Are You An Emotionally Intelligent Manager?

The Better Manager Team
BetterManager Executive Coach

April 19, 2017

Effective management requires a certain level of emotional intelligence. But what is emotional intelligence and what are the five signs?

Managers succeed through people. And people — what they say, what they do and how they perform at work — are influenced by their emotions. That’s why the most successful managers are ones with high levels of emotional intelligence. They are able to tap into their emotions and the emotions of their employees to create a positive and productive work environment.

But what is emotional intelligence? And how do you know that you have it? Below are a few examples of how managers exhibit emotional intelligence:

They are aware of their moods and how they respond to certain situations

Emotions are contagious. When someone is angry or in a bad mood, it is felt by those around them. A manager who snaps at people or has regular outbursts hijacks the emotions of those around them and sets the tone for the meeting or even the day. If it happens often, that tone becomes the culture.

Emotionally intelligent managers regularly check in with how they are feeling. They know their triggers and can identify their own behavioral patterns, such as how they react to being contradicted in a meeting or being surprised by bad news. Environments also play a role. A manager’s reaction to events in a one-on-one conversation may be different than in a team meeting or during the stress of a deadline.

They keep their composure, regardless of their surroundings

You’ve just been surprised by bad news. You’re on a deadline and are interrupted by something trivial. How do you react? Rather than gratifying their feelings by yelling, slamming a door or even sighing heavily, emotionally intelligent managers keep their feelings in check and don’t let them distract from their primary role — managing.

They’re able to use their feelings as a tool

When effective managers feel their emotions rising, they slow down their impulses and determine the best way to express those feelings for the betterment of their team. For instance, when a manager receives bad news like a missed goal in the midst of a deadline on an unrelated topic, they may acknowledge the shortcoming but won’t fully react. For instance, they may say, “Let’s save non-emergencies for a less hectic time,” or, “That’s interesting. Let’s examine it further when we have more time.”

They recognize how people are feeling and act accordingly

Emotions percolate everywhere in a workplace and provide valuable pieces of data. Emotionally intelligent managers gather this data by reading and listening, using their eyes, their ears, and their own emotions to understand how others are responding. They process that information and act on it, sometimes elevating a positive feeling in the room or intercepting the festering of a negative one.

They can create a positive culture

No matter how great a vision is, how well it is communicated or how talented the team, a manager won’t be successful if they don’t connect with the emotions of their employees. Effective managers who have reached this point create a culture of respect and productivity by being open and curious, avoiding mixed signals, giving and taking feedback and building trust. They also understand that the little things – like saying thank you, notes of encouragement and showing that they care — matter a lot.Managers succeed through people. And people — what they say, what they do and how they do it.

Episode Transcript

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April 19, 2017