Become an emotionally-intelligent CEO


HOW do those people you lead talk about you in the corridors? Do people fear you or thy have faith in you? Do they bad mouth you or they praise you? Are you influencing them positively or you are inflicting more stress to them? Do they curse their job because of you or they love being led by you? Are we growing angry organisations or eager organisations? If we had emotionally intelligent CEOs, the workplace would be a great place to spend most of our time.

Most people spend most of their time in a work environment and there are many dynamics at play. The CEO regulates the aura in the organisation they lead. The are many emotional dynamics that must be managed and cultivated effectively. Great CEOs make the workplace a family space in which workers become a family and they are glued together by the positive spirit from the CEO.

CEOs have power, but this power needs to be correctly applied. Some CEOs use autocratic or despotic power. Here, people are shoved and pushed around. Workers’ ideas don’t matter because they are seen are subservient or subordinate. On the other hand, we have positive CEOs that use transformation, servanthood and a participatory approach. In this case, everyone matters.

You are valued because you add value to the bigger organisation. Emotional intelligence plays a bigger role.

What is emotional intelligence? Travis Bradberry (2017) writing in the World Economic Forum said: “Emotional intelligence is the ‘something’ in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behaviour, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results.” Furthermore, Jeremy Kourdi (2015), said emotional intelligence, “…taking information from your own emotions and the emotions of others and then applying that knowledge in order to be successful.”

So what are these important emotional traits? Like I pointed last week, as a NewsDay columnist I have met and interviewed many kinds or CEOs. Some I have trained in boardrooms something special stands out. Below are traits that I have found interesting:

As a CEO are you are aware of strengths and weaknesses? It is very important to know your blind spots and be able to manage them. Are you willing to admit that you have weaknesses and open to correction? Being aware of your own weakness is a strength on its own.

Now that you know yourself, are you able to regulate or manage your emotions? Most organisational conflicts come from the inability to regulate one’s emotions. How do you speak to your teams? How do you act when you are angry? How do you treat those that you have authority over? When you are under stress and pressure, how do you emotionally handle that?

Now that you are aware of yourself, you can better handle and grow relationships. Your social intelligence is built from who you are. Remember we see the world not necessarily for what it is, but how we are internally.

Social management
How do you manage relations at work? How do you treat others? Are you caring, cautious, courteous, considerate and empathetic? The way we manage relations will determine the bigger work relations and the respect you call. Are you able to effectively argue your points without reverting to your authoritative power? How do you handle those with dissenting thoughts and ideas?

Parting Point: Emotional intelligence is one powerful and important skill for people at work and life in general. Unfortunately, this has not been effectively taught in our schools or universities. We have grown CEOs with enough hard skills (qualifications) but hard to work with. To them human feeling or emotion does not matter, what they want are results or profits. Be a CEO who is pleasant to work with.

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