Welcome to the second in a series of blogs for Emerging Female Leaders. My aim is to raise the profile of Emotional Intelligence (EQ), its importance in terms of leadership and why we as women need to be aware of our own so that we can be successful.
This series is about helping women be in a better position to have positive relations with themselves and the men they work alongside. I say this because I have heard some women in quite senior positions say that they have issues working with men, citing reasons as personal.
Men aren’t the enemy, but the way we think about them, in terms of differences can be. When men and women work together to complete a project it is pure magic. Things such as class, race, gender, educational background, or upbringing may divide us, but can also be the things that bring us together. Raising your EQ can help turn your ingredients (things that divide us) into the tastiest of cakes (high performing team). Here is how and why:
Look for strengths
When you look at the melting pot that may be your team, notice the strengths, yours included. When everyone plays to they’re strengths, you get happier people. This is where the stress management element of EQ is at play.
Get to know your team and let them get to know you
How we relate to each other is really important in the workplace, especially when you’re in a leadership role. When you are open and honest about who you are, you become more authentic and people will be more open with who they are they are too. Your interpersonal will be raised here.
Welcome differences and make it work
Note the diversity of your team, including you. Here, I am talking about ways of thinking, seeing and doing things. It could help your team become unique and innovative, therefore standing out. Self-expression plays an important role here.
You’re a woman, he’s a man… so what!
Own your womanhood and be proud of it. Don’t downplay what you know or what you have to offer. Own your space as a leader and get it in your head that you belong where you are. You have amazing skills and are ready to learn more to become the most phenomenal you can be. Your self-perception is most key here.
A problem solved is a problem halved
In your role as leader you will come up with challenges. Some you may be able to sort out yourself but what if it is a more complex issue? This could be a good way to get your team to bond and pull together. It is important that your team is part of any solution because it grows their confidence as professionals and yours as a leaders. Decision making is a major factor at play here.
When you understand EQ and how it works, you will be in a better position to raise yours, lead well and support others!
Grace Leslie-Graham is the Director of Impact Coaching & Consultancy, a training company that provides ILM certified leadership development specifically for emerging female leaders. She has more than 20 years in leadership and management, and almost 30 years working within the public, private and charity sector. She is a certified Emotional Intelligence Practitioner, and Leadership Coach, and specialises in working with women who want to be the most phenomenal leaders they can be!
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