Not long ago I was lucky enough to attend a London event where Daniel Goleman was speaking about his book ‘Emotional Intelligence’. Since then I have had several discussions with coaches and leaders I have supported, on what characteristics are displayed by emotionally intelligent leaders. From these discussions and a variety of articles the following seem to be emergent.
Some of the top characteristics for effective leaders in the workplace are:
They are able to:
- Recognise, express and cope with feelings and emotions of self and others
- Deal effectively with the demands and pressures of the leader’s role
- React proactively by building trust, empowering the team and leading by example
- Focus on understanding others before seeking to be understood
- In times of crisis and uncertainty to nurture and build key relationships
- Allow self and others time and space for reflective practice
- Planning and setting aside the time to plan
- Support others to set and achieve goals that benefit both the team and the individual
- Motivate self and encourage others to greater achievement
- Pose incisive questions and challenge when deemed necessary
- Maintain a positive mind-set in times of change and in challenging situations
- To be comfortable in a place of not knowing and encourage emergent knowledge
Daniel Goleman’s book on emotional intelligence states that EI is one of the most important factors when it comes to getting people to “do their jobs more effectively” (Goleman 1995) It is well known that people tend to leave as a result of poor managers and stay where they feel valued and supported, particularly in turbulent times. This is especially true when leading others in our VUCA Global Virtual and Diverse world. In addition, it is vital to support remote global teams with regular contact to build a greater self-awareness and self-motivation.
As leaders you are supporting others to do their jobs effectively by focusing on helping them to:
- Tolerate and survive unprecedented change and uncertainty
- Control impulses, build confidence and practice positive self-regard
- Build social responsibility optimism and happiness in line with the UN 2030 goals
- Build on strengths, identify and sensitively challenge areas for development
At this point a personal development plan can be introduced and jointly devised based on the EI behaviours outlined above. The first 1-2-1 session can then be based on this evidence and enable the team member to learn more about their values, skills, knowledge and operating style. It also enables you as leader to challenge them in areas where they wish to develop. It is essential to explain the broad concept of EI leadership and outline how these behaviours enhance performance. It is also necessary to do a pre and post intervention evaluation session so that the team member can see clearly where they have developed.
As leaders you aim to support others to lead, reflect and grow in times of change and uncertainty post Covid19. In this way you can all contribute to helping people achieve extraordinary performance and show the passion and motivation that leads to exceptional results.
Jackie Arnold – ICF Certified Executive coach and Dip CSA Coach Supervisor
Podcasts on www.coach4executives.com – Books and Podcasts
Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goleman (1995)
Coaching for Leaders in the Workplace – Jackie Arnold How to Books (2017)
Emotionally Intelligent Leadership from Leadership Coaching (2010) published by AC
and edited by Jonathan Passmore
Bar-On R (1997a) The Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-I) A test of Emotional intelligence, Multi-Health Systems Inc, Toronto Canada
John Whitmore – Coaching for performance (1992)