The Way to Perform Better and Achieve More

Business Emotional Intelligence: The Way to Perform Better and Achieve More

With leaders in organisations spending up to 80% of their time talking and understanding others, changing the nature of how people communicate and work with each other can be the single most powerful way a leader can bring about performance breakthroughs.

Some people have been conditioned to believe that emotions are not welcome in the workplace and that leadership performance is all about cold, logical, financial understanding and decision making.

Leadership research tells us that the lack of interpersonal skills and the inability to adapt are the two principal derailment factors in leadership careers.

For leaders and managers, understanding and gaining an accurate insight into how emotions impact on performance and being able to do something with that knowledge (developing and using their Emotional Intelligence) is now recognised as the key to realising the full potential of an organisation's human capital.

Now, more than ever, Emotional Intelligence is becoming the "new yardstick" by which leaders are being evaluated. In my coaching work with leaders there are some familiar themes which many find a challenge;

• Remaining confident during setbacks
• Stepping back so others can take a lead
• Genuine listening so they may learn
• Admitting they are wrong for fear of losing face
• Lack of authenticity
• Thinking they must take immediate action when things go wrong

Much of which stem from a perception we hold of ourselves and often what we believe we ought to be. By its very nature many leaders operate as if they should have all the answers and this can be very wearing for those who work with them.

We live in a world where cooperation and collaboration is fundamental to the success of the majority of businesses, the days of hierarchies where we are told or coerced into completing projects are long gone. In order for us to succeed in this world we are required to build genuine, authentic relationships with our colleagues and stakeholders.

Developing relationships with a multitude of people can be very draining for many whilst the focus is on the bottom line. In order for us to succeed in building these relationships and successfully influence others, when we often do not have a direct reporting line to us requires a high degree of self awareness. this is cornerstone of emotional intelligence, developing self awareness enables us to consider our behaviour in every situation and is what offers us choice, the choice of how to behave and therefore to change outcomes of often challenging situations.

Many leaders find it tough to really engage and get the best out of today's generation of workers. However, it is not impossible, unless we refuse to understand them. We can take one of the late Stephen Coveys habits "Seek first to understand, before being understood" as a start point because once we understand others it is far easier then to adapt our communication to engage them. Relating, connecting and communicating are all key abilities the modern day leader must possess. In order to do this we must understand the underlying nature of our own and others' responses, and have a desire to improve the quality of our interactions. This is the basis of Business Emotional intelligence and is the ability to understand how emotions affect behaviour at work and do something with that information.

The evidence is now clear that people skills are more important than IQ when it comes to the bottom line. So called "soft skills" are now seen by today's corporate leaders as essential to building a resilient, productive workforce. Don't just take my word for it, here is a gallery of Blue Chip organisations who have made significant ongoing investment in Emotional Intelligence development: Can you afford not to join them?

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