In today’s workplace, business leaders are more likely not to succeed without the ability to manage their emotions and cooperate with others on finding critical solutions to the challenges they face daily. Even more importantly, they have to be able to connect with employees on an emotional or what others might call a human level.

This attribute requires both empathy and understanding- key elements of what is known today as emotional intelligence. Leaders must become aware of and manage their own emotions as well as understand that of others.

When a business or line leader has a high Emotional Quotient (EQ), he stands a better chance of instilling a profound sense of engagement among his employees. When employees are not engaged, they are less motivated, hence less productive. This has a great impact on the health of the organization and of course on the rate of employee turnover.

Careful observation would reveal that most employee engagement strategies focus on external mechanisms which presume, according to classical economics, that people behave rationally. A closer observation reveals that the aforementioned idea works up to a point simply because people actually do not always behave in a rational manner.

Sometimes, people can see through the actions and gestures of leaders to know when they are simply going through the motions because of the result they desire. This implies that engaging employees cannot only be based on dealing with them rationally.

Hence, business and line leaders must become smarter with feelings. They must master the art of becoming aware of how emotions influence them and others. Leaders should learn how their words and actions support each employee’s autonomy, competence, and relatedness and either build or tear down relationships.

Leaders who practice emotional intelligence are less reactive and more responsive. They know themselves, so they don’t need to prove their own power. Instead, they are focused on working with others, giving an appropriate level of autonomy rather than busying themselves with being the boss.

Emotionally intelligent leaders are in tune with their employees. They see their employees’ strengths as well as their weaknesses clearly; hence know how to cultivate that essential sense of competition among them.

Remember, people, join organizations but sometimes leave as supervisors. A lot of times, when employees quit, it is a problem of relationships.

Who is gauging the “how” at your organization?


-Ngozi Adebiyi is the Lead Consultant at OutsideIn HR- “We develop commercially astute HR leaders and equip business leaders employees to build an Ownership mindset!”

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