Emotional Intelligence – Don’t be like them. Are you sure you’re any better?

a woman giving a lecture

My favorite topic to talk about is Emotional Intelligence. It fits into a business lexicon and also includes your mental fitness. We all want to be treated kindly, listened to, understood, and encouraged. This is great for mental health, communication, and business for creating strong connections in all sectors.

Every talk I give to leaders regarding Emotional Intelligence, I ask “How many of you have experienced a boss or leader that has hurt your performance, career, or self-image?” The room instantly fills with hands held high like the apex of a roller coaster ride. The feverish murmur among chair neighbors begins to swell, followed by slight laughter about the unbelievable treatment that they have undergone.

After a few seconds,I follow up with this question “ok then, where are these leaders in this room?’ The crowd now instantly quiets, and their faces are unsure if I am asking them to fess up. I have never had someone admit they were the purveyor of negative leadership. How can we all acknowledge this pandemic of leadership crisis and yet, not one of us is a carrier of the virus? Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory has proven that even casual observation leads to repetitive behavior, even if that behavior is not positive.

Psuedo-redemption is often attempted as the leaders (brave enough to comment) are adamant that they would never do XYZ as the predecessor had. I work with both leaders and employees and promise that the actions shown by leaders follow a pattern of grievances that is as dependable as the hands that just went up 5 minutes earlier. The room of employees responds identically to the leaders. We are the same.

As leaders, we must be self-aware. even with a critique lens of our own motivations and outward behavior. we must constantly take an internal emotional inventory of how we react and respond to others. Not being as unaware as your last leader, is the least one can do. It does not illustrate that you are a better leader. We must own our actions, and commit to improving them with rigorous feedback. Every single interaction we have is an opportunity to improve how we relate. If I have ever been like them, (I have), I apologize and will keep striving for better. I hope to make Bandura proud.

Learn more about EQ Testing with Real Counseling Inc.