Emotionally intelligent leadership — the introspective analysis that helps good leaders become great
The first step to becoming a better situational leader is to better understand oneself.
The more we know about ourselves, the greater our capacity to truly lead ourselves and others well. When you understand why you behave in the way you do, you are more able to bring your best — and help others to contribute fully.
Self-awareness is the key to improving emotional intelligence
Every leader is formed by a combination of three key attributes: self-awareness (PQ), competency (IQ) and connectivity (EQ).
PQ – self-awareness
IQ – competency
EQ – connectivity
The most important of these is self-awareness. Greater self-awareness enables leaders to recognise and maximise their strengths, while facing up to and overcoming their weaknesses.
You can’t escape your tendencies
Unfortunately, you can’t completely change who you are. Our tendencies are hardwired into our personalities – some are good, some not so.
Tendencies become ingrained as patterns of behaviour, and patterns become the default for our actions. All actions have consequences in every aspect of our lives — from the self to the family, team, organisation and wider community.
Your tendencies don’t go away (for instance, I still have the tendency to talk too much, think I’m right, and shoot down people who don’t agree with me!) The trick is to become aware of your negative tendencies and make a conscious choice to change them.
Understanding and adapting to your tendencies
Watch yourself and hear yourself. For example, if you have a tendency to initiate arguments then spot the triggers: Are there particular topics that spark your aggression? Does your patience run thin when people ramble? Are you particularly susceptible to low blood sugars making your temperature rise?
Become self-aware and consider how your behaviour affects others around you. Realise when you’re getting into conflict and take a step back.
Is it that you don’t put enough effort into networking opportunities or only talk to people who immediately interest you? So get out of your comfort zone. Instead of avoiding interactions, make a point of talking to people you wouldn’t normally engage – opportunities can thrive on unexpected encounters.
Naturally these examples might not resonate with you. You might be a highly calm, patient leader and an enthusiastic, skilled networker (in which case, congratulations!) But we’re all adept at deceiving ourselves, and it pays to take the time to consider which areas of your personality are holding you back from becoming the best leader you can be.
Your tendencies are yours. But whatever they are, it’s your decision not to be defined by them.
Identify your voices and the voices on your team
Your leadership voice is made up of complex mix of 5 distinct voices: Pioneer; Creative; Connector; Guardian; Nurturer. Some voices come to you more naturally than others.
Of the 5 Voices, everyone has a foundational voice; the voice they are most comfortable communicating with, that dominates their leadership style. We’re all typically good at a second voice as well, and not so good at two voices. Our ability to communicate in the ‘middle’ voice – not so good, not too bad — often comes down to maturity and application.
5 Voices is simple to understand, but challenging to implement, because of our own tendencies. Most people are unaware of the unspoken messages they are relaying to people who may speak in a different voice.
We want to help you deal with those issues through 5 Voices so you can learn to change your patterns into productive actions that lead to positive outcomes. Once this personal alignment occurs, then you are ready to begin aligning the voices on your team.