When I first meet the apprentices on our Leadership and Management Programme I ask them to think about the best manager they ever worked with and the skills and qualities that makes them great?  The most popular responses include understanding, supportive, effective communicators, positive, good at listening, motivational and focussed on developing relationships.

The behaviours that are memorable and remarkable are encompassed by the theory of Emotional Intelligence.  Emotional Intelligence is a theory developed by Daniel Goleman that has a positive, memorable impact in the workplace.  It has a two part focus.  The personal; the ability to recognise, understand and manage our own emotions.  And the interpersonal; understanding other people to get the best out of them.

As leaders the best indicator of our success is the impact we have upon the people around us. Using our Emotional Intelligence gives us the opportunity to maximise employee satisfaction, engagement and drive results.  Day to day, methods of demonstrating Emotional Intelligence include:

Personal reflection: How are you feeling? How will this impact others? How are you going to manage it?

Team awareness: Check in with people.  See how they are and how they are feeling, use empathic listening to find out how your team are feeling and put the support in place, where required, to avoid escalation and improve trust.

manager checking in with team

Encouraging open communication: Creating an open culture where people can communicate freely will give a team the opportunity voice any concerns and support each other. Be part of the solution, hands on involvement in group tasks illustrates that you are all working towards the same goal both strategically and practically.

Giving credit and recognition: Celebrate the success of individuals and the team as a whole.  Recognising and remembering achievements is a key part of increasing confidence for individuals and the wider team.

As leaders using the soft skills encompassed by Emotional Intelligence has a notable impact on the people we manage. Afterall, who wouldn’t want to be remembered as an understanding, supportive leader who uses effective communication to motivate a team and build positive relationships?

Emma Goodwin

Senior Facilitator at Fuel Learning