Emotional Leadership: How to Use Your Emotional Intelligence to Be a Better Leader

emotional leadership

Do you have emotional high intelligence?

Signs of emotional intelligence include politeness, self-reflection, and awareness of other people’s feelings. These are great attributes to have in business.

In this article, we’ll explain how these characteristics are crucial for effective leaders. Read on to find out why emotional leadership is important in the workplace and how you can practice it.

How to Use Emotional Leadership

In order to be an effective leader, you need emotional intelligence. Here’s how emotional leadership can improve your business and interpersonal skills.

Regulate Yourself

Emotional intelligence is defined as “the ability to accurately perceive your own and others’ emotions and the ability to use this information as a guide to thinking and behavior. (John D. Mayer, Peter Salovey and David R. Caruso.)

According to these researchers, there are five components that help leaders connect with themselves and others. These include: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills to manage relationships.

Being your authentic self is important, and that means being true to your core values. Write down the values, ethics, and rules that guide you and hold yourself accountable to them. Use them as the filter through which you make decisions. Ask yourself important questions like, “How does this (decision, action, etc.) make me feel? How might it make others feel? How will I address the feelings of others?

Regulate your words, as well as your actions. Sometimes, emotion forces us to react, rather than respond. Using emotional intelligence, allows us to better process the initial reaction, think through the impact on others, and develop a more intentional response. Then, you can express the response in a more measured way.

Be Empathetic

According to Forbes, empathy is essential for moving forward in business.

Many people assume that showing leadership requires quick and decisive action. While that may be true sometimes or in certain situations, it can hold you back when you’re trying to lead a team.

If you practice empathy, you can better understand the people you work with and make better connections with them. If you’re aware of how other people feel, understand what they have experienced, and are able to put yourself in their shoes, you’ll be better-equipped the come to an agreement and a compromise that suits both of you, resulting in better relationships and higher productivity in the workplace.

Using emotional intelligence helps to gauge other people’s feelings before becoming annoyed, irritated or critical, and instead, thinking about why they act or feel the way they do, keeping other viewpoints in mind. This in essential when you’re trying to manage change in the workplace.

Be Self-Aware

When your emotional intelligence is high, you’re more aware of your own strengths and weaknesses, which means you can identify the areas in which you need to improve. You’re also more aware of how your actions and words affect others around you. This also means understanding what motivates you, and where you get in your own way. Sometimes that requires embracing the areas where you are vulnerable and where you might need to check your ego and demonstrate more humility.

To practice self-awareness, start by writing a journal. In a Harvard Business Review article, “Managing Oneself,” Peter Drucker wrote, “Whenever you make a decision or take a key decision, write down what you expect will happen. Nine or 12 months later, compare the results with what you expected.” Drucker called this self-reflection process feedback analysis. Writing down your own thoughts and feelings will help you to reflect and evaluate the impact of your leadership actions.

Ask for and be open to accepting feedback from others, and assess your own emotional intelligence using online resources and tools. Here are a few that we recommend: https://www.extension.harvard.edu/professional-development/blog/assessing-your-emotional-intelligence-4-tools-we-love

EI Assessments

Become a Better Leader

If you’re looking to enhance your leadership skills even further, consider taking part in a hands-on training course.

With our leadership training, you’ll learn how to increase your productivity, improve morale, and become more adaptable. You’ll also learn how to make stronger bonds with employees and partners, so you can retain connections and improve your employee turnover rate.

Contact us to see how we can make you a better leader.

3 Reasons A Leadership Development Strategy Is Essential For Educators

leadership development strategy

Today, the median salary for a school principal is close to $100,000 — nearly double that of a teacher. Next to teachers, a strong and effective instructional leader is the second most important human resource in any school building. As an instructional leader, the expectation is that you model, coach and mentor to build leadership capacity in others to create the conditions where everyone can meet with success.

Being a leader means also being able to identify, invest and develop talent in others to meet future needs, create critical mass and build a pipeline. This makes the leader’s job easier because they build an internal cadre of other leaders who they can share responsibility with, gather feedback from, and create learning opportunities for, as they advance the school or organization’s vision together.

The best leaders create a solid team culture, such that the school or organization can still run effectively in their absence. They have cultivated effective relationships, and empowered others to make decisions.

Let’s take a look at some strategies for developing your bench of leaders by having a leadership development strategy in place that builds other leaders, instead of just followers:

Leadership Development Strategy Builds True Leaders

A real leadership development strategy creates qualified and prepared candidates for future roles, rather than just filling vacancies or creating empty promotions. In building future leaders, there must be intentional planning for creating the right growth and learning opportunities. For example, as an assistant principal, it is important to learn about budget and financial aspects that would be beneficial when the assistant becomes a principal themselves. This means the principal must be willing to share learning, even when “just doing it yourself” might be faster or easier.

Identify the key behaviors, core skills and functions that are most important in the role of the leader. Be clear on the leadership needs of your school or organization – in the present, but also into the future. Next identify those who might have the greatest potential to assume a leadership role, but who can be further developed so that leadership responsibilities can be shared. Identify the right people, plan for transitions, and create a training and development plan to build leadership in those who are identified.

Many leadership programs in colleges and schools of education may provide theoretical knowledge, but real leaders are best groomed through practical application. As a leader, you create opportunities for future leaders to marry theory with practice.

Leaders Are In Every Classroom

How we define leadership may sometimes be tied to a title. Teacher Leadership happens every day and in every classroom. Leading learning, creating a culture for success, being an effective planner – all things teachers do on a daily basis, and also the best qualities in any leader. Leaders should look into classrooms to identify high potential employees- those with both the skill and will to take on new challenges and welcome opportunities to be stretched. Find those who embody the vision and mission of your school or organization, those who understand the goals and have deep interest in governance, operations and a desire to lead. Don’t assume that previous formal leadership experience is a pre-requisite for those who should be tapped. Remember that skills can be taught, but attitude and will are strong indicators of potential.

Leadership Doesn’t Have To Be A Lonely Job

One of the main complaints of leaders is that there is a certain level of loneliness at the top. It doesn’t have to be that way at all. When faced with challenges, an effective leader should tap into the team culture he or she has created. Leaders shouldn’t neglect the power of the relationships they build, with teachers, students, parents, members of their leadership team, and anyone who they can work with to impact the greater good of the school. These are all opportunities for developing the leadership skills of others. This may take a more formal development approach, like that of a principal grooming an assistant principal, or can be informal, like working with students and parents to help develop better leadership of the PTSA or Student Government. In all of these instances, a leader has the potential to influence others, build their capacity and create a culture of shared leadership.

Solid leaders set the tone and standards for the organization. People that work with these leaders become more skilled and motivated as a result. Every leader can be built from the ground up if they work with someone committed to investing in their development.

Build A Sound Leadership Development Strategy With Us

Need to identify and develop leadership potential in your school? We can provide executive coaching, leadership development, and professional training.

We take education seriously at the Valbrun Consulting Group. Let us put your school in a position to succeed.

Take the time to contact us to learn more.