Leveraging emotional intelligence to flourish as a leader
It is said that ‘a leader is someone who demonstrates what is possible’ and with good reason. Being a good leader means much more than merely your designation or delegating work to your team. To be a good leader is to show the way, to guide and to stand by your team always, particularly in any crisis situation. How you react and handle the situation when your team/organization is facing a crisis will determine your ability to lead from the front. With the world facing a crisis in terms of the coronavirus pandemic, there is no better time to learn and set an example for your team members on being a good leader.
Here are some tips on how you can lead the way during a crisis when your team looks to you for support and guidance.
Take a step back to attain clarity
Sometimes, we may be overwhelmed at the pace at which circumstances change. During such times, it is important to take a moment to get some clarity and to analyze and process the scene. This will help you figure out the situation and make an informed decision that is mutually beneficial. Remember, if you are too stressed out you will only drain out your energy and hinder your thought process.
One of the important leadership qualities/skills one must possess is communication. In times of crisis, communication is one of the most important aspects to keep track of. Miscommunication can create confusion and worsen the crisis, whereas clear and authentic communication can even help resolve matters. Communication intelligence can make or break a situation.
Social intelligence is key
Although it may seem like a negligible aspect, social intelligence is necessary for any leader, particularly when dealing with a crisis. You cannot manage the entire situation single-handedly. Taking the assistance of the right people and making use of your network will help you come out of the situation sooner than you expect. Work as a team and collaborate to find an appropriate solution rather than attempting to control/handle the situation by yourself.
With great power comes great responsibility is a commonly used phrase. As a leader, your team would look up to you to support and guide them through any sticky situation. Taking responsibility, especially if the situation was a result of your error of judgment, will establish your leadership skills/qualities and let your team know that they can count on you. Even if the situation was a result of an external force, taking up responsibility, and coordinating with your team to find a solution will fix matters.
Being a leader is not always about the designation or the authority you are entrusted with. A good leader always acknowledges the emotions of his/her team members and is empathetic. Crisis scenarios are never easy for anyone to handle, so, try to understand your team members and work together with them to motivate them and improve overall morale in the team.
Prioritize and trust your team
Learn to prioritize things and turn your immediate attention to the elements that you can control to the best of your abilities. It is commonly said that ‘teamwork makes the dream work’. Trust your team members with their allocated tasks and allow them to do their job. Only intervene when they are in need of your help. This will make your team look up to you more and build a bond with them.
Be resilient and proactive
Last but not least, when dealing with any crisis, resilience, and proactive response is half the job done. Most crises are unprecedented scenarios. However, planning to a certain extent will help cushion the fall, and resilience to the situation will help you endure it. A leader must always respond proactively instead of displaying reactive behavior. Remember, devising an emergency strategy and planning for such a crisis will prove to be useful in the long run!
As leaders, expectations will always range high, but it is important to not become stressed out and to deal with the situation in a calm and collected manner.