Motivating Your Team Back »

Two years ago we heard a speaker at the SDSU Extension Fall Conference who spoke about Emotional Intelligence. That is a real interest of mine, especially as it relates to leadership styles. Daniel Goleman, author of the book, “Emotional Intelligence,” (EI) points out many ways that good leaders can work on relating more positively to the people they lead by staying connected to them.

Goleman believes apathy in organizations is often a result of a disconnection between what matters to a person and what they’re asked to do. Sometimes the best way to gauge if someone isn’t engaged is to simply ask: “Do you enjoy what you’re doing?” Enjoying a task can boost performance and encourage engagement.

One of the very positive leadership styles is called the affiliative leader. This leader knows that having a good time together is not a wasted effort. They recognize that it builds positive energy and social and emotional capital. Play has been found to be associated with the release of dopamine, which encourages exploration – crucial for production. From exploration comes innovation. This is what motivates people, and gives organizations the energy to produce and thrive.

Two of the leadership styles that have a negative effect on organizational climate are the command-and-control leader: “Just do it because I’m the boss, and I say so;” and the pace setter style, which is a leader with a very high internal standard of performance. The second style leader is a solitary performer, who’s attitude is, “Do it the way I do.” No “A” grades from this leader!

As a leader with high emotional intelligence, you’ll want to pay attention to empathy. Give your team members some leeway in choosing projects and setting their own goals. Mix up the tasks and routines. Finally, do something good for your team and for others you could serve. Instead of hiding your emotions, let them out and see if it makes your team stronger.

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