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Emotional intelligence can help you become a more effective leader to your team. Learn the different types of traits that will improve your team’s morale.

In this age of technology, many often focus on hard skills, treating them as more important than soft skills. However, managers need a combination of the two to lead effectively. 

While hard skills refer to technical or vocational competence, soft skills may refer to an individual’s personality, social graces, and communication abilities. With the right combination of both types, managers can rise to the top and lead a team effectively.

Moreover, emotional intelligence is something that managers must consider. Emotional competency is not merely an add-on skill or a nice‐to‐have but a core leadership competency that, when developed further and applied better, can be essential in unlocking the vast potential of workforces globally. It is a critical leadership quality that can help you coach team members, solve challenges, and collaborate effectively.

Here are seven emotional intelligence traits you’ll need in managing a team.

7 Important Emotional Intelligence Traits For Managers

  1. Self-awareness 

Self-awareness is being aware of one’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. It recognizes how your moods, emotions, and actions affect others. In other words, it is the ability to see yourself objectively.

Managers that equip themselves with this emotional intelligence trait better deal with conflicts at work. They know when to step back and take a break from a difficult situation if necessary. They also recognize when they need help from others to solve problems or come up with solutions—something that not everyone can do, especially if they aren’t aware of their feelings.

  1. Social awareness 

Emotionally intelligent managers are keenly aware of the feelings of others around them. It involves understanding what motivates people and their perspectives.

This trait means you have strong interpersonal skills that allow you to perceive your employees’ current situations. You’ll read body language and recognize social cues to improve communication between them and their team members.

As such, this trait is fundamental, so you can effectively lead your team toward achieving common goals. For example, an emotionally intelligent manager can see the signs of stress and exhaustion in their team. You can develop a plan to help your members destress so they don’t get burned out.

  1. Social skills

Social skills are an essential trait you need to have as this trait includes competencies like teamwork and conflict resolution, which are necessary because they help you work well with staff members. It even helps with promoting collaboration in your departments or teams. 

Social skills involve listening, speaking, and responding correctly. For example, listening attentively to what someone is saying without interrupting them can help you understand what they’re going through.

As such, you can respond to them appropriately, whether it be verbally or non-verbally, through facial expressions and gestures. This bit requires you to have speaking skills so you can talk clearly and concisely, helping you express yourself so that people can understand easily. 

Speaking skills may also help you relay rules that employees must understand clearly, such as employment regulations. Doing so can deter wrongdoers and ensure that everyone knows their rights. 

  1. Self-motivation

This characteristic refers to an individual’s ability to motivate themselves without relying on external rewards or pressures from others. In other words, you don’t need constant supervision or approval from others to be productive. 

Self-motivated managers are self-directed and able to set goals for themselves, complete tasks on time, and make decisions independently when the situation demands it.

This trait is vital for managers like yourself because it allows you to perform your job without relying too much on others’ help or direction. It also helps you avoid over-dependency on praise or criticism from your supervisors or customers.

  1. Collaborative communication

This emotional intelligence trait goes hand-in-hand with social skills. It refers to the ability to listen effectively and communicate clearly with others, so they’ll understand what you are saying and respond positively. 

People typically work best when they feel safe and respected. If they don’t feel comfortable talking openly about their concerns, they’re less likely to offer new ideas or take risks on projects that could benefit the company. Moreover, this skill can help nurture strong relationships with team members and stakeholders by making them feel they belong. 

For example, your remote team may feel left out, especially since you don’t get to interact with them as much as you do with your onsite employees. However, collaborating and integrating them with your onsite team can help break barriers and improve your remote team — by doing this, you are also building an inclusive and healthy workplace

  1. Empathy for others

On top of social awareness, empathy is also an essential trait that managers need to possess to run their teams effectively. This trait revolves around the ability to understand or share the feelings of another. It may help you identify what motivates your team, the type of feedback they receive, and when and how they’ll perceive it. 

Managers must empathize with their employees and understand their unique needs and preferences. This trait can foster a safe and inclusive workplace. As such, you can increase employee engagement and boost their productivity. 

  1. Self-regulation 

Being aware and acknowledging your emotions and feelings aren’t enough. You must also have the ability to manage your emotions so they won’t negatively impact others or yourself. 

You need to respond appropriately when emotions arise in the workplace. Doing so can help you be more supportive and caring towards employees while maintaining control over your feelings. 

Caring for your employees means identifying when one needs help, offering guidance without being invasive or offering too much, and keeping stress levels under control to avoid taking out your frustrations on others.  

Enabling Employees With Emotional Intelligence

Leaders who possess emotional intelligence can create positive change and foster team success. They can navigate complex situations and persuade others to work cooperatively by providing sound executive advice. As a team leader yourself, emotional intelligence enables you to make difficult decisions, effectively resolve conflicts, and adapt to changing corporate goals and environments.

With this, you can bring out the full potential of your employees and instill a sense of innovation and creativity in their work environments. By encouraging them to grow and realize their full potential, you can create a workplace where your company and employees can thrive.

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