I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Smile, your mood is contagious." Your mood and behavior can affect everyone on your team, this is especially true for managers. As you may have experienced, a short-tempered manager can create a productive or toxic environment. In the latter, employees will not be used to their full potential; they will go home at the end of the day exhausted and not feel like they have accomplished anything worthwhile.
This triggers a chain reaction.
Your team will be less willing to take risks and seek out opportunities. They will spend less time creatively collaborating with each other and will produce mediocre work. In turn, they will develop a less than desirable product. This trickles all the way down to your customers, who will probably choose to take their business elsewhere.
Daniel Goleman’s breakthrough book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ turns 20 next month. Since it’s publication, emotional intelligence (also called the Emotional Quotient) has been making its way on the business management playing field as the” x-factor” everyone knew existed but couldn’t name.
So, what is EI/EQ?
"Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth."
- Mayer & Salovey, 1997
Emotional Intelligence can be broken into five different components:
The ability to recognize and understand your own personal moods and emotions. This is the ability to understand what drives you and the ability to honesty monitor and identify your emotions.
The ability to control, regulate, and redirect impulses and moods (productive and disruptive), and the propensity to suspend judgment and to think before acting.
3. Intrinsic Motivation
Passion for your work should be fueling your productivity and leadership. If your motivation is driven from extrinsic rewards such as money and fame, you will burn out quickly. When the trophies and money loose their luster, so will your drive.
4. Social Awareness
Empathy is at the foundation of social awareness. This is the ability to understand how others will emotionally react to you.
5. Relationship Management
This is the ability to manage relationships, networks, and build rapport.
Be mindful of the five components of EI/EQ when you talk with your colleagues, answer an email, and when using your smart phone.
Creating a Healthy EI/EQ Environment
When your EI is in check, you will create an environment where information sharing is encouraged. There will be a mutual trust among colleagues. Employees will engage in healthy risk-taking and encourage each other to learn new skills.
A good manager needs to be genuine; it’s too easy to spot a faker and there’s no point in beating around the bush. Instead, approach a situation with optimism and sincerity. Be energetic and realistic. Your workplace should not be a place of fear and anxiety. People should feel supported and encouraged to grow their talents. In the end, this will result in helping everyone in the company.
So, are you having a good day today? How have people been acting today? Your presence and your words can either inspire or discourage. Remind yourself of the five components of EI, take a deep breath, exhale, and ask yourself how you are feeling and how that is affecting others around you.
If you are interested in this topic and want to learn more, check out our other blog posts about Emotional Intelligence here.
Andrew J. Wilt
SEI Junior Consultant