Add these short, effective phrases to your leadership toolbox to practice emotional intelligence. A crucial soft skill for leaders is emotional intelligence, and those with it are easy to identify. Leaders with high EQ attract followers. Their interactions with coworkers make it clear. Even the language they use on a daily basis demonstrates excellent emotional intelligence.
According to Jonathan Feldman, CIO of the city of Asheville, NC, “emotionally intelligent people want to know that their boss is emotionally intelligent, as well.” “Typically, that means that you want to see some self-awareness. Employees can learn that by using phrases like “I was wrong,” “Oh, you’re right,” and “I fell short on that one by not doing XYZ.”
Consider your word choices carefully when speaking to coworkers as you strive to become more self-aware of your own emotions. Here are eight more words you can start incorporating into your leadership language right away to establish deeper relationships with your team members. It is not just empty rhetoric either. Daniel Goleman suggested that emotional intelligence is the better indicator of corporate success than cognitive intelligence in his 1995 best-seller Emotional Intelligence.
Fortunately, emotional intelligence is one of those leadership abilities that gets better with continued use. These short but effective sentences are a fantastic starting point.
- Please elaborate.
Another important soft skill that emotionally intelligent leaders generally have is communication ability. Additionally, they are aware that it can be difficult for others, and they would never draw conclusions from a coworker’s comments. According to Dr. Neeta Bhushan, emotional health educator and author of “Emotional GRIT,” asking “Tell me more about that” or “What did you mean when you said/did that?” is a judgment-free technique to gain clarification. According to her, when leaders use these words, they are acting from a place of curiosity and compassion rather than condemnation.
According to Drew Bird, founder of The EQ Development Group, “the phrase ‘can you say more about that’ demonstrates a desire to better understand what the other person is saying or trying to get at, but is non-evaluative.”
2. How do you prefer to be reached out to?
Additionally, leaders with high EQ don’t assume anything about how others prefer to be spoken with. For instance, although some people like short text messages, others might value face-to-face talks. Emotionally intelligent leaders are interested in learning about these preferences to customize their communication approach for each team member.
“Leaders that possess emotional intelligence are adept at empathetic communication. According to Colin D. Ellis, author of “The Conscious Project Leader,” “they understand that in order to do so, they must get to know the other person and inquire as to how they prefer to receive their information.” Humans have varied communication preferences, thus high-EQ leaders will always inquire.
3. I Appreciate you.
One area where emotionally savvy leaders excel is in providing feedback. “Looks good,” according to Sanjay Malhotra, CTO of Clearbridge Mobile, is his go-to phrasal verb.
He admits, “I know it seems easy. “My team works tirelessly to provide work and products they can be proud of. Due to the fact that there are frequently competing projects and objectives, I make an effort to let everyone know that, even for a brief moment, they are appreciated and doing a good job. Even though it’s so little, I know my colleagues will appreciate knowing that their efforts have been recognized.
However, it’s not only for the team. Effective leaders that employ this statement foster closer bonds and more trust with their team members, which benefits everyone. According to Bhushan, “Expressing appreciation and acceptance is a surefire way to have positive engagement and employee satisfaction.”
While it’s lovely to hear “good job,” Bird argues that adding some context makes it much more meaningful. It is more meaningful to help others understand your reasons for being grateful, he argues, than it is to merely express gratitude. I truly appreciate you doing that because [insert the effect of their actions].,” offers Bird.
4. What are your opinions?
For high EQ leaders, feedback is a two-way street, according to Ellis. According to him, inclusive leaders are by nature always looking for ways to include the opinions and ideas of people in a conversation. They seek out opportunities to raise others since they are aware that they are not the sharpest person in the room.
5. “I view this differently.”
Leaders with high EQ don’t avoid unpleasant topics. Instead, they turn differences into chances to engage in conversation and discover points of agreement.
I don’t agree is better expressed by saying, “I have a different perspective,” according to Bird. Simply put, “having a different perspective” is having a different take on a given opportunity or challenge.
The phrase “It makes me [insert emotion/feeling] when you…” is what Bird proposes using when such opposing viewpoints result in conflict. According to Bird, this language shows that the leader has thought about what is happening and makes it possible for the other person to understand the effects of their actions.
6. Are you alright?
Most people’s creative abilities fluctuate. On certain days, we work at full capacity, while on other days, we require a few more cups of coffee to get through the workday. Since they are aware of this, emotionally intelligent leaders are willing to be forgiving of their staff members. They also check in to see how the staff members are doing.
There are moments when people are unable to be their most effective selves. In situations like these, emotionally intelligent leaders don’t chastise their team members for missing a deadline or letting the quality of their job drop. It’s to kindly inquire about their well-being,” explains Ellis. They prioritize others’ well-being above all else, and this is just one example of how they do it.
7. “I understand,”
Emotional intelligence is characterized by empathy, as noted by Ellis. Bhushan concurs. According to her, demonstrating empathy is the best approach to demonstrating emotional intelligence since it demonstrates that you are listening to the other person and that you are not acting with ulterior motives.
She advises using expressions like “I hear you” and “I understand” to add empathy-based words to your vocabulary.
8. “I apologize.”
Leaders who have emotional intelligence don’t hesitate to acknowledge their errors. According to Bird, “sincerely apologizing indicates a high level of emotional intelligence since it exhibits a modesty and humility that followers genuinely respect.
Ellis emphasizes the need for humility, saying that it is “a core behavioral feature of emotionally competent leaders. They are determined to make amends as quickly as possible because they are self-aware enough to recognize when they have said or done something that has angered or devalued another person.
The words you use as you navigate through this challenging moment with your team might be helpful. They won’t miraculously endow you with a high emotional quotient, but they will assist you in developing into a more sympathetic, successful leader. Additionally, the advantages may assist with your relationships outside of work after you develop an understanding of your own emotions through self-awareness.