At Fyle, we believe that empathy is the most underrated feeling.
It is indeed a skill to understand someone’s mental state, comfort them, and suggest solutions to help them through it. Although it is not a soft skill many possess, it is something companies are looking to develop in their employees. Employees these days are looking for candidates who fit the company culture. They don’t have to necessarily be high performers, as long as they are willing to put their best foot forward. Most importantly, they ought to be team players. It is not just about their IQ (Intelligence Quotient) anymore; their EIQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient) also matters just as much.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
“The rules for work are changing. We are being judged by a new yardstick: not just by how smart we are, or by our training expertise, but also by how we handle ourselves and each other.”
– Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence and Working with Emotional Intelligence,
As explained by Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence is about how well you understand your emotions and that of others. It is one of the most important leadership skills because a leader’s emotional stability decides the dynamics of his team. But, it isn’t as easy. There’s more to developing EQ than what meets the eye. Here’s how you can start your journey to becoming an emotionally-empowered individual:
Me before you
To understand others better, it is necessary that you become aware of who you are. By awareness, we refer to you having a keen sense of what your strengths and weaknesses are. How to go about that? For instance, if you are short-tempered, classify it as a weakness. The next time you see your temper rising, pause for a moment and identify what triggered the emotion. By doing so, you can gradually take control of your feelings and your reactions towards specific situations. Maintain a “feelings journal” if need be. It will help you identify far you have come in your self-awareness journey. The key is to think before you leap.
Your Actions matter
If you are the kind of person who runs around like a headless chicken when things go haywire, this is for you. Once you understand your emotional triggers, the next step is to regulate your actions. Things and people are not always going to act the way you want them to. It is up to you to either react instantly or, think of an appropriate response. Try to assess the situation calmly, which will help you find the right solution to any problem. Set standards for yourself and work towards achieving it. At the same time, do not be too hard on yourself if you fall. Work towards always becoming a better version of yourself.
Motivation is the key
As a leader, your morale can make or break your team. Be the person who talks the talk and walks the walk. Set an example by showing your team how well you handle your work. If things don’t go as planned, look for ways to fix it first. Analyze the mistakes that caused it only when you have things under control. By doing so, you motivate your team to work better. You show them it is okay to make mistakes. But your actions will motivate them to look for solutions, rather than fret about it. Motivate yourself even when the situation seems difficult.
There’s nothing like empathy when it comes to understanding people. Always remember that there’s more to an employees’ life than work. The actions and situations in their personal life can affect their mental health a great deal. Make it a point to often talk to your employees. Understand their psychological stand-point on the mundane aspects of life. Once you create an open environment, your employees will feel more committed to their work.What’s more? They’ll begin to respect you, both as their leader and personal mentor.
Emotional Intelligence Quotient vs. Intelligence Quotient
The importance of both these aspects cannot be emphasized enough. Although, they are often seen as two attributes pitched against one another. In truth, success is dependent on both.
Intelligence Quotient (IQ) talks about your quantitative abilities. It measures your logical reasoning abilities and is often considered, a measure for success. However, times have changed. Companies have realized that leaders are not just about their quantitative skills, but also their people skills. That is where Emotional Intelligence (EQ) comes into the picture. People with high EQ can understand one’s self and others very well. This makes them the ideal people’s person. These qualities, along with a good IQ, is what a leader needs.
The positive correlation between emotional intelligence and financial productivity
Emotional intelligence became a popular notion after the article by Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer was published. Daniel Goleman educated a broader audience through his book “Emotional Intelligence,” where he broke down the concept for everyone to understand. Since then, people have tried inculcating these habits in their daily lives. They then realized its benefits help both at the workplace and at home. It helps them make better decisions and live psychologically healthier lives.
As far as businesses are concerned, emotional intelligence becomes the means to identify true leaders. There’s a paradigm shift in the way finance teams and CFOs are perceived. Now, finance is no longer only about endless paperwork. Digital transformation has made work a lot easier for the finance teams. This allows them sufficient time to concentrate on their career growth. As a result, more and more of them are making the switch to decision making roles. Here, they will have a say in how the company should function. This is where emotional intelligence comes into play.
Given that finance folks and CFOs are increasingly becoming a part of the higher management, their say, matters. Their work mainly involves talking to vendors and stakeholders, understanding the company requirements, making effective financial decisions, and so on. Today, they are required to be good with numbers and people. Their emotional intelligence is crucial in understanding the nature of any conversation they have. Additionally, it will also help them turn any situation into a positive solution.
Apart from that, the finance team is becoming the thread that connects all departments. Their interaction with other teams helps in determining how, where, and why the company spends.
We have reached a point where CFOs and CPAs are increasingly moving towards thought leadership. To become a thought leader, it is necessary to identify your skills, and portray them in a manner that strikes a chord with your customers. Thought Leadership become a platform where they market themselves and their skills. As a result, it becomes all the more important for finance folks to up their game and become emotionally aware.
The Bottom Line
To summarise, businesses all over the world seem to have understood that leadership is not just about technical skills. It has more to do with the ability to manage people effectively and get things done. As a result, the time has come for you to hone your skills and lead away!