What is emotional leadership?

At some point, being your own boss means also being other people’s boss. Because if the business grows, then you have to start delegating and hiring employees. So, the “ solopreneur ” has to become a leader and acquire new team management skills. Therefore, today we want to tell you what emotional leadership is .

It is, in a few words, the ability of the boss (and in this case, the owner of a business) to detect the emotional needs of his collaborators and respond in the most appropriate way to them. It implies, on the one hand, that the leader knows himself and can handle his own feelings; and on the other, that through skills such as empathy and communication, he can boost the motivation and growth of his team . From him.

This concept is linked to that of emotional intelligence , introduced by psychologist Daniel Goleman in the mid-nineties. In addition to controlling one’s own emotions, additional skills are required, such as empathy, the ability to listen and adapt to new situations.

Of course, emotional leadership has nothing to do with the “nice” or “cool” boss, but incapable of handling conflicts or demanding results. And although each personality exercises it naturally, it is a skill that can be learned from the hand of a coach or trainer .

Let’s first look at some of the different styles of emotional leadership . They all have positive and negative characteristics, so in principle none is better than the other. Identify, as a first step, which is yours.

The controlling leader

He is that type of boss who puts discipline and strict adherence to the rules first. He usually explains from the outset how things are done, precisely, without shaking his pulse to apply punishments and penalties. He is an ideal leader for new teams , where the roles are not yet clear , and for times of crisis where decisions have to be made quickly. His main weakness is that, in general, it is a style that arouses rejection among team members.

The participative leader

He likes to make decisions based on the opinions and experience of his team . This tactic can be very effective when the company is in a complex scenario, whose diagnosis requires different points of view . The B side of this leadership style is that, in more top-down corporate cultures such as Mexico, it can be seen as a sign of weakness, where it can also delay decision-making.

The Motivating Leader

It is the one that focuses on the growth and autonomy of the team so that it is capable of making decisions for itself and provides creative solutions to the most difficult problems . Although he gives instructions when necessary, he does not impose a single path. He works actively in the formation of a successor , since he does not feel essential nor is he afraid of losing his position.

The referent leader

More than just one of the team, this type of boss is regarded with a higher level of admiration and respect . For example, because he is the founder of the company, because he has been working for it for many years, or because he had impressive achievements in his field of activity. He is a highly visible and inspiring leader who sets the course with wisdom and his daily working example.

The coaching leader

He is the one who dedicates time and effort to training his team and creating a good working atmosphere. He believes more in joint achievements than in individual ones, as well as in affective ties for conflict management. But beware, because this can be demotivating for top talent if they don’t receive adequate compensation . And it can also affect overall productivity .

Now that you know what the different styles of emotional leadership are and which one could be identified with your way of conducting yourself, let’s analyze what are some of the common practices to cultivate them.

1) Always stay connected with your own emotions and those of others

As we already mentioned, the basis of emotional leadership is the combination of self- knowledge and empathy , since this symbiosis allows us to positively influence others and better manage negative feelings, such as fear of failure, envy or aggressiveness.

2) Trust yourself, but recognize your own limitations

One of the worst mistakes we can make at the head of a team is to feel like a superhero in moments of success, and an absolute failure when there are difficulties. Work on your self- confidence : understand that you cannot always win, nor fight on all fronts. Focus on your priority tasks, delegate and ask for help when necessary.

3) Focus on the solutions, not the culprits

What do bad bosses do when there is a problem? They look for the person responsible to expose him or punish him for his mistake; and, incidentally, ignore the problem. Instead, the emotional leader coolly analyzes the situation with his team, detects the flaw , shares his point of view on what to do next time , and gives precise instructions to avoid further difficulties .

4) Dedicate quality time to collaborators

You’ve probably worked with a boss who was excellent in many ways, but who was always in a hurry and never had time to meet with you , listen to you, and offer help with any problem, no matter how small. Don’t fall for that cold style; Rather, show your employees how important they are to you and the company with your time and active attention.

5) Show your human side

Lastly, don’t confuse authority with distance . The emotional leader knows when he can be vulnerable and should ask for help, as well as when he is expected to take charge of the situation and make the strongest decisions. Nobody expects you to behave like a robot in front of your people, or that you have the right answers for everything.