Emotional intelligence and Leadership: Why it’s crucial amid COVID-19 pandemic

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By Vivek Slaria

A 60% of people are disengaged from their work. A disengaged person is the one who does only as much as is asked of them. An additional 20% are actively disengaged. This means they look away from responsibility. Not just that, there are instances where disengaged people have been known to speak against the organisation they are employed with.

What has made 80% of workforce, disengaged or actively disengaged from work. No one wants to be a poor performer. Work is amongst the greatest contributors towards self-esteem and confidence. What then drives this paradox behaviour of wanting a better career and yet showing disengagement at work.

While the pundits may slice and dice this in several ways, the answer may lie elsewhere. It maybe hidden in something much simpler, hidden and yet impact generating. This is emotional intelligence, empathy and self-awareness at work. These influence work environment through micro interactions that a person has in the organisation.

Micro interactions and role they play at work

In 1989, Gottman and Krokoff introduced the Specific Affect Coding System (SPAFF) for the purpose of systematically observing behaviour in the context of marital conflict. The study was able to predict the sustainability or break down of a relationship based on micro factors such as change in facial expressions, tone, blood pressure and pulse in a person as they interacted with another. It has been found that micro-interactions play a crucial role. There is higher co-relation with organisation engagement when micro interactions reflect empathy and emotional intelligence.

Coaching builds emotional intelligence, self awareness and empathy

Coaching is a time-bound, action-oriented interaction that a learner has with a coach. It may be done individually or in a group. Coaching helps build managers with a higher emotional intelligence. It does this in three ways. The first is by helping strengthen managers internally. Internal strength is a function of overcoming past belief barriers and building new ones that may be in line with what the organisation is looking for. The second is building personal self-awareness. This is how does the person behave in different situations at work. Are there internal trigger points that need to be controlled better. In this way it allows the person to be better internally and externally.

Harnessing emotional strength of people collectively is a crucial skill for managers. Organisations benefit significantly through this collective harnessing of strengths. A coach can help do this in a time bound way. This has a very high ROI and may just leap the organisation to the next level.

The author is the founder at GreenLattey.

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