By theoretical definition, Emotional Intelligence (EI) or EQ is one’s ability to recognize, understand and manage one’s emotions and the ability to empathize and understand the emotional state of others. In an organization, this plays a vital role. The pandemic has brought upon a global crisis with everyone looking for solutions to the unique problems we are facing now. Let’s take a look at Emotional Intelligence as a key to success in times of crisis.

When a manager lets his/her own emotions get in the way, it impacts the entire team and ultimately, the task at hand. A bad day for a leader means a bad day for everyone. Have you noticed this at your own workplace?

Why Emotional Intelligence?

Over the last few years, managers have come to appreciate the merits of EI and have noticed failures due to the lack of it. But in times of crisis, EI plays an even greater role.

Crisis leads to uncertainty, chaos and unpredictability. As a leader, your team needs more from you than simple problem solving and team management. Lack of EI in such times can lead to disarray and in some cases, a complete breakdown. How does one overcome this challenge? How does one harness Emotional Intelligence as a key to success in times of crisis effectively?

It all begins with awareness...

The physical distance that has come with remote working, has made it difficult to ascertain how a person is feeling. As a leader, have you asked your team members how they are feeling? Have you checked with them what do they need the most and how they would like to be best supported?

When possible, have you picked up the phone rather than send out an email or had a video chat with the intent of reducing ‘Zoom fatigue’ or inbox overload? Awareness is the first step of Emotional Intelligence and takes you a long way during a crisis.

Finding the right balance

It’s important to make space for employees to process their stress and emotions. Leaders with high EQ create containers for employees to work through their struggles, and encourage workers to take time for themselves and do what they need to avoid burnout.

Remember, when you create this incredible balance between task component, and the people component, magic can happen! As you find the right balance, there will be greater trust and better results!

Looking internally

Also, have you been able to identify the primary emotions that have driven you in the last few months? Have they been different from how you used to feel earlier? What have been your triggers? This is an important component of EI - be in touch with your own feelings! You will be amazed at how just awareness can create a shift in how you feel.

Many of us have experienced a lot over the last few months. In a time where the whole world is fighting against a common problem, compassion and consideration are the only things that can keep relationships strong. It’s a good time to develop your emotional intelligence, to succeed in a time of crisis. If not now, then when?