Emotional Intelligence - Benefits for Leaders
Executives, high potential people and managers are under tremendous pressure. They face complex problems and every decision they make has significant, positive or negative consequences, not only for a department or business unit, but also for the entire organization. When they develop or enhance their Emotional Intelligence skills, they increase the likelihood of success both personally and professionally and for their organization.
For more than a decade, people from all organizational levels and from a broad spectrum of industries and businesses have participated programs to help them enhance their Emotional Intelligence (EI) skills. While the participants' various roles have presented them with quite different pressures and challenges, the one factor all these people have in common is the emotions they experience. When people develop EI skills, they are able to become internally self-managed and capable of making their greatest contributions. And when employees work in that zone of peak performance, so does the organization. Following are some examples of how EI skill development can benefit executives, high potential people and managers or supervisors.
Executives must make decisions daily that may make or break their companies. They must rely on more people than ever to achieve results they, personally, are held accountable for by the board. They must quickly and flexibly lead system-wide organizational change, while inspiring and energizing their followers. This constant, burdensome pressure can create feelings of anxiety, fear, caution, and even guilt and depression. The wrong decision, an untimely decision or no decision may cause "The Street" to undervalue the company, hampering its ability to meet its goals and stockholder expectations.
Research has shown that high EI skills are the distinguishing characteristics that separate star performing executives from average ones. Enhancing leaders' EI skills enables them to lead with courage, demonstrate their passion, grow and retain talented leaders, and empathize with people while humanely challenging them to meet demanding business goals. The resilient, flexible, strong organizational culture that is created by such a leader attracts talented people, ensures organizational success (through thick and thin), and creates a lasting legacy.
High Potential People:
High Potential People take on demanding multiple projects and leadership roles. Unforeseen events occur that delay or derail critical business initiatives under their responsibility. They have daily contact with customers, suppliers and even competitors who are often irate and threatening. Hundreds of emails demand immediate attention. These situations can cause the person to feel anxious, fearful and overwhelmed. Frustration may set in as they perceive that things are not moving faster and they may worry that their career is suffering. Negative emotions can lead to poor decisions and multi-million dollar flubs. Products flop and marketing campaigns go awry as critical details fall through the cracks. A shallow talent pool can keep the company from developing new products and services, crippling its chances in its industry.
Since high EI skills are a distinguishing characteristic between average and high-performing individuals, then the earlier these skills are developed and ingrained, the more likely High Potentials and the company are to experience success. When high potential people develop their EI skills to the fullest, the company has a cadre of competent global leaders capable of introducing new products and services, starting new businesses, and leading the integration of new acquisitions.
Managers and Supervisors:
Managers' and Supervisors' behavior and treatment of their people determine turnover and retention. They interact daily with individuals who have distinct needs, wants and expectations. Within their department and other departments, they significantly influence the attitudes, performance and satisfaction of employees. The stress of trying to lead and satisfy so many people's changing needs and expectations can be overwhelming, to say nothing of the demands from upper management. Walking that fine line of being both firm and caring at the same time causes many to feel inadequate for their role. An inadequate relationship between the employee and their direct supervisor is reported to be the cause of forty percent of turnover. Where trust is lacking, performance suffers.
Enhancing EI skills enables Supervisors and Managers to regulate their emotions and motivate themselves more effectively. This allows them to manage their own emotional turmoil effectively and demonstrate compassion and empathy for their employees. Enhanced EI skills also equip them with the courage to challenge existing thinking and processes to make necessary changes for their people. All employees want a supportive, caring Supervisor or Manager who has their best interests at heart. As a result, employees are more likely to be loyal, turning down offers from other companies to remain in a supportive environment.
While it's evident that developing EI skills can be extremely valuable to the individual and the organization, it's beneficial to examine actual results people have achieved. Participants in EI training programs have reported a range of 20% to 35% increase in personal productivity, 15% to 35% increased teamwork, a 20% to 40% reduction in stress and worry, and similar improvements in management of emotional reactiveness, personal motivation, creativity, work/life balance and more. These increases can translate into positive return on investment for the organization.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tailoring the art and science of Emotional Intelligence (EI) to your needs, Byron Stock focuses on results, helping individuals and organizations enhance Emotional Intelligence skills, leadership competencies and core values. Visit www.ByronStock.com to learn about his practical, user-friendly techniques to enhance Emotional Intelligence skills.