff. They share current priorities, communicate their vision for the future and help their staff understand where they belong in the organisation and how their efforts fit into the big picture.
Prioritising communication puts everyone on the same page, improves performance, encourages innovation, promotes problem solving and builds collaboration.
Set Clear Expectations
Setting clear expectations for you and for your staff help shape you as a leader. From productivity and performance, through to conduct and behaviour, expectations build organisational culture and often define your leadership.
Clearly communicating expectations can positively impact on workplace culture, performance, productivity, behaviour, communication, collaboration, innovation and responsibility.
Hunterlink understands how important EQ can be in shaping the leaders of the future. Contact our team today to discuss how we can enhance the emotional intelligence of the leaders in your organisation.