Emotionally intelligent leaders are invaluable assets to organizations. Their level of self-awareness encourages them to listen attentively and empathize without letting their personal biases get in the way of what is best for their employees and the organization. Combining heart and purpose with the skills of influence, persuasion, and meeting people where they are can build trusting relationships and significantly impact the organization’s bottom line.
Five ways emotionally intelligent leaders impact the bottom line:
They work to create products that better align with customers’ needs.
Emotionally intelligent leaders listen with the intent to understand and learn, employing empathy and curiosity to create a space for collaboration and innovation. This level of attentiveness helps the business understand their customer’s wants, needs, and concerns and detect or address potential unspoken fears and desires. The result is a product that is best suited for the marketplace because it was, in part, co-created with the consumers, thus increasing sales and customer loyalty.
They develop strong, trusting relationships with external stakeholders.
Developing strong relationships with stakeholders is a priority for emotionally intelligent leaders. Instead of seeing the relationship as transactional, they view it as a solid and invaluable partnership to be handled with care. Leaders are keen to inquire about the perspective of all stakeholder groups (i.e., investors, suppliers, influencers, wall street, etc.) and present their views in a balanced and objective way. This open communication style allows them to proactively manage their stakeholders’ concerns upfront, delivering better results and creating a deeper bond that is more likely to withstand challenges that may arise in the future.
They support, inspire, and retain top talent.
Balance, maturity, and adaptability are key attributes for emotionally intelligent leaders. Employees flourish when they feel heard, valued, supported, and are celebrated as unique individuals. This style of leadership creates a workplace environment that is essential for retaining top talent. Missions and visions are not merely printed in employee handbooks and nicely framed on the walls. They are an embodiment of everyday interaction and business. When leaders speak their employees’ language, employees are invested and voluntarily lean into innovation and open communication instead of shying away due to fear of dismissal, lack of follow-through, or reprimand. When you create an environment for your talent to perform to their full potential, your business will excel as well.
They put their ego and biases aside to focus on what’s best for the organization.
Emotionally intelligent leaders do not allow their ideas or opinions to overshadow the input of their team or employees. They are keenly aware of their personal biases and limitations and seek out diverse perspectives to ensure the best outcomes for the organization. These leaders are typically the last to speak and heavily rely on questions to obtain answers from others versus being the source of all answers.
They can make difficult decisions.
Business success does not come without sacrifice or devoid of difficult decisions. Instead of ignoring, dismissing, or transferring the responsibility to others, emotionally intelligent leaders face challenges head-on and act quickly before the issue becomes too problematic and ends up costing the organization, customers, talent, or its reputation. Due diligence and quick action decisions can save an organization thousands to millions of dollars.