The Importance of Emotional Intelligence for Good Managers
While the title remains the same, the role of manager has changed much in recent years. Forget the austere character locked away in his or her office and the feeling of dread when being called in there that is akin to paying a visit to the headmaster. Modern managers still have to the leadership qualities they always did but today they also need to be approachable and even friendly. It is now the emotional intelligence, rather than their business acumen, that is used as a benchmark for what makes a good or bad manager. A good manager makes for a happy workforce which cannot be underestimated in terms of making a business successful.
A PhD is psychology will never be a requirement to become a manager, but possessing sensitivity and emotional intelligence will go a long way to ensuring both your success in the role and the productivity of your staff. A bad manager is lacking in both of these qualities, and thinks nothing of piling more work upon the already vastly overworked shoulders of those under them. They will bawl and shout at somebody for not doing something on time without caring enough to ask if there is something wrong or even noticing how often they have been in tears over the past week.
Finding the right balance
There is, of course, a fine line between being a caring manager and putting yourself in a position to have your kindness abused by being too friendly. Good managers are always taking notice of what is going on around them and picking up on the vibes of their staff. They will take the time to ask them how they are doing, and often have a 10 minute ‘pow wow’ at some point during the day. If their staff air any grievances during this time they will actually take them on board and not forget about them once they are back behind that door with the shiny name plaque.
Tact and diplomacy are also major factors. Imagine if a few of your employees had a night out, something happened, and now they are barely speaking to each other. This brings a hostile atmosphere into the workplace that affects everyone as they will feel awkward and that they have to choose sides. A bad manager will get them all together, tell them to get their act together and expect it to be instantly forgotten. A good manager will speak to them all individually, remain impartial, and try to get them back on track for both their own well being and for the good of the company.
The induction of new employees
It’s hard for new employees to find their feet in an established team, especially if the existing staff are a very close knit bunch and were close to the one that has been replaced. Team building exercises or a small social gathering are the perfect way to break the ice and let your staff see that this new member is worthy of being there. You cannot order people to like others but you can guide them to getting along in the workplace and have each other’s back as part of a team.
When you are looking for a new manager and have the ideal candidates already in your employ look past their experience and ask yourself what kind of person they are. Do they emit confidence combined with arrogance, or are they go-getters who remain grounded and empathetic at the same time? In reality, everyone can learn to be more emotionally intelligent, but finding managers who already possess these qualities is not that easy. If you are stuck as to where to look for these achievers, have a word with your recruitment company as they will know where to look for them and how to attract them to apply for your vacancies.