Transform Your Career as a Tech Leader by Developing Emotional IntelligenceApr 28, 2022
Studies show that emotional intelligence improves the performance and productivity of employees, and it is becoming a coveted skill in the office. Yet, it is often seen in the Tech sector as taboo, and the emphasis is more often placed on intelligence and technical knowledge.
Emotional intelligence is when you can understand your emotions and the emotions of others and manage your feelings appropriately. It's a balance between intelligence and self-awareness.
Emotional intelligence is an asset. Studies have shown that emotional intelligence training improves Tech Team productivity. That may be because emotional intelligence develops the ability to make better decisions, problem-solving skills, and be a great communicator.
Tech Leaders who are emotionally intelligent come up with solutions from a holistic perspective.
Emotional intelligence is considered across four categories:
Self-management: As a Tech Leader, there will be situations where you feel stressed, anxious or angry - self-management enables you to think clearly. It indicates you can separate yourself from what's going on and how you should act from your emotions rather than react.
Self-awareness: We all have some negative habits, thoughts and behaviours, and self-awareness gives you the ability to change those. You can recognise how your beliefs and emotions affect your behaviour and thoughts.
Social awareness: Your ability to "have your finger on the pulse" in any setting is social awareness. You will be able to get to grips with the intricacies of the dynamics at play and know what others need to feel comfortable. This indicates how well you pick up on the social cues or needs of others
Relationship management: Managing conflict, working well with your Tech Team and others, and developing positive relationships overall. Relational management indicates good interpersonal skills.
7 Easy Tips to Develop Your Emotional Intelligence
Practice self-awareness. Start looking at yourself objectively. To develop this:
- Practice self-reflection
- Note when you react on autopilot to events.
- Consider feedback that you receive.
- Consider things from other people's point of view and not just your own.
Receive feedback with thanks.Think before you react to feedback. Use feedback as an opportunity to learn and grow, and remember that feedback is a gift – you don't always need to accept it.
Consider conflict as an opportunity to learn and understand more.
Conflict can cause anxiety, stress and frustration, but it's bound to happen in your career. While your natural desire may be to avoid conflict, it may be better to consider conflict as an opportunity to understand where another person is coming from.
I'll cover negotiating conflict next week; however, just know that if you are dealing with conflict, that conflict occurs in the details, you need all parties to consider the bigger picture, the 30,000-foot view, and then you can gain buy-in.
Learn to "keep your finger on the pulse."
How well do you read others and know what they are feeling? Or who do you know to go to when you need a solution? Are there any "unwritten rules" in your workplace? Keeping your finger on the pulse can position you as an awesome Tech Leader, star player or changemaker.
Listen to others. People with high emotional intelligence are awesome listeners. Do you do all the talking, or are you creating opportunities to listen? Make an effort to listen in meetings and ask people what they think.
Speak up. Emotionally intelligent Tech Leaders are great at speaking up when it matters. Feel free to pitch your out-of-the-box ideas or make sure your opinions get heard – sometimes, these are the solutions people are looking for.
Know your Tech Team members' strengths. Everyone is different, and all people have different strengths. Be flexible with the different types of people who make up your Tech Team. Create an environment for each person to thrive as an individual to be engaged and innovative.
Tech Leaders with higher emotional intelligence have an easier time managing their stress levels, building better relationships, and reading the room.
The ability to manage your stress levels means you can calmly guide your Tech Team through high-stress situations.
Building better relationships can help keep your Tech Team members engaged and motivated.
And being able to keep your finger on the pulse can help you know when someone is feeling stressed, or something is not quite right.
Emotional intelligence doesn't only help you as a Tech Leader but can help you outside of the workplace too.
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