By Jacqueline Brodnitzki, President of Conscious Success
Entrepreneurs have difficult jobs. The success of your company rests on your shoulders. You are responsible for profits, making strategic decisions about the direction of your company, and the livelihood of your employees. You must have both external focus on markets and customers and internal focus on employees, as well as making sure your vision is clear and company goals are met. Being a brilliant visionary helped you start your company. However having strong emotional intelligence is what enables you to keep your company successful on a day to day basis.
Emotional intelligence (EI) enables you set the tone for your organization and to infuse your company with the energy which fuels your employees’ focus, creativity and productivity.
When leaders have strong EI competencies, employees:
are fully engaged
understand and can support the company’s vision
have ownership and pride over their work
see things that need fixing and go the extra mile to fix them
know what they need to do to accomplish the company’s goals
feel fulfilled, engaged and enjoy working for the company
creatively solve problems and come up with new ideas
When leaders have strong EI competencies, the company:
thrives financially – profits soar
is open, respectful and issues get resolved quickly
faces less drama
is focused on achieving goals and missions
retains strong employees
accomplishes more with the same resources
grows at a sustained rate
EI competencies are not difficult to develop, it takes an awareness of your emotions and how your reactions get in the way of effectively leading your company. Your employees take their lead from you. When you understand yourself and manage your reactions you are better able to inspire trust, confidence, creativity and loyalty in your team. Here’s a story about a leader who built her EI competencies to increase her success:
Jane’s group had been recently downsized from 28 people to eight. She micromanaged her staff and often her temper would get the best of her. After having an unpleasant meeting or phone call, she would chastise herself for days for her unnecessary reaction. She brought me in to work with her group because she wanted to help them reduce stress and she knew she was partially to blame for their work stress.
We found a large part of the problem was lack of communication. Her staff wasn’t keeping her apprised of the status of their work, so she felt she had to micromanage. Her micromanaging distanced her staff and made them want to communicate less with her. After the session, her staff began communicating more effectively and Jane stopped micromanaging. Her staff began wowing her and her superiors with their work and their creative ideas.
Jane is now much more steady and less reactionary. She is able to defuse angry people over the phone, rather than snapping back, and resolves issues much more quickly. She no longer has to chastise herself for flying off the handle. She says she can remove herself from the pressure of the situation to experience more calm and reduce her likelihood of overreacting. Her meetings go better because she stays on an even keel. She feels people respect her much more–both her superiors and those who report to her. Since she is able to look at the bigger picture and project a clearer vision, and she has more open and honest conversations with her staff.
The Traits You Most Admire
Think about the managers you have most admired–they most likely exhibited strong EI. The mentors I most aspire to emulate certainly did exhibit these skills. They were calm, confident and listened well. They were able to connect with others and communicate difficult messages with seeming ease. They inspired me, and others, with their strong yet compassionate approach to intently listening to others and providing a solution which would serve everyone’s best interests.
How can you develop your emotional intelligence?
The first step toward developing EI is to begin noticing your own thoughts. Often our thoughts get the better of us and we are lost in thought–thinking about something else and not noticing what is happening right in front of us. When you find you have ‘checked out’ of a conversation and aren’t listening to what the other person is saying, bring yourself back to listening intently to the person in front of you. See whether you can learn something new about that person by truly hearing them. When you notice you are annoyed with someone, take a breath and listen for their perspective. Put your own agenda to the side for a moment, listen to the other person and then focus on the commonalities between your perspectives.
As you begin to notice when you are lost in thought, and bring our focus back to your work or your conversation, you become a more effective leader. Your company is more successful and your employees feel more energized and engaged in their work.
As a result, companies save big money through drastically reduced attrition, absenteeism and medical claims. Executives take control of their lives, lead with greater impact and experience true personal and professional success.
Written by Jacqueline Brodnitzki, President of Conscious Success
Conscious Success enables executives and employees in customer service organizations to be fully present and engaged in their work and in conversations with colleagues and customers.
As a result, companies save big money through drastically reduced attrition, absenteeism and medical claims. Executives take control of their lives, lead with greater impact and experience true personal and professional success.’
Jacqueline combines over 15 years of corporate management and training expertise with nine years of teaching and coaching of mindfulness and stress reduction techniques to help companies reduce employee stress and increase focus, productivity, and the bottom-line. Jacqueline is accredited by the Hay Group to consult with companies based on their Emotional and Social Intelligence Competency Instrument and leads various programs and coaches executives. Jacqueline has published a book, Awaken Your Inner Radiance, and a meditation CD. She speaks at various conferences and events. For more information, visit Jacqueline’s website at ConsciousSuccess.net.