The Covid 19 pandemic has been re-shaping our lives for more than a year now. We had to change the way we work, connect with others, and live our lives. Many were able to actively focus on learning new skills to deal with technology allowing them to continue working remote, others to get organized to home-deliver all sorts of goods. In general, organizations had to quickly make changes to grant their employees to work safely and remain productive.
Change is natural, even refreshing when it is approached in a gradual way. With the pandemic, change struck the world abruptly and unexpectedly.
As the urgency required to focus on the day-to-day necessities, the emotional intelligence part had to be left aside in most cases. That is why today many employees report feeling tired or even exhausted.
Emotional Intelligence is, “The capacity to be aware of, understand, and manage one’s own emotions, mood, time and behaviour effectively” and “Perceiving, understanding and acknowledging the way others feel”
Over the past decade, leaders from all industrial sectors have come to recognize the importance of EI to enhance motivation, engagement and performance. Just as the opposite has demonstrated to occur, that is a drop in performance and disengagement when leaders lack self-management, empathy, and the ability to engage and inspire. It is true that even in the best of times managing emotions and staying emotionally connected to the team can be a challenge for many leaders. But during and following the Covid 19 tragedy, EI skills have gained an even more important role. Remote work and social distancing require an even higher level of Emotional Intelligence readiness and competency for leaders and teams, as employees need to be heard and crave feeling safe and valued.
What strategies can be adopted to help EI grow in organizations?
- Measuring Emotional intelligence in the organization and employ resources to develop EI competencies.
- Start rewarding leaders and employees who demonstrate self-management, care and empathy and use emotional information to make decisions.
- Stop rewarding leaders and employees who get results but break relationships in the process and make decisions that do not take into account the impact of emotions.
That can be achieved by taking some courageous steps such as:
- Providing training, coaching and mentoring to leaders and teams to enhance their emotional competencies.
- Create ways to celebrate leaders and teams for their Emotional Intelligence. For example, how they managed to create engagement and bonding via Zoom or helping their people to get to know each other by intentionally mixing teams and assigning mentors.
- Sustaining trust by creating a climate of openness on feelings, difficulties, or obstacles. Regular check-ins can provide the structure for this kind of authentic sharing and support.
- Use meetings to reinforce engagement. Leaders can build time in meetings to see how smart the team is. For example, showcasing one person per meeting, letting them talk about their work, or highlighting their strengths for them and giving positive feedback in public, or doing quick introductions each week allowing people to get answers to their questions and to the challenges they face. In so doing, meetings become a time when engagement and trust can be built.
To quote Mark Nevins:
“If you don’t have the basics, you’re not going to excel post-Covid.”
We need to realize that we will not go back to the pre-Covid way of working. Many organizations report that they are thinking of creating some sort of mixture between work in the office and remote.
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, suggests if you have 100 employees
you won’t need 100 desks, maybe 60.
Unilever workers will never return to their desks full-time, CEO Alan Jope has stated.
Emotional Intelligence will be more and more crucial in the workplace and represent the true area of strength for leaders and teams.
Learning and Development
GENOS Podcasts – Check out the latest podcast by GENOS on “Real Stories and business insights on the power of EI in the workplace.”
Exploring EI – Virtual classroom – To help you understand the principles of the Science of Emotions, the fundamentals of EI behaviours and the core EI dimensions – On-demand
Leading with Emotional intelligence – Series of 6 virtual classrooms – To help you explore all the key competencies that can make you an Emotional Intelligent leader, using your EI in your leadership of people – On-demand
Coaching for Resilience – To help leaders and teams bounce back and forward in effective and positive ways with one-on-one or team coaching series of sessions fine-tuned to your needs – On-demand