Creating a Strong EI Workplace Culture

Neuroscience shows that Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a flexible set of skills that can be acquired and improved with practice. In doing so, organisational leaders can increase the likelihood of success within their team; increasing trust, respect, understanding, ownership and essentially productivity.

Leaders with strong EI are emotionally self-aware, understand and maintain self -regulation, clearly express their thoughts, hold a high level of social awareness and can effectively handle conflicts and offer a resolution. The better a leader relates to and works with others, the more successful he or she will be.

Below are 10 ways leaders can utilise EI to create great workplace culture:

1.Identify Strengths and Weaknesses

Teams usually have a diverse set of skills, talents, and knowledge that could be beneficial to a leader’s overall goals. If you want to make the most of every team member, start by getting to know them better, especially outside of projects.

2. Listen, Listen, Listen

When we listen, we show people that they are a valued person. It gives them a chance to talk about positives and negatives, which might otherwise impact their productivity.

3. Praise More

Look to praise people you see doing a good job. Achievements are more likely to be repeated if positively recognised.

4. Avoid Excuses

Leaders don’t have to possess superpowers. We all make mistakes; own up to them. It allows us to make better connections of trust and rapport with your team and also shows a willingness to change.

5. R.E.S.P.E.C.T!

Ask people; don’t tell. Leaders are looked upon far less favourably if they command. Employees want to feel like people who are being appreciated for their hard work and effort; not a herd of cattle. Show that you care about people.

6. Develop Creative Ways to Manage Stress

Sticking to time lines, taking team breaks, hosting team meetings in different locations, incorporate ‘meeting walks’ and reduce multitasking can significantly reduce your teams stress load.

7. Allow the Whole Team to Have a Voice

Good leaders require good communication skills. This will assist in problem solving as a team if the challenge arises, along with providing an avenue of sharing ideas.

8. Give Credit Where Credit is Due

If a team member creates a fantastic concept, allow them to lead the execution and take the recognition. When ownership of an idea occurs, team members can be found to be more engaged to the project rather than creating an idea and not getting credit.

9. ‘Perceptual Positions’

Take the time to look at situations from other people’s perspectives. Focus on both language and bodily cues and respond to them with kind and empathy. The more understood the perspective of others is, the easier it will be to understand any resistance or issues that they will have.

10. Mix a Little Business with Pleasure

Encouraging social afternoons either at the end of the week or month, or a monthly lunch date with each team member choosing a different restaurant can be a great way for teams to get to know each other outside the work place. Leaders should also be present at these events to lead by example, get to know others and show how to switch off and have a bit of fun.

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