How high is your Emotional Intelligence (EI or EQ)?
Are you certain that you use a variety of leadership styles which brings the best out of your employees? According to psychologists, leaders often pull out the wrong golf club from their leadership bags and deliver strokes which produce results opposite to that which they had intended. Clobbering someone is a favourite stroke.
Some leaders believe that their employees simply have to cope. You could make an effort to sensitize yourself to the topic of Emotional Intelligence and the importance of handling human relations in the office environment well.
The impact of creating the right climate
Apart from the extremely important human aspects, of building their people, leaders in sharpening their EI skills also could take note of these points:
- "Leaders drive the service climate and thus the predisposition of employees to satisfy customers. For every 1% improvement in the service climate, there's a 2% increase in revenue." (Daniel Goleman and co-authors in The New Leaders.)
- The role of the leader: Roughly 50 to 70% of how employees perceive their organisation's climate can be traced to the actions of one person: the leader.
- About 80 to 90% of a leader's performance depends on Emotional Intelligence. The higher one climbs in an organisation the more important EI (which in turn shapes the climate) becomes as a factor defining success.
- Surveys of company climates predict customer satisfaction. In 75% of cases, climate alone sorted companies into high versus low profits and growth. Of course, climate in itself does not determine performance. The factors deciding which companies prove most fit in any given quarter are notoriously complex. Nevertheless, the climate - how people feel about working in a company - can account for 20% to 30% of business performance.
Four EI competency clusters
Goleman and the Hay Group categorised four sets of competencies that differentiate individuals with Emotional Intelligence: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness and Relationship Management.
The competencies in the first three clusters must be in place in order for an individual to be effective in the last cluster. And, it is the competencies in the last cluster that drive organisation performance. These are the competencies that leaders use to inspire organisations to greatness, which employees who deal with clients every day use to delight clients.
Six leadership styles
Six leadership styles have been identified: Visionary, Coaching, Affiliative, Democratic, Pacesetting and Commanding. The first four produce resonance, that is, a situation which is positive. The last two, pacesetting and commanding, should best be avoided as leaders often use them in the wrong circumstances. If used wrongly they produce dissonance, do harm to relations and demotivate people. Think of an orchestra or a fine band. Would you prefer spending an evening listening to dissonance?
A surprising number of managers tend to think that the latter two styles are the mark of a good leader. "Show them who is the boss."
David McClelland "found that leaders with strengths in a critical mass of six or more EI leadership abilities were far more effective than peers who lacked such strengths". Only six out of 18!
EI/EQ can be improved
Leadership behaviour impacts on company culture. Many leaders are not aware that their own standard emotional leadership behaviours simply impede getting the results that they seek for their companies. Any individual is able to improve his/her emotional competencies - although it takes serious introspection, a lengthy process of action and self-analysis and an invitation to your peers to give you honest feedback. Are you improving? Most find discussing the topic and studying backgrounders that we supply, beneficial. Others opt for a more in-depth approach and enrol for a programme of leadership EI development.
When MDs realise that leadership styles are indeed crucially important to company performance, they invariably opt for 360-degree assessments of all their leaders and managers, including themselves. They also base the company's bonus system on results achieved linked to top leadership performance. It is not acceptable to achieve excellent results through unacceptable leadership behaviour. In the long run such behaviour leads to high and expensive staff turnovers.
If you have a real personal wish to make changes in your leadership style, ABPLAN, backed by our associates, Smith, Chamberlain & Associates, a team of very competent industrial psychologists, can assist.
Could you afford to ignore this topic? Leaders and managers need to be acutely aware of the impact of their behaviour on their employees - and on their profits.
Emotional Intelligence ties in with the topic building agreement.
For more information about "The New Leaders: Transforming the Art of Leadership Into the Science of Results" by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee please see worth reading.
Last modified: 22-11-2010