Emotional Intelligence is the ability for a person to identify, comprehend, and regulate their own emotions, as well as identify, comprehend, and influence the emotions of other people. This not only covers the ability to recognize and name our emotions, but it also requires us to take ownership of those feelings and manage our behaviors as a response.

This learned skill is made up of many different practices, all of which are crucial in becoming an effective leader.

Here are four practices healthcare and business leaders should actively work on to achieve the level of influence they desire in the workplace.

Patience

While it’s true that many successful leaders are action-oriented and act decisively, this does not mean that they are impulsive. Effective leaders recognize that leading with patience allows them to learn and understand what they must grasp before acting in order to direct the appropriate course of action. Patience is a ‘muscle’ that needs to be stretched in order to be strengthened. Next time you find your blood boiling at work or you’re faced with a decision, use it as an opportunity to grow this skill by staying composed and thinking through the options before making a quick decision.

Self-Awareness

Many of the world’s most effective leaders meditate, run, journal, or engage in some other solitary routine where they can recognize, process, and regulate their emotions. Why?

This process leads to greater self-awareness. This EQ facet enables a higher level of control over your own thoughts and feelings and is closely linked with mindset, which has a proven correlation with success or failure. Take the time to quiet the noise around you and give your thoughts and emotions the space to be processed. Otherwise, you may find yourself with pent-up aggression, sadness, frustration, or confusion that will eventually impact your work and how you engage with your team.

Active Listening

One of the critical tools effective leaders need in their EQ tool belt is active listening. This skill means listening to others while fully engaging in both what they are saying AND how they are saying it.

By employing active listening, leaders can read between the lines, ask the right questions to get clarification, and better understand reasoning, behavior, and motivation. Not only that, but studies have shown that active listening is one of the most effective ways to build trust with people, which is a huge factor when establishing relationships in business and healthcare.

Empathy

Empathy is the #1 skill required to be an effective leader. An interest in and appreciation for others paves the way for the relationships among colleagues, patients, clients, etc. that are essential for leadership success.

Research shows that understanding, caring for, and developing others is equally, if not more important than task-oriented skills for successful businesses. Empathy affects the bottom line because care, time, and attention foster empathy in others, which in turn has a domino effect of enhancing the performance of those in an organization. An effective leader practices empathy actively by looking outside of themselves to imagine how others feel before speaking or taking action.

About Dr. Wilkerson, PD, MBA.

Do you want to develop and use your abilities to the fullest and better connect with and lead others? Coaching maximizes impact, and Dr. Jerrund Wilkerson, PD, MBA, has more than 30 years of successful executive leadership coaching in the United States and internationally.
As a licensed pharmacist, he is particularly passionate about helping develop effective leaders in the healthcare community. Dr. Wilkerson has coached and trained thousands of managers and leaders. He is a certified coach and member of the John Maxwell Leadership Team.
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