With the world’s current state, people need to bring a sense of humanity back into the workplace. The lines have blurred with the transition to virtual work, and people no longer have any barriers from their work to home life. It’s time to create a culture of understanding and establish emotional intelligence strategies in the workplace.
It is essential to understand that people are more powerful than their emotions and the first step is being vulnerable.
Vulnerability is Power
A leader who embraces vulnerability and shares emotion can encourage their employees to support each other, support failures as learning opportunities, and encourage uncomfortable conversations to bring employees together in a more profound way.
Vulnerability as a leader can be difficult. The truth is, influential leaders understand that their vulnerabilities do not define them. Opening up without fear can build trust within the team and make each employee feel equal.
Leaders get caught up in the ideology that they have to do everything independently; however, a leader who asks for support in their emotional and professional weaknesses will make them more decisive and successful.
How to Manage Emotions
1. Identify Emotional Triggers
2. Remind Yourself of the Intentions
3. Have the Uncomfortable Conversation
How to Cultivate a Culture of Emotional Intelligence
Once leaders have developed their own EI techniques, they need to bring emotional intelligence into their workplace culture. Creating opportunities to chat about emotions, creating rules for engagement, and just genuinely caring are great ways to allow employees to understand, embrace, and manage their feelings.
The simplest way is to practice enhancing emotional vocabulary in workplace communication. Cultivating a place of learning different emotions can help in better understanding what other individuals are feeling. For instance, to encourage more “emotion talk,” leaders can start meetings off by asking how everyone is feeling or share a tool like an emotions poster. Eventually, people will be able to identify their emotions independently.
Creating a Team Charter or Rules for Engagement are ways to make people accountable for their emotional intelligence. These tools can open the door for the team to collaborate on the organization’s vision, mission, values, and communication expectations. Open, honest conversation about how people want to be treated can make people feel more connected as a team and hold people accountable for managing their emotions and respecting their boundaries. Further, it also provides a strategy for handling emotional disputes professionally and effectively.
Lastly, leaders who can emanate compassion towards their employees help create a culture of emotional well-being. When people feel cared for, they genuinely want to put their best work forward and support a team they know has their back. A leader that builds a culture of care creates a safe environment where emotions are no longer holding them back so that people can flourish in other areas like decision making, problem-solving, and overall productiveness.
The Impact of Emotions in the Workplace
When a leader’s emotions hinder people, they cannot perform their job at a high level, creating a chain reaction of other issues and even conflict between other colleagues. If emotions are not acknowledged, they can unhinge and be detrimental to the organization in the face of high turnover, low productivity, lousy communication skills, and poor culture.
It’s time to break the stigma of emotions relating to weakness and learn to embrace them again. Be vulnerable. Embrace emotion head-on. And be the leader that your people need you to be.