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Become a Better BossEmotional intelligence (EQ) has been a buzzword in and around the business scene since the mid-90s, but unlike “Friends, Stone Temple Pilots” and Susan Powter, emotional intelligence has maintained its weighty importance well beyond the end of the 20th century. Defined as the ability to be aware of, control and express emotions, while also being able to enter into relationships with fairness and empathy, emotional intelligence is often seen as being as important a predictor of success as IQ, and while most people who experience success in their careers and personal lives tend to have a healthy measure of it, gaining a little more has certainly never done anyone any harm, and it will improve your work life and personal life, too.

Especially if you’re in charge of other people, emotional intelligence is essential, and according to Travis Bradbury, the best-selling author of “Emotional Intelligence 2.0” — emotional intelligence can be increased and developed, leading to greater personal and business-centered success. If you want to be a better boss or manager, emotional intelligence is a trustworthy ring to throw your hat into.

Care About the People Who Work For You

Unless you’re a sociopath or genuinely holed up in your office without any team interaction, the chances are good that you care about the people who work with and for you. That being said, a feeling of care and affection isn’t enough to boost your EQ in a way that will positively affect your employees or work environment. Caring about others is only as good as the actions you undertake. To that end, try practicing the following:

  • Show compassion. Your employees aren’t robots. They get tired. Their children get sick. They feel overwhelmed. While you and your team have legitimate deadlines, don’t stick to protocol and productivity so much that the human spirit suffers.
  • Always say, “Thank you.” Every time one of your employees completes a project, performs well or goes the extra mile, verbally express your gratitude. Every time.
  • Mentor. You know you’re busy. Your employees know you’re busy. So when you take the extra time to mentor those who work for you, they’ll know you care about their performance, prospects and person.

Embrace, Affirm and Celebrate Difference

The world is full of remarkably different people, and your workplace is probably no exception. Your employees want very much to be seen clearly for who they are, and they want who they are to be accepted without qualifications or reservations. From race and sexual orientation to gender and lifestyle choices, practice a celebration of the differences among your team as the opportunities to grow in understanding that they are. It will help your employees feel that their unique abilities, stories and experiences all contribute to the business’s overall success.

Help Employees Cultivate Significance

Your employees are probably motivated by desires that are both similar and dissimilar to yours. Because of that, there’s no reason to try and convert them into becoming carbon copies of you. Instead, encourage your employees to seek out the reasons why their job is a benefit to their own well-being — not just the business’s profit model. Guide your employees in finding the ways that their work assists their families and life away from the office. People want to feel as though the work they do is meaningful. Help them to see that it is.

Be Self-Aware…and Self-Regulating

Understanding how you’re feeling, what your preferences and expectations are for yourself and others, the limits of your own intelligence and skills and the like all contribute mightily to how you interact with those in your employ, but self-awareness is only valuable if it’s properly regulated. Managing your limits, your emotions and your expectations can be an even trickier undertaking, but it can be effectively practiced by carrying out the following:

  • Be self-controlled. Keep your disruptive emotions and impulses in check.
  • Be trustworthy. Always adhere to high standards of honesty and integrity.
  • Take responsibility. Be accountable for your personal performance and the performance of your team.
  • Be flexible. When change happens, adapt.

Remember Your Employees’ Needs

Becoming a Better BossYour business’ and customers’ needs are never the only needs in the room. Pay attention and be mindful of the quality and quantity of work going on around you. If someone begins to work below their usual capacity, investigate. They may be bored. They may need skills training. They may simply need more feedback regarding their performance. Whatever it is that’s holding your employees back, the only way you can properly address it is if you know about it. Address the needs of your workers, and your productivity will soar.

Regardless of how high your emotional intelligence is, increasing it will undoubtedly make you a better boss or manager. Caring attention that is put to practical and intentional use in a work environment can’t help but yield happier and more productive employees, and you’ll find that you enjoy that kind of environment, too.

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