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4 Tips To Help You Solve Some Typical Leadership Problems With Emotional Intelligence

Written by: Rodolfo Parlati, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Anyone who has the goal of becoming a leader knows the advantages that this position can offer to those who exercise it. However, we must also consider the continuous challenges that leadership leads to face and that will be part of everyday life. Despite all possible preparation, there will be situations in a leader's life that will raise doubts about how to act.

It is rare for a leader to find difficulties in the day-to-day matters of operational management. Things change, however, when it comes to managing people. Reconciling the requests and needs of the team with the ones of the company is not always easy. Added to this is the leaders' need to improve their performance and continue to innovate and grow.

Leadership skills can be learned, developed and improved and today, more than ever, managers need to keep up to date and grow constantly, as the current scenario requires more and more human and behavioural skills. One above all, emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to recognize, identify and adequately manage your own emotions and those of others to achieve certain goals. The first step in overcoming the challenges and fear inherent in the role of a leader is to recognize these emotions.

Emotional intelligence can be developed into an effective problem-solving tool. When issues arise between people, everyone wants to "win". By exploiting emotional intelligence skills, they can handle relationships more effectively, be more aware of emotions, have more empathy and be able to collaborate with others to develop a beneficial solution for all.

Given this, what are the main obstacles a leader faces and how can emotional intelligence skills help in overcoming them?

  • Developing people. Talent and people development is an essential aspect of leadership. It’s crucial to identify the potential of your collaborators and encourage their improvement. To do this, you’ll need to understand their needs and future aspirations and find ways to help them on their path. So, make sure to take the time to listen to your group members, and create opportunities to talk with them about how they want to progress in their working careers.

  • Leading through change. Changing can often be perceived as an uncertain or even scary process, and leading a group through it is always an important challenge for leaders. It’s just on these occasions that more than ever, people need effective leadership for guidance and reassurance. It’s important to understand the feelings of your team members and help them find the positive aspects of the change can reduce resistance towards it.

  • Providing inspiration and motivation. As a leader, you need to constantly provide inspiration and motivation to your team. It can become hard mostly if you’re not feeling motivated yourself or living in a challenging work environment. As demonstrated by some studies, helping your team members find purpose in their work is crucial to ensure employee engagement. So, to inspire and motivate people, help them focus on the value their work provides, share the vision for the group and make sure each individual can link to how their contribution makes a difference.

  • Managing a group. Becoming a leader means either you’ve been promoted from within the team or you’re completely new. In both cases, you’ll need to manage new dynamics with old colleagues or build trust with new ones. So, it’s important to collaborate with your new group members and take the time to set expectations with each other. Find an agreement on how you’re going to work together and make sure everyone involved is aligned with each other and determine which communication channels should be used.

  • Delegating tasks. This can be difficult for many leaders, especially when you have the necessary technical skills to do it in the best possible way. However, this is a fundamental skill for your leadership. By developing it, you will gain time for more strategic functions, demonstrate trust to the group and will be able to set priorities and observe the characteristics of the team members.

  • Managing team conflicts. Conflicts within a group are almost omnipresent in the business. Indeed, very different people, with unique values and personalities, need to live together for a good part of the day. Workplace conflict can be extremely detrimental when handled poorly, causing stress to the employees. Although common, conflicts require immediate attention from the leader so that they do not take on excessive proportions. The challenge for leaders is to create space for different perspectives to be shared and make sure that conflicting ideas are channelled into a productive discussion that allows for shared understanding and improvement. A few small actions, like using paraphrases or replacing the word "you" with "I", can help solve some problems and, contrary to common belief, a conflict can be very productive if well managed. In the end, when dealing with conflicts, the most important things are to focus on the interests rather than the positions and consider the problems as things separate from the people.

How To Use Emotional Intelligence On Yourself

These are some steps to follow to use emotional intelligence by beginning to yourself:

  1. Identify your emotions. This allows you to identify what you're feeling and determine whether it is something real, or something false. Simply ask yourself if you're truly feeling a determined emotion, or the related situation refers to something different.

  2. Facilitate your emotions. This ability can help you solve some problems by allowing you to use the various emotions you may be feeling and exploit these mood swings to think about different points of view. In this way, you can identify your setbacks and figure out ways around them, rather than letting an emotion mislead you.

  3. Understand your emotions. This capacity is crucial for you to understand that emotions aren't simply black or white but that there are also many “shades” of emotions people can experience. Controlling your emotions and helping others use theirs can make you feel more in control.

  4. Manage your emotions. This doesn't mean that you're able to hide your feelings but rather it lets you determine whether the emotions are typical and gives you the capacity to solve emotionally based problems and use your rationality to effectively manage your emotions. In this way, you'll be able to harness an emotion more quickly and better manage your feelings and subsequent behaviours. When establishing this control over your stressors, you can become better equipped to tackle the issues.

In Conclusion

The current business environment, with its high complexity, can be a difficult field to tackle for leaders. Staying close to your values and developing emotional intelligence are helpful strategies when everything around you seems to move so fast. This is one of the reasons why leaders need to be able to identify and develop these abilities in themselves and their collaborators, cultivating empathy and encouraging people to give their best.

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Rodolfo Parlati, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Rodolfo Parlati is a Professional Life & Executive Coach. Always inspired by the desire to impact others positively, his mission is to help people and professionals be happy and successful by finding out their inner potential and exploring the right path to follow to "give shape" to their goals. Passionate about building connections, the key elements of his coaching strategy are creating meaningful actions to attain the clients' goals, knowing what is holding them back, and supporting them in finding higher awareness. His natural curiosity has always driven him to be an eager lifelong learner, explore new fields, and look for the answers to any question.



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