As humans, we are encouraged to be emotionally intelligent; just two weeks ago I brought up the importance of being empathetic and how it can positively enhance a workplace. But too often, we stop there. We sit in our high-backed office chairs and smile to ourselves, reveling in our strong management of emotions and good leadership skills. Go us!
There’s a difference, though, between a good leader and a great one. Good leaders demonstrate a high level of emotional intelligence. They show strong empathy, are incredibly self-aware and show a genuine interest in the people they lead. However, GREAT leaders exercise emotional foresight.
What is emotional foresight, you ask?
Back in October 2016, I tripped over a drawer in my bathroom and fell. Non-climatic to say the least. But this clumsy step earned me a free trip to the ER with a badly broken wrist and a phone call to my parents. Being the ever-wise and blessed human she is, my mother whipped out her phone and said, “What’s on your schedule? I will clear my calendar. You’re going to need someone to take you to your speaking engagements and doctor appointments.” And as mothers usually are, the woman was absolutely right! I had severe pain radiating up my arm and into my neck for weeks. Without the use of my right hand to hold a cane, I couldn’t walk more than a few steps or push my wheelchair. I could barely dress myself. That simple absent-minded trip over a drawer had cost me nearly all of my independent mobility.
From this experience, I discovered EMOTIONAL FORESIGHT. My mother took emotional intelligence to the next level by wielding emotional intelligence like a crystal ball and foreseeing the obstacles in my path. She quickly adapted to ensure my success at her expense, activating the foundational piece of great leadership: PUT OTHERS FIRST.
3-STEP RESPONSE TO OBSTACLES
As leaders, we must look beyond the here and now when it comes to the success of our followers. By practicing emotional foresight, we prepare for the welfare of our followers, ensuring that when something happens, our followers are protected, supported and cared for. Over time this becomes second nature if a leader continually practices this three-step response to obstacles:
ASSESS Facts – Observe the situational facts and ask how it will or could impact others.
ACCEPT Reality – Let the facts just be what they are. Don’t waste time or energy on blame, anger, or avoidance.
ADDRESS Needs – Ask what will it take to create success for others? EQ is critical here! Once you know, take responsibility and put others first!
If you are apart of an organization that would be interested in hearing me speak, please contact me today.
Finally, Happy Mother’s Day to all those brilliant life-saving women out there who continually put other’s first and are the true leaders in this world!
I help organizations build whole-hearted communities through ‘half-assed’ leadership. We work together in three ways: speaking, consulting, and executive coaching. Step up from the ordinary…. Contact me today.