6 Emotional Intelligence Skills Your Leadership Team Should Have

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A few weeks ago we talked about some key things you should think about before promote someone to your leadership team. Today I wanted to develop this concept and add one more: emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is a person’s ability to identify and manage their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Which, as you’d expect, goes a long way in determining how good of a leader someone will become.

Here are the six emotional skills that I believe are most important for a leader and member of your management team to own. If they haven’t mastered them yet, additional coaching may be needed before inviting them to your team.

1. Team Building: A leader’s ability to build and sustain a team is crucial to scaling and growing your business. Members of the leadership team should be able to help create a shared vision, meaning, and culture to shape the belonging and behaviors of each member of your team.

2. Motivation and inspiration: Business growth is often anything but linear, so it’s important that your leaders are able to inspire and motivate your people when the going gets tough. They need to be able to get buy-in, sell your business vision, and help people do great work.

3. Self-awareness and self-management: This is one of the areas that I think a lot of business owners struggle with and therefore struggle to train themselves and see this skill in other leaders in their business. If you tend to be a micromanager, for example, it’s important to know that about yourself so you can self-regulate your behavior for the good of your team and your business. Understand your default motivations and behaviors and their impact on others as part of your becoming a role model for the behaviors you want to see in others.

4. Social Intelligence: Another very important aspect of emotional intelligence has to do with the ability to understand why those below you behave the way they do. Understanding the motivations, attitudes and behaviors of others is an important skill for any leader. In addition, it allows us to work effectively with other people and move towards a common goal.

5.Communication: It is extremely difficult to build and manage a team if you are struggling with communication issues. Your leadership team needs to know how to listen effectively, give people a voice, share their message, and make sure your team is on the same page. This often happens with time and practice, and it’s something that should be worked on at all levels of your business.

6. Navigating the differences: The final skill I think your leadership team should possess is the ability to manage differences and have “adult conversations.” I have worked with many business owners and managers who are afraid of having difficult conversations and who struggle for months or even years to grow their business because they have a difficult employee or supplier who stagnate. Your leadership team should all know how to deal with people who are different from themselves, find common ground, and have difficult conversations when the need arises.

Promoting someone to your executive committee shouldn’t be taken lightly. It involves a lot of hindsight and coaching to help your team members get to where they need to be to be an effective leader. If done correctly, however, the growth and strategic depth that ensues are well worth the planning and the wait.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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