4 Simple Tips to Strengthen Your EQ Muscles

We write endlessly about the topic of emotional intelligence (EQ) and self-awareness as these are the foundational skills that enable all other soft and hard skills to fire on all cylinders. In the absence of having strong EQ and self-awareness muscles, you might be operating on what we call “auto-pilot” and may not be meeting your people where they are at or giving them what they need to succeed.

How can leaders be more intentional about improving these muscles? Let’s explore how you can transcend to the next level in your leadership effectiveness and performance by applying these four simple tips.

#1 – Always Be Authentic 

Nothing will break trust more than a leader who isn’t authentic. If you don’t operate with authenticity, you won’t find many employees following your lead. Your people will be more apt to follow someone whose thoughts, actions, beliefs, and values are aligned and consistent. In other words, when you say what you mean, mean what you say.

Building authenticity as a habit means you need to be mindful of your words and actions. Are you paying lip service to others, telling them what they want to hear or trying to impress everyone? Or are you taking the time to be thoughtful about what you’ll say next and sharing the “real” aspects of you with others? 

#2 – Be a Curious Learner

Grounded, emotionally intelligent leaders are self-motivated to learn, whether from their people, peers, or other colleagues inside or outside the organization. Those who think they have all the answers might find themselves falling short on their own level of effectiveness.

Learning to be a student of life or curious learner will not only help you hone your own leadership skills, but it will also encourage those around you to do the same which fosters innovation and creativity. When we view every interaction as an opportunity to learn something new, it encourages curiosity and growth in others, too. Your role as a leader isn’t to have all the answers. It’s about learning and collaborating with others to come up with ideas and solutions together. 

#3 – Build Meaningful Relationships with Others

Emotionally intelligent leaders recognize the importance of building lasting relationships that straddle both the business and personal lines. If you take care of your people, they will take care of your business – it’s that simple. Successful companies thrive when they make their people a priority. Growing and nurturing relationships is essential to furthering everyone’s well-being, including that of the organization.

Irrelevant of the products and services you offer your clients, remember that you’re in the people business. The depth of relationships you build with those around you, will either make or break your success. When done with care and authenticity, it can take performance and results to a whole new level.

#4 – Leading with Compassion

As a leader, you establish the tone and environment for others to follow. Emotionally intelligent leaders understand that it’s not about perfection. In fact, sometimes people might not deliver according to your expectations. Before casting judgment, seek to understand what might be happening to cause this as your people have lives outside of their work responsibilities. It is your job to listen and help them through whatever challenges they might be encountering.

In addition, if you are compassionate with yourself, it will make you a better leader in many ways, not the least of which is having a clear mind and heart that can make good decisions without letting emotion or judgment get in the way. Compassion can positively transform your relationships, culture, and business results in the process. 

Emotional Intelligence is a Game Changer 

Emotional intelligence is an abstract concept, but by following these simple tips, you can strengthen your EQ and self-awareness muscles. It takes time to develop and nurture, but the benefits are amazing if you are up for the challenge of pursuing it!

Are You Struggling to Strengthen your EQ Muscles?

There are many nuances to building these muscles and we are here to help you create a customized plan that will move you through learning stages so you feel more at ease about the process and how it will affect you, your people, and your organization.

Please reach out to me by sending an email at joanne.trotta@leadersedgeinc.ca, or give me a call at 1.855.871.3374.

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