Anne Grady, Author, 52 Strategies for Life, Love and Work
Every day, businesses of all size lose time, money and productivity when employees get sidetracked by drama due to emotional reactions to workplace situations.
As Inc. recently reported in The Shocking Cost of Workplace Conflicts, American workers spend more than two and a half hours per week trying to resolve conflict, which translates into $359 billion in losses for U.S. companies every year, according to task management software firm Workfront.
How can leaders cut the cost of conflict and lead their teams to boost collaboration and productivity? The answer lies, as it so often does, in leading by example. In this case, it’s about leading, modeling and mentoring emotional intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence helps us form positive lasting relationships, adapt to change, be a positive influence on others – and earn more! EQ accounts for 58 percent of performance in all types of jobs, and the link between EQ and earnings is so direct that every point increase in EQ adds approximately $1,300 to an annual salary, according to Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, (San Diego: TalentSmart, 2009).
EQ is the single biggest predictor of performance in the workplace and the strongest driver of leadership and personal success. So how can you as a leader hone these skills in yourself and model them for your team? Try these steps:
- Assess Your EQ – Google “Emotional Intelligence Test” and take one of the myriad of tests available online. In essence, you must first be aware of your emotions and emotional responses, your traits, and the characteristics of your personality (what makes you unique).
- Discover Your Triggers & Blind Spots – Triggers are those things that cause you to have a knee-jerk reaction that may or may not be the best reaction to a given situation. Blind spots are those areas of your personality and behavior that you are unaware of. All of us have triggers that stimulate emotions such as anger, jealousy, embarrassment, and guilt, and all of us have blind spots.
- Examine Your Connections – Do others believe you know and care about them? Do you listen attentively and truly empathize with people? Be aware of the mood you bring into the room when you show up. Is the room better when you enter or when you leave? How does your mood show up at work, and how does it affect the people around you?
- Pay Attention to Your Emotions – What percentage of your day are you happy, sad, angry, etc.? Think about emotions that detract from your effectiveness (annoyed, angry, gloomy, anxious, fearful, nervous) as opposed to emotions that enhance your effectiveness (joyful, playful, inspired, adventurous, grateful, amazed, imaginative, cheerful).
- Practice Positivity – How can you accelerate your EQ? Become more self-aware, learn to master your emotions in the moment, practice making deep connections every day, and create a habit of being positive and optimistic with the people around you.
With awareness, commitment, and hard work, anyone can improve their EQ. Remember, if you want to be the person you have never been, you must do what you have never done before.
About the Author
Anne Grady is an entrepreneur, author and expert in personal and organizational transformation. With humor, passion and straight talk, she grew her business as a nationally recognized speaker and consultant while raising her severely mentally ill son. Anne shares lessons she has learned in her new book, 52 Strategies for Life, Love and Work. Visit www.AnneGradyGroup.com