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Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence
Right of the bat they get into Emotional Intelligence (EI) as the most important factor in the best leaders. Also humour plays a major part in people to rise to the top. The leaders with good EI are called resonant leaders and those that suck… dissonant. Sometimes the team can feel dissonance when the leader is upbeat when the team has unresolved issues etc. Now there is a big different between what the leader ‘thinks’ they know about the teams emotions and what the team is actually feeling. So before I take you through the main info there are little titbits that could not be categorised like:
- The leader has to know their working styles and the teams working styles so all parties can work accordingly.
- The leader has to make note of their weakness and set goals to improve on those constantly. Basically keep approaching problems the same way, get the same results.
- The team members are the greatest assets so building them will build everything else.
- Training the team is good but instead of training which involves lots of study it should have more practical stuff and kinda like games.
- Even if you have brilliant minded team members. It will disintegrate and bad judgements will be made if there is dissonance.
- Sometimes just recognising or showing that you understand the issue is good enough.
- Team bonding with other activities like games or like Lucas Films president did… surprise the team with a Stomp performance.
- When core values and norms are clearly known, the leader does not even need to be present.
- Be the change you want to see. Model the behaviour yourself. Set the example by being the example.
- Something I’ve been barking about for ages. Reward immediately when you see something you like or a member does something you want done more. Praise immediately and publicly. When you see the opposite, take them to the side and discuss it. And for god sakes, don’t lecture or tell off!
- No matter what, when someone contributes an idea intended to help the company/team grow/progress, the next person to speak ALWAYS has to say something supporting the idea. It stimulates positive thinking, contribution, and all the other good stuff.
- Action Learning: Where the person studies their own actions and experiences to improve performance. And instead of studying they actually go and do the thing. So something like practicals. (Important chinese proverb – Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.)
- Dynamic inquiry: Since people are not just business machines a lot has to do with things that happens out of the team. dynamic inquiry can help you discover an organization’s emotional reality — what people care about, what is helping them, their group, and the organiza- tion to succeed, and what’s getting in the way. The process uses focused conversations and open-ended questions intended to get to feelings. Themes become apparent from these conversations, which are then taken to small groups for more discussion. The conversations that ensue about what’s right and what’s not create momentum. People feel inspired and empowered, willing to work together to address their collective concerns. Once they do, you will be able to help the organiza- tion define its ideal vision — one that is in sync with individual hopes and dreams.
So the 4 domains and 18 competencies of the resonant leader are as follows:
- Emotional self-awareness: Reading one’s own emotions and recognizing their impact and using “gut sense” to guide decisions.
- Accurate self-assessment: Knowing one’s strengths and limits.
- Self-confidence: A sound sense of one’s self-worth and capabilities.
- Emotional self-control: Keeping disruptive emotions and impulses under control.
- Transparency: Displaying honesty, integrity and trustworthiness.
- Adaptability: Flexibility in adapting to changing situations or overcoming obstacles.
- Achievement: The drive to improve performance to meet inner standards of excellence.
- Initiative: Readiness to act and seize opportunities.
- Optimism: Seeing the upside in events.
3 Social Awareness
- Empathy: Sensing others’ emotions, understanding their perspective, and taking active interest in their concerns.
- Organizational awareness: Reading the currents, decision networks, and politics at the organizational level.
- Service: Recognizing and meeting follower, client or customer needs.
4 Relationship Management
- Inspirational leadership: Guiding and motivating with a compelling vision.
- Influence: Wielding a range of tactics for persuasion.
- Developing others: Bolstering others’ abilities through feedback and guidance.
- Change catalyst: Initiating, managing and leading in new directions.
- Building bonds: Cultivating and maintaining relationship webs.
- Teamwork and collaboration: Cooperation and team-building.
(Note that you only need one competency in each domain to be of decent resonance).
Up next we have the 6 styles of leadership
The visionary leader articulates where a group is going, but not how it gets there — setting people free to innovate, experiment and take calculated risks.
Inspirational leadership is the emotional intelligence competence that most strongly undergirds the visionary style. Transparency, another EI competency, is also cru- cial. If a leader’s vision is disingenuous, people sense it.
The EI competency that matters most to visionary lead- ership, however, is empathy. The ability to sense what others feel and understand their perspectives helps leader articulate a truly inspirational vision.
The coaching style is really the art of the one-on-one. Coaches help people identify their unique strengths and weaknesses, tying those to their personal and career aspirations. Effective coaching exemplifies the EI competency of developing others, which lets a leader act as a counselor. It works hand in hand with two other competencies: emotional awareness and empathy.
The affiliative style of leadership repre- sents the collaborative competency in action. An affilia- tive leader is most concerned with promoting harmony and fostering friendly interactions. When leaders are being affiliative, they focus on the emotional needs of workers, using empathy.
Many leaders who use the affiliative approach com- bine it with the visionary approach. Visionary leaders state a mission, set standards, and let people know whether their work is furthering group goals. Ally that with the caring approach of the affiliative leader and you have a potent combination.
A democratic leader builds on a triad of EI abilities: teamwork and collaboration, conflict man- agement and influence. Democratic leaders are great lis- teners and true collaborators. They know how to quell conflict and create harmony. Empathy also plays a role.
A democratic approach works best when as a leader, you are unsure what direction to take and need ideas from able employees. For example, IBM’s Louis Gerstner, an out- sider to the computer industry when he became CEO of the ailing giant, relied on seasoned colleagues for advice.
Pacesetting as a leadership style must be applied sparingly, restricted to settings where it truly works. Common wisdom holds that pacesetting is admirable. The leader holds and exemplifies high stan- dards for performance. He is obsessive about doing things better and faster, quickly pinpointing poor per- formers. Unfortunately, applied excessively, pacesetting can backfire and lead to low morale as workers think they are being pushed too hard or that the leader doesn’t trust them to get their job done.
The emotional intelligence foundation of a pacesetter is the drive to achieve through improved performance and the initiative to seize opportunities. But a pacesetter who lacks empathy can easily be blinded to the pain of those who achieve what the leader demands.
Pacesetting works best when combined with the pas- sion of the visionary style and the team building of the affiliate style.
The command leader demands immediate compliance with orders, but doesn’t bother to explain the reasons. If subordinates fail to follow orders, these leaders resort to threats. They also seek tight control and monitoring.
Of all the leadership styles, the commanding approach is the least effective. Consider what the style does to an organization’s climate. Given that emotional contagion spreads most readily from the top down, an intimidat- ing, cold leader contaminates everyone’s mood. Such a leader erodes people’s spirits and the pride and satisfac- tion they take in their work.
The commanding style works on limited circum- stances, and only when used judiciously. For example, in a genuine emergency, such as an approaching hurri- cane or a hostile take-over attempt, a take-control style can help everyone through the crisis.
An effective execution of the commanding style draws on three emotional intelligence competencies: influence, achievement and initiative. In addition, self-awareness, emotional self-control and empathy are crucial to keep the commanding style from going off track.
Steps to build emotional intelligence
Boyatzis’s Theory of Self-Directed Learning
- 1st discovery: My ideal self — Who do I want to be?
- 2nd discovery: My real self — Who am I? What are my strengths and gaps?
- 3rd discovery: My learning agenda — How can I build on my strengths while reducing my gaps?
- 4th discovery: Experimenting with and practicing new thoughts, behaviors and feelings to the point of mastery.
- 5th discovery: Developing supportive and trusting relationships that make change possible.
Goal setting considerations
- Goals should build strengths.
- Goals must be your own, not someone else’s.
- Plans must be flexible and feasible, with manageable steps.
- Plans must fit your learning style.