Effective leadership, emotional intelligence and building trust

By NEOMA Business School

Effective leadership requires soft skills and emotional intelligence. How to build trust in the workplace? Start with yourself.

Being in a leadership role requires you to constantly analyse your own behaviour and develop self-awareness.

Can emotional intelligence be taught?

Leaders who understand their emotions and develop self-awareness are better equipped to navigate uncertain times. We explore self-awareness in detail through our online leadership and management course, which aims to help managers develop the skills, mindsets and behaviours to navigate the new world of work.

Emotional intelligence in the workplace - emerging trends

Overwhelmed employees are at risk

We are often confronted by the nature of our emotions in the workplace. Our emotions characterise and define who we are - they are our way of seeing how the world directly impacts our reactions. When these are too difficult to manage, some people quickly find themselves overwhelmed. This can cause emotional overload that will impact our decisions, which can of course be extremely detrimental from a professional point of view. 

Leadership best practice shifting in favour of emotional intelligence

Emotion plays a big part in our everyday lives, yet traditionally it has often been excluded from professional environments. We are often told that we must leave our moods and feelings at the office door and not let ourselves be overwhelmed by these irrational and unproductive thoughts.

However, in recent years there has certainly been a shift in what people deem as acceptable and even encouraged regarding our emotional behaviour at work, especially from a managerial point of view. 

How can emotional intelligence as part of effective leadership behaviours boost the organisation as a whole?

People now perceive emotions to be real factors in how we encourage teamwork and productivity in the workplace, and they can also be powerful resources for leaders.

Emotional intelligence improves strategy

If you are a manager, it is essential to learn to understand your emotional state, and to identify and analyse the effects your behaviour has on your colleagues. This will allow you to make the best possible strategic decisions, whatever the conditions in which you find yourself.

Emotional intelligence improves communication

Managers who show their emotions to a certain extent can be much more approachable. Leadership who are aware of their emotions can encourage their team to communicate and feel more relaxed about expressing their feelings.

Emotional intelligence builds trust and creates open, productive, creative environments

As well as this, leaders who embrace their emotions encourage trusting environments, where employees feel comfortable to take calculated risks, suggest ideas and to voice their opinions.

In such safe environments, working collaboratively isn’t just an objective, but it gets woven into the organisational culture as whole.

Why is resilience important to managers and organisations?

In order to respond to the ever-changing challenges within the workplace, a lot of people now talk about the concept of resilience, which has become a fashionable managerial concept.  

Embracing change and self-awareness is key to being a resilient manager .

Resilience is a quality that is on the rise in companies because it allows an individual to adapt and continue to progress after a difficult period of time at work. According to Boris Cirulnik, "Resilience is the ability of a body to resist pressure and return to its original structure. In psychology, resilience is the ability to live, to succeed in developing in spite of adversity". Resilience therefore consists in continuing to develop after a difficult situation, but differently. 

How managers can develop resilience

To develop resilience, managers must take the time to reflect on the situation and to learn from their previous reactions.  

It is important that managers understand how the characteristics of a state of mind can be linked to actions that will create a sustainable business environment that grows in a healthy and permanent way.  

Learning how to practise this behaviour as a leader takes time and improves with experience. As long as a leader maintains a clear picture of their strengths and weaknesses, and despite their position of authority and power still operates from a mindset of humility, success will follow.

Good managers know that there is a lot of power in their emotions. When they learn how to identify, understand and manage them, they can also go ahead to teach those they lead how to do the same.

Discover how our levy-funded online leadership and management courses can help your managers build soft skills including emotional intelligence and self-awareness.

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