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Blog Post

A Leader’s Guide to Emotionally Intelligent Decisions

By Jessie Turner, Senior Learning Experience Associate

Emotions are often considered unwelcome in business. But without emotions, humans are no better than machines. Emotions play a critical role in the way your employees interact, execute work, lead others, and connect with customers.

The challenge lies in the ability to recognize, understand, and regulate emotions to be your best at work. Emotional Intelligence (EI), is defined as “the ability to monitor one’s own and other’s emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use the information to guide one’s thinking and actions.” And, is a key aspect of leadership and professional success, particularly in times of change and crisis.

According to research by the authors of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, of almost 2 million people, only 36% can accurately identify emotions as they occur. The COVID-19 crisis has shown the world there is power in understanding how to process emotions so you can support yourself and others in tough times.

Forced change in environments, decreased human connection, and uncertainty about the future has triggered new and stronger emotions for employees around the globe. Changes caused by COVID-19 have led to an increased need for clarity and psychologically safe working environments. Now, more than ever, it is important for leaders to sharpen their EI skills and create environments that allow teams to thrive in a post-COVID world. One tool that you can begin using today is our Guide to Making Emotionally Intelligent Decisions.

From deciding what to wear, eat, or tackle on your to-do list, on average, individuals make about 35,000 decisions every single day. Making emotionally intelligent decisions creates an opportunity to develop your EI skills, increase your awareness, and allow those around you to feel valued.

Let’s break down the four areas to consider when making emotionally intelligent decisions.

  1. Emotional Data

Begin with self-awareness, “How do I feel about this?” Sit with the options for a minute, really examine how you honestly feel. Then, consider how others may be feeling about the decision. By stating where emotions are present, it can allow you process them without impeding on the conflict at hand.

  1. Logical Data

Next, consider the facts. What data, statistics, or figures impact this? What skills will be required for this process to change? Now that you have identified the emotions present, you can weigh the factual variables that impact the situation.

  1. Values

Now, evaluate the impact of your beliefs, “What company or personal values could guide this decision?” Values are defined as “one’s judgment of what is important in life,” and can often act as a North Star when making decisions. Evaluating the level of alignment your decision has with your personal or company values leads to a clearer path forward.

  1. Perspectives

Lastly, consider what perspectives are missing? Ask yourself, “Whose perspective have I not considered?” Put yourself in the shoes of various stakeholders related to this decision. How do they see the situation? Can you learn something important? You may want to speak with them and gather input for your decision.

In conclusion, when you consider your own thoughts, values, and questions as well as the perspectives of those around you it drives towards more inclusive and emotionally intelligent decisions. By looking around you, the path in front of you begins to look clearer. The next time you are faced with a decision, reflect on these four main areas: emotional data, logical data, values, and perspectives, to guide you to a more sound decision.

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