Three Steps to Emotionally Intelligent Leadership
Updated: Jan 25, 2019
Recently a client of mine got promoted. Wonderful, right? Hard work recognised and awarded with a leadership role.
BUT (there was a big but) she was promoted to lead the team she had been previously working in. However, with power comes responsibility, and there were bumps in the road with the team she’d worked alongside for so long.
Some of her team didn’t take her seriously and one in particular was pushing against her new leadership status. Her reaction was to shrink, her voice was taking an inverted tone, but her bosses noted she needed to step up.
How do you manage this? Do you react with strength or risk being perceived as weak?
It can be very difficult to manage a change in status. Many emotional scenarios can arise from having a jealous team member to not holding enough status in the team.
A team member being promoted often sets the status quo pendulum out of kilter.
How do you get back to even ground?
1) Be emotionally aware of those around you. You absolutely should be proud but take in the effect your promotion has on others. Notice their reactions to you. They also may be wary of how to communicate with you. Be sensitive and open.
2) Take some time to speak one to one with team members to discuss your collective future plans. It’s important to note that leadership is taking note of the team’s input and taking lead Let them know that you what you have planned, get them to feel included. Let them know that you’ve noticed that they are incredible at XZY skill sets. Talk about how you intend to make the most of them and make them feel valued.
3) Be firm, and be kind. The big boots can mean we try to assert ourselves, which can often backfire and lead to resistance and lack of respect. Be kind to their ideas, but be firm. You’re still on the team, but they need to know you’ve got the reins.
Time to lead
All in all well done you – you got the gig. Don’t apologise for that, but be aware. Often when people react it’s all about their emotions and a change in status can be very threatening. However 9 times out of ten a strong reaction will not be about you.