Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a skill set that you can always benefit from growth, and it’s one of the few areas in which you don’t experience a ceiling as far as capability. We’ve covered the foundations of leadership on shows 145-149 and you can find many resources for supporting your EQ here.  Today we’ll give you even more tips to help you continue to drive for further growth.

Run toward conflict instead of away from it


Conflict, like a sunset, is inevitable.  You can’t prevent conflict from happening in your work or personal life any more than you can prevent the sun from dipping below the horizon. As a leader of people and leader over an area of responsibility, you’ll better serve your team and the business by courageously stepping toward a conflict and addressing it early. 

It’s certainly not an instinct that everyone possesses. You’ll find leaders or co-workers who are passive-aggressive or conflict-adverse. The troubles only build up for those folks as the problem or situation further deteriorates. As you stand out from the crowd in your leadership (and EQ) skills, approach the conflict with active listening skills to understand the other person to get to a positive and agreed-upon resolution.

Be mindful of communicating outside of work hours


Email Ugency Bias is a phenomenon caused at least in part by the fact that response speed has increasingly become a proxy for dedication and hard work. It’s the feeling, whether it’s warranted or not, that you need to get back to the other person ASAP. This can also be heavily influenced by who the person is or what the role is. 

An emotionally intelligent leader realizes this and considers their communication with others outside of working hours in order to not impede on their downtime and help to encourage a healthy work/life balance. Include expectations with those who have a tendency to get back to you no matter the hour or struggle with prioritization. 

“Please don’t feel the need to respond today. We can talk about it on (X Date).”

“I know you have a busy morning tomorrow, so if you can get back to me by the end of the day that would be great.”

“We’re presenting next Friday, so let me know this week what you think.”

Even if you do this, there are going to be some folks who are just wired to ignore your date and next it back to you as soon as possible. The implication is that it doesn’t matter what you say, if you send messages during off hours, you’ll be denying those people a chance to connect. Leverage scheduling your emails or have them in your drafts to send after it’s time to get back to working hours again.

Show a willingness to share what you are feeling

Some leaders are just not comfortable expressing their emotions to those that they work with. While this doesn’t give the person a free pass to be unprofessional and succumb to outbursts and fits of rage, it does mean that you show up as your honest and true self. In your environment, this may mean sharing both the good news and the bad. It also means celebrating the wins while acknowledging the tough days and losses. 

Our fears, insecurity, internal visual of what a leader looks like, and uncertainty in direction can all put up barriers As a result, we put on a facade that hides who we truly are. Help strengthen your emotional intelligence by taking small steps here to open yourself up to others. 

You can find a deeper dive into this topic at How Transparency Helps Your Team and Career (Show 305)

Stay mindful of your pace


As leaders, we are often action-oriented. Do the thing and do it now! I’m often the same way. I’d rather knock something out than need to go back later and follow up on additional items. While that action-orientated stance can be very beneficial in eliminating additional meetings as well as freeing up time for your future self, it often serves you well to pause and not immediately respond to external stimuli. 

Those that pause before responding to those external stimuli, think email, messages, complaints, or even good things like opportunities, will often come out with the upper hand. Emotionally intelligent leaders appreciate that slower reaction times give them space to be more strategic in their thoughts and protect them from emotional knee-jerk reactions. 

Continue to hone your emotional intelligence skills to bring better balance into your work/life rhythm, and a healthier environment for yourself and those that you serve. 

Make a better tomorrow. 
-ZH