Hello everybody, and welcome back to another episode of the G.R.I.T. – Give, Recognize, Implement, Time® podcast. I’m your host, Steven Nathenson, CEO and founder of Strive For More. Today we’re going to talk about a favorite subject of mine which is emotional intelligence and the question of how do I make my leaders more emotionally intelligent?
It’s a question on the minds of a lot of individuals in the leadership development space in organizations. It’s a hot topic and rightfully so because we want leaders who resonate with other people. Now, as we’ve talked about before in the show, leadership is people oriented. You know, my definition is the ability to inspire others to be a part of something greater than themselves and in order to do that, we have to do this, connect with each other, be able to build rapport, strong connections, and it takes emotional intelligence to do that. So let’s explore how do we actually create that? And the first answer, honestly, is it starts with the leader.
There’s a reason why emotional intelligence starts with the self-awareness and self-management domains and then moves on to the relation management, the relationship management, excuse me, and the social awareness domains. It starts with us first because once we master ourselves we can then master how that interaction goes with other people and how we let those interactions with other people influence us, which then gets back in that first domain to regulate ourselves and to be able to, say, respond versus reacting.
So within emotional intelligence we understand that there’s four domains and different characteristics or competencies in each of those domains. The self-awareness, the self-management, the relationship management, and the social awareness. We’re not going to get into the specifics of the theory today. We’re going to get into how do we actually create emotional intelligence in others?
One of the things I truly hold true to as a coach is we can’t force people into doing something that’s not truly right for them so we have to help them go through their own journey and be open to it. If someone is not even open to exploring this, it doesn’t matter how good of a coach you are or how good your intentions are as an organization, they don’t want to go down that journey.
So the very first thing is to build value in developing that emotional intelligence skillset. They’ve got to know how it’s going to happen, what’s going to happen, meaning how does that look like, and why they’re going to do it? What is the value for it? What’s the benefit and the payoff that they’re going to get? So, fundamentally, that’s how we set ourselves up for success, what, how, why, value, and pay off. When they understand that and they know the purpose, the meaning, the intent behind it, it’s going to cause them to be driven to take action towards it. So that’s the very first thing is, we have to set them up for success, give them what they need to buy into the journey up front.
And then we have to give them a process that allows them to open up and explore where they land emotional intelligently in the different domains of competencies that exist, and then understand each of those areas. What does this really mean? I have to have that roadmap, that understanding, to know how I actually grow in, say, self-regulation. When we provide that clear guidance and direction it makes it easier for somebody to understand how to leverage, say, where they are and where they want to be and then bridge that gap.
So understanding each competency intimately, to know what that means and how it applies to them, know where they are today, where they would like to get to, and then what that step-by-step plan looks like to literally rewire our brains or thought process, how we approach things, our habits, behaviors, to then bridge that gap and get to where we want to go.
So I kind of combined a lot of those last steps but when we understand what something is truly going to do for us we’re going to be more bought into doing it. When we understand how that’s going to happen, the purpose behind it, it makes it easier to do that. If we have clear guidance and direction that helps as well. “You want me to be more emotionally intelligent, well, what does that mean?” Right, we need to give them that guidance, that framework, that path forward to do that and then the tools to do that.
So it’s not just necessarily coursework and somebody reading what it means to be emotional intelligent, or being told what it means to be emotional intelligent, but it’s helping them explore how that’s applicable to them and then where they want to go with it and how to create that step-by-step process. And that’s where coaching often comes into play. It creates that personalized one-on-one, tangible action plan that’s truly right for somebody and is an extended amount of time that allows us to literally rewire our brains and build these new skill sets and these new habits and practice them and see the value in them and build confidence. We can do it because that’s the biggest source of our confidence, our experiences.
So when we talk about emotional intelligence for leaders and how we create emotional intelligent leaders, I hold true to that we can’t force it upon them. We have to build value in doing it for them as step one. Then as step two we have to provide clear guidance and understanding for them to explore how it applies specifically to them. And then step three, give them the tools and means, such as coaching, to go on that journey to implement their step-by-step process and then grow as leaders to get that new skill set or to improve the existing skill set that’s there.
So I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. I love talking about emotional intelligence so if you have any questions, comments, thoughts or concerns on it, be more than happy to answer them. Please just reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and, until the next time, be the movement in your life.
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