Despite being labelled a “soft skill”, EQ is just as crucial in today’s business world as any other form of leadership wizardry or IQ. Empathetic, emotionally intelligent leaders who are able to connect with their teams and accurately interpret their emotional state are the most effective ones. They deliver increased revenue, boost employee performance and take their teams to new soaring heights. In this sense, nurturing empathy is perhaps an organization’s ticket to a bright, thriving future.

Thus, the question begs itself:  How can leaders create a more emotionally intelligent workplace both for themselves and their teams? The following points may shed some light:

Begin with developing your own EQ

In other words, leaders should lead with their heart as much as with their mind. Two of the most vital aspects of EQ is empathy and emotional management. In brief, empathy entails one’s ability to identify other people’s moods and respond genuinely while emotional management involves controlling one’s negative emotions and instead choosing how to channel one’s mood according to the situation. Leaders who nurture these qualities boost team spirit, build meaningful connections and manage successful teams.

Empathy is a strategic move

Although connecting with one’s team can be quite challenging and exhausting, the benefits are immense. It provides valuable insight into the inner workings of their brains so that the leader can identify the best way to align them with larger corporate goals. Additionally, when a leader is emotionally attuned with their team, they are encouraged to develop their own soft skills and they are more likely to work more creatively and independently because they feel their leader trusts them.

Practice emotional leadership at all times

Emotional leadership is practiced when it fosters a trust-based relationship with one’s teams. To achieve this, leaders should always be emotionally present even when it is uncomfortable or when it exposes a more vulnerable side of themselves. Asking how they are, really listening and being engaged is one way of doing this.

Furthermore, the leader should always be mindful of the fact that their own mood is contagious. So, when they are having a difficult day it is better to stay away from the team to avoid spreading negativity.

Finally, leaders should not forget to coach and provide support to their teams both in groups and individually as this can significantly enhance emotional connections.