Jeff shared his frustration about one of his supervisors in a recent coaching session. He has 6 supervisors that report to him, and Veronica constantly tests his patience. When I asked what Veronica was feeling, Jeff immediately responded: “how would I know what she’s feeling?”
Some of us don’t naturally think about other people’s emotional states. In fact, it can be hard enough to be aware of your own feelings.
While we shouldn’t assume that we know what someone else is feeling, it is important to be aware of their emotional state, and it’s imperative to effective leadership (take a look at this previous article with 9 Practical Reasons Why Managers Need Emotional Intelligence). It starts with knowing ourselves and knowing why emotional intelligence is important.
Consider these 4 parts that make up emotional intelligence:
Self-awareness (and motivation)
Last week we shared daily practices we can put in place that help us with self-management. This is the second piece to emotional intelligence and a necessary step before leaders can be effective with their teams. Social awareness is all about connecting with others by being aware of their emotions.
You might be wondering, how did Jeff make out? Jeff realized rather quickly that he hadn’t even thought about Veronica’s feelings because he was consumed with being frustrated with her. After only a couple of weeks working on some self-management techniques, Jeff began practicing these techniques for being aware of other people’s emotional states:
Slow down and think about the other person.
When things aren’t going well, take personal responsibility.
Set the expectation that you’ll be checking in with how they are doing from time to time.
Practice watching non-verbals, listening to tone, pitch and volume, and checking in. For Jeff and Veronica, Jeff practiced saying “You ok with this?” or “How are you feeling about this?”
Listen, Acknowledge and Follow up (you can remember this easily by using the acronym LAF with your staff).
Have a system for providing feedback.
Is there anything you do to practice social awareness? Share it here so everyone can benefit!
How Emotional Intelligence Impacts Leadership In this free 20-minute webinar, Laurie Sudbrink explains how leaders can improve their emotional intelligence (EQ)! Do you have questions for Laurie? She'll answer questions LIVE at the end. As always, Laurie has some special offers saved just for webinar attendees. Interested? CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE FREE WEBINAR