Why Your Emotions Are Your Work Superpower
This post originally appeared on Forbes on August 29, 2023.
Emotional intelligence is one of the most sought-after skills in leaders, and it is the ability to understand and manage one's emotions. It's closely related to empathy. As a leader, if you can work out what your people need on an emotional level, then you can be more precise in how you meet their needs. This focus then has positive knock-on effects on engagement and productivity. In one survey, 86% of employees reported that having an empathetic leader allowed them to better balance work and life commitments.
Emotions serve as an attentional cue to what's going on in our immediate environment. For example, if you feel nervous before a big meeting or fearful when the boss is in the office, those emotions are powerful signals that should prompt action. There's no question that emotion disrupts reasoning, but at the same time, it plays an incredibly vital role in arriving at the right decision.
When you understand how to recognize and then act on what you're feeling, you can powerfully shape both your attitude toward work and your workplace reputation.