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Decision-Making for the Emotionally Intelligent Leader

June 4, 2015

Guest Author – Ron Haynes

Ron Haynes, colleague to The Nielson GroupRon Haynes is a VAA colleague (works with Corter Consulting) and, like The Nielson Group, specializes in using the science of TTI Success Insights’ TriMetrix HD assessments and their patented total talent management system to help companies select and develop talent, create job benchmark solutions and implement succession planning.

Recall the biggest decision you’ve faced in the last five years.

It may have been whether to invest in a business, move your parents into an assisted care facility, or maybe go back to college.

What were the factors you considered when choosing between options?

If your emotional intelligence (EQ) is relatively high, you considered more than just your own preferences. You considered how those decisions were affected by your own emotions and how those decisions would affect others.

Several years ago, I met a man whom I consider to be one of the wisest I’ve ever known. In his own gentle way, he challenged my decision-making process like no one had previously.

“Consider every major decision you’ve made in your life, Ron, and I’ll wager that most of those decisions were based on your own personal comfort and happiness.”

Personally, I was horrified at that thought, but eventually I had to admit it was true.

“Virtually every decision we make from where we work, to whom we marry, to our simplest everyday decisions, is based on our own comfort,” he continued. “A great leader is able to see that tendency within himself and make decisions based on the good of those his decision will affect the most, even if that decision is frightening.”

Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision. ~ Peter Drucker

Unknowingly, he was speaking of one of the five components of emotional intelligence. And he’s right: An emotionally intelligent leader considers how his or her own emotions affect their decisions, as well as the impact those decisions will have on others.

An emotionally intelligent leader connects the dots.

Taking it a step further, an emotionally intelligent leader understands and reads the emotions of those he or she is leading and adjusts any communications so any message isn’t lost in translation. “How” we speak is as important as what we say.

Think of the melody Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Now imagine it being played sweetly on a finely tuned violin. Imagine how easily a child (or a weary adult) could fall asleep to that lilting lullaby.

Now, just as the child is about to fall asleep, change the instrument to a trumpet. The tune is the same but how it’s played will make all the difference. But in another setting, using a trumpet to play that tune may be entirely appropriate.

When leaders consider their own emotions, as well as the emotional responses and needs of those they’re leading — and the leader makes adjustments — the end result is higher levels of team collaboration and productivity.

The straight line, a respectable optical illusion which ruins many a man. ~ Victor Hugo, — Les Misérables

It’s a simple illustration, but it makes the point: Leaders with high EQ make the decision of what tune to play (strategy) and how to play it (tactics), keeping in mind the emotions, the passions, the strength of feeling, and the sensitivities of those he or she is leading.

The emotionally intelligent leader makes decisions based on the strengths of the team and manages relationships in light of an understanding of the emotional makeup of the people he or she is leading.

The Nielson Group offers assessments to measure EQ, Workplace Stress, Individual Talent, 360 Feedback, Organizational 360 and specific talent skills associated with roles. To learn more or to request an evaluation of a particular solution, call us at 972.346.2892 or complete the information form here.

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