Working during a pandemic has taught us something: many of us didn’t enjoy our day jobs. The Great Resignation at the start of 2021 is a result of employees being burned out. The risk of PTSD for working adults is up 61% since the start of February 2021 and is now 83% higher than pre-pandemic levels (source)
. If team leaders, business owners and managers fail to empathize with the mental health struggle of the American workforce right now, they will not only kill morale, but also fail to carve pathways.
Studies have shown it is a high EQ (emotional quotient or intelligence) not IQ that predicts workplace success, with EQ being 4x more powerful than IQ in predicting who will achieve success in their field (source
). The most effective leaders understand how to balance authenticity, while being empathetic to the needs of the person in front of them--slightly changing how they show up in conversations to manage varied professional relationships. The most impactful leaders have one thing in common - empathy - and lucky for us ladies, it’s an awareness that we embrace naturally.
At age 21, I learned how important it is to have one person in your life that is grounded enough in themselves to reflect and champion the magic in you. One example is my friend, Marisa who saw in me more than I saw in myself--she stepped up and stepped in. Together we relocated from Fort Collins, Colorado to Jacksonville, Florida, thanks to a relocation package offered to her by her corporate company. The expression of her actions and willingness to share her blessings spoke louder to me than any words of encouragement. This experience ultimately opened my eyes to what life could be like if I witnessed myself the way those close to me did.
If you are in power, empower.
Marisa was using her power as a Coach to create positive change for me, and it has contributed to where I am today. As a Harvard Business Emotional Intelligence Leader expert, I advise my executive and corporate workplace clients on how their EQ leadership styles can empower others.
Leaders who want to evaluate their own level of empathy can ask themselves these three questions:
Here are the 6 EQ Leadership Styles:
Coercive leadership is great during times of disaster, because it’s a do as I say approach that creates prompt turnaround times. If you’ve got a tight deadline, this style of leadership can be effective if it’s communicated with phrases that compliment the person versus make them feel like a servant.
Authoritative leadership presents the overall goal, with a come with me attitude. A great style of leadership when you need to develop buy-in and empower others to take ownership. This style of leadership increased in popularity with Millennials and also supports the rise of freelance workers.
Affiliative leadership puts team harmony first by prioritizing people. This is great in times when team morale needs a boost, but it can lead to poor performance because it is a low-advice style of leadership. Affiliating in doses is best, and if you’re a people pleaser, you want to look out for how many decisions you make to keep the peace.
Democratic leaders give people a voice and have a great ability to listen. This is wonderful when generating ideas is necessary, however it can lead to endless meetings that focus on the big picture and confusion when the meetings never morph into actionable steps.
Pacesetting leaders have a high performance standard and they lead by example. This style of leadership has a positive effect on self motivated folks, otherwise it can create doubt, resentment and deplete a collaborative culture.
Coach style leaders guide personal development, and are most effective with people who want to change. They blend the big picture, with pointing the person in the right direction, and ultimately empowering the person to do it themselves.
As you read through these archetypes, you can easily see how one style of leadership over time isn’t the most effective, it’s a matter of trusting your intuition and empathy to empower your voice. Getting feedback will be invaluable to you, as you begin to blend different leadership styles into your day-to-day.
The pandemic woke us up to our values and how we really want to spend our time, which means people are checking in with themselves and their feelings like they never have before - they are ready for a leader like you. Now is your time to change the leadership status quo by owning your voice.