With the rise of AI in HR, it’s more important than ever for leaders to demonstrate emotional intelligence. In the context of business and human resources, emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and manage not only your own emotions but those of other people at work.
When the workplace explodes, or when negative emotions are boiling just below the surface and creating a toxic work environment, someone has to pull it together. Leaders with high Emotional Intelligence also help foster a work culture that doesn’t become toxic in the first place.
As an empathetic leader, you can empathize with others. This skill should develop team peers, challenge stereotypes and unfair assumptions, provide thoughtful critical feedback, and help teams hold themselves accountable and navigate difficult situations. It helps us to be good listeners at times. Empathetic leaders build positive work environments that are sustained by team loyalty and mutual respect.
Most of us know leaders who are “people friendly” or have excellent interpersonal skills. Social skills are the art of making emotional connections through communication. Leaders with good interpersonal skills can deliver bad news and celebrate good news in a way that makes people feel like there are endless viable opportunities for improvement. Highly communicative leaders are also gifted at resolving conflicts and managing change in diplomatic ways appropriate to the delicate nature of the situation. When decisions affect people’s lives, emotionally intelligent leaders respect the needs, fears, and wishes of those involved.
As a confident leader, you know how you feel. I see how my emotions affect the people around me. Your confidence isn’t just limited to your emotions. You acknowledge your ego and recognize both your strengths and weaknesses. You want to ensure that your ego and personal qualities work for your employees and your organization.
Part of motivation comes from understanding what you want to do and why you want to do it. Figuring out the “why” part often requires some introspection, and this is where high emotional intelligence comes into play. Motivated executives have high job demands of themselves and consistently work toward their goals. Emotionally intelligent leaders also understand what drives their employees and colleagues, encouraging and motivating them to find their reasons to work to their full potential.
The ability to emotionally connect with employees and lead with emotional intelligence is essential to leadership effectiveness. One reason is that how a leader makes you feel can impact engagement and productivity. Consider increasing your emotional intelligence to increase engagement at work.
Another reason emotionally intelligent leadership is so important is that a stronger culture can be created when an entire organization is filled with emotionally intelligent people. Conversations, even difficult ones, are more honest, productive, and respectful. Everyone feels a strong sense of belonging and ownership. Empathy and inclusion are especially important to the success of diversity initiatives in an organization.