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Experienced professionals with sophisticated technical skills sometimes miss leadership opportunities because they lack emotional intelligence. Emotionally intelligent leaders place relationships, communication, and team accomplishments above individual success and IQ.
The key elements that compose an emotionally intelligent leader include self-awareness, emotional regulation, and effective relationships. These attributes build trust and act as the foundation for a healthy team environment in the following ways.
Self-Awareness and Emotion Regulation
Team management requires leaders to be aware of the skills, personalities, and characteristics of team members. With this knowledge, leaders can define roles and build teams that work well together. However, none of this can be accomplished if the leader does not possess self-awareness. According to studies, only 10 to 15 percent of leaders are genuinely self-aware.
Organizations can improve this percentage by encouraging leaders and team members to participate in 360-degree feedback. This activity requires evaluations from oneself, one’s peers, and one’s supervisors. This feedback is the foundation of self-awareness. With self-awareness, a leader can learn to regulate their negative, or perceived negative, emotions in order to increase team motivation and decrease stress.
Self-awareness also plays a role in communication. Leadership development firms cite empathy as the primary leadership skill because it allows leaders to understand different perspectives and ideas. Leaders who learn how to listen are capable of building teams in which every voice is valued. Additionally, empathetic leaders can help motivate teams through difficulties and align goals with team strengths. The results are highly motivated teams that achieve innovative solutions.
As mentioned above, self-awareness is the foundation for empathy. Learning to listen and empathize reduces the risk of negative conflicts. Instead, team members model leader behavior and listen to differing ideas without hostility. When all team members learn to resolve conflicts positively, team productivity improves along with team relationships.
Positive team dynamics aren’t an accident. Successful teams aren’t an anomaly. Emotionally intelligent leaders build teams using empathy, clear communication, and healthy interpersonal relationships. If your goal is to lead, then it is necessary to develop your emotional intelligence. You can start the process by participating in a 360-degree feedback activity and by reading the work of emotional intelligence experts such as Daniel Goleman and Howard Gardner.
While managers have duties and obligations that may vary from time to time, there is one certainty that they will face: a personal crisis in the office. How the manager or boss handles such a situation with an employee is frequently a test of that person’s leadership and professionalism. Here are suggestions:
Lending an employee space is better than lending him or her an ear. Being sympathetic should not involve personal interaction. Instead, the manager or employer can give the troubled employee time off to deal with the critical situation, or the employer can sympathetically assist in finding resources for support. He or she must also be cautious when granting a worker leave as some companies have restrictions.
Being sympathetic does not include being lenient. A manager should plan with the employee the time off that is needed. Sometimes, it is just a matter of the employee leaving early. A good move is to team the employee with another one so that work can easily be managed by someone else if needed. The manager should also not forget to reward those who pick up the workload and to express appreciation.
Making sure that no employee gets more consideration than the others is essential when managing a team. Every employee should receive equal and fair treatment. Having a plan for unforeseen circumstances is also wise. It ensures that things continue to be as close to the usual routine as possible, thus reducing stress on all workers. Suppose an employer has maintained a good rapport with employees and an atmosphere of understanding and compassion. In that case, workers are more likely to approach their employer when they experience difficult circumstances in their personal lives.
While employers need to show genuine concern for an employee having difficulties, they also must retain a professional relationship by hold to certain boundaries as they display compassion. Doing so will inspire respect and trust in employees. Professional compassion–not prying or becoming a personal confidant–in the work environment will encourage employees to be proactive and speak with their employer when they are having personal problems. Lending an ear rather than lending advice is a fair policy. A competent manager is understanding while also keeping workers focused on their tasks.
As we look at a continued situation in which lockdowns and remote working are the new normal, it becomes more important than ever to keep your team connected. This means keeping them connected to one another as well as strengthening the bond you have with each of them. The following suggestions can help you create deeper connections no matter how geographically distanced you are from your team.
Emphasize Open Communication
In the office, your team could pop in on each other throughout the day or stop by your office with a question or concern. None of that is possible in a work-from-home situation, and it can feel like more of a bother to message someone with a random question. Yet, this is precisely what you should encourage. Be sure to schedule weekly meetings for your team via video conferences. This will help everyone meet up and see each other while also providing an opportunity to share updates.
Make it Personal
During your team meetings, you should set aside time for a personal chat at the beginning of each video conference. You can ask each team member about their weekend or any achievements they’re proud to share. This will help each team member feel more valued, but it will also help everyone stay connected. Since they can’t gather around the water cooler to gossip, this is an opportunity to share the things that matter to them.
Create New Traditions
Even in lockdown, you can create new traditions that are designed to uplift the team spirit. You can host after-hours chat sessions, which your team can use to socialize and play games. For these chats, the discussion of work-related topics should be strictly off-limits. If outdoor weather permits, consider bringing back the company picnic or host a barbecue for your team on the weekends. Safe social gatherings will help you bring your team back together, especially after an extended period spent apart from one another.
These suggestions will do more for your team than just keep everyone connected. When compelled to work from home, many professionals feel disconnected from themselves and face emotional health problems as a result. In addition to helping maintain team efficiency, these practices can also help you ensure your team members remain emotionally healthy.
About Jason William Kumpf
Jason William Kumpf has worked in international business for over a decade. With involvement in global real estate sectors, the expat sector, ecommerce, and finance, it is safe to say that Jason William Kumpf is a well-rounded businessman. By having a hand in multiple sectors of various international and national markets, Jason has built an incredible network of global professionals that include recognizable Fortune 500 companies as well as young, burgeoning startups.
Jason William Kumpf is Co-Chairman for an international California Trade and Business Networked called Cal Trade. To expand his reach, he also serves on the Young Members Board for FIABCI International Real Estate Foundation, a French entity with active chapters in 48 different countries. In addition to these positions, Kumpf is the Director of Alliance Partnerships at USForex Inc which works toward creating better exchange rates for several international ecommerce markets. Similarly, Jason William Kumpf is the Director of Partnerships at OFX, also in the international currency exchange rate industry, working towards the acquiring the best exchange rates available for his international clients.
In addition to Jason’s work internationally in the foreign exchange markets, he has also taken a great interest in tech startups. He has a passion for taking an outside look at complex issues and creating tangible solutions to better the overall structure of a new company. Because of his extensive training in a wide range of industries, and because of his energetic and positive spirit, Jason William Kumpf is able to not only craft great business strategy but motivate his teams as well.
Having spent nearly 20 years studying abroad and working internationally, Jason William Kumpf has seen many sides of business, negotiating, and leadership. For this reason, he feels it is incredibly important that he pass on the information he’s gained over the years to those looking to grow within the international exchange rate markets. Having a strong leadership style is valuable, but having the ability to adapt that leadership style to meet the needs of any market you’re working in is a priceless skill that will take anyone with the right drive far in life. Jason William Kumpf hopes to inspire some of this leadership in a new generation of young and talented industry members.
As Jason William Kumpf enters the next stage of his career, he looks towards opening new doors for leadership training and business strategy opportunities. If you’re a young tech startup or just looking for some leadership style advice, Jason William Kumpf’s new blog will act as a great resource. Without sharing what works, progress cannot be made, and Jason William Kumpf is dedicated to not only continuing a successful career for himself, but to see this reality happen for others.
For updates on Jason William Kumpf, be sure to check back often as new blog content will be added regularly.