People Matters PM April 2022

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will start opening up to you. Of course, this is easier said than done. It needs courage and goes back to true intent. “Behind that façade of a strong and powerful leader, you are ultimately human. You make mistakes, you feel hurt, you struggle. Admitting your mistakes, acknowledging your feelings and emotions is not easy. You expose yourself to potential risk and harm. But here’s the key – when you expose yourself and people don’t hurt and harm you, that’s when trust is built,” he notes.

Emotionally intelligent leaders are a retention lever in the talent war

Emotional intelligence can help boost individual performance. Emotionally intelligent leaders can help improve communication, collaboration, and trust between team members. “They show greater

compassion and respect for colleagues – that, in turn, creates a better work environment and stronger culture leading to higher productivity and engaged employees. It creates an organisation where people would like to work,” says Johari. Singh says empathy and self-awareness are a bedrock. A leader who is aware and is able to empathise, will be able to show up supportively and understand the motivations, concerns, and needs of their team members and will therefore be able to support them effectively. “Showing up, communicating in multiple forums, one to many, one to one etc. will ensure leaders maintain high-touch engagements with their team members. This is a vital shift leaders need to make, especially as the world of work becomes more hybrid,” adds Singh. April 2022 |

Employee engagement

reports. There are two facets to empathy: emotional empathy and cognitive empathy. "Emotional empathy is being tuned into how others must be feeling. Cognitive empathy is being tuned into how others must be thinking. "For example, if an employee’s parents are both recovering from a bad bout of Covid, you know there is emotionality here about responsibility, love and being there for parents. The employee might be thinking of relocating and moving to the same city as their parents or moving the parents to their city. Knowing this as a leader, helps you engage and support your employees at a deeper and a human level,” he says. Purpose is the next. Singh says knowing your “Why” helps you stay anchored during times of stress and uncertainty. It also helps you inspire others and keep them on-track and maintain balance. Pragmatic assertion. In the midst of all this, leaders still need to deliver results and hold people accountable for performance. “Ensuring that you keep your team members engaged, enabled and also held to account is a key balance a leader must maintain,” says Singh Another mark of an emotionally intelligent leader is the ability to be vulnerable, adds Johari. When you open up, the world

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