Leading with Emotional Intelligence: The Basics
Praise your people. Reward your people. Empower your people.
I read these statements from an Inc. article and pondered, savored, and felt what these simple and basic precepts of leadership with emotional intelligence are all about. Simple but hard. Basic but without consistency, they can be seen as negative instead of positive traits.
At the very core of these statements is a leader who checks on his/her emotions consistently and manages them well such that, actions, small consistent ones, not the once in a while dramatic, big bursts of “positive affectations” are shown. Let us take each statement one by one.
Praise Your People
It doesn’t take much to praise your people on a daily basis. Most would question the “powerlessness” and effectivity of praising your people regularly. In other words, if you do it too often they might lose its’ flavor and integrity. Not really, if there is sincerity in the praise. Saying “Thank you!”, “Go for it!”, “Nice job!”, you look nice or simply asking how you are today are forms of praise. An acknowledgment of the other person, listening and focusing on the other person when they are talking, in other words, respect, is praise in itself.
Reward Your People
Rewarding is not just skin deep. It is not just the plaque of appreciation and the cash in an envelope sealed by a picture posted on the bulletin board. Nor the once in a while pizza and ice cream treat for a project well done. It can be done in simple regular ways like having coffee readily available in the pantry with cookies or fresh fruits. Some special ways would be peer to peer recognition, specialized and personal treats like a 15-minute foot or back massages in the office once a month when sales quotas are met or projects have been delivered well (this is one practice we are about to implement). Of course, bonuses, increase and birthday greetings, and gifts will always be welcome.
Empower Your People
Empower… a word often used and heard in organizations. With Emotional Intelligence, empowering would mean knowing when to give support and knowing when to ask for support. Asking for help is a show of vulnerability, humility and at the same time trust in your people that they can do the job or even a better job than you. How would your people feel? Wow… Empowering also means letting them know that the team can also support them in their endeavor to be the better if not the best version of themselves. Acknowledging the good in what your people do and what can be areas for improvement as a team diminishes the road to pointing fingers and blaming. It opens up to empowering in the real sense of the word. No flattery here.
Emovation focuses on what matters most: people!