Emotional intelligence is one of the most important qualities in a leader. People need to connect to each other on an emotional level, and it’s important for team members to feel heard and valued by their manager. In the post-coronavirus world, where more than half of the US workforce is working entirely from home, emotional intelligence is even more important.
Working remotely can reduce a person’s cost of living and save them a long commute. Many people report that they’re more physically comfortable in their living room than their office chair. But there are some drawbacks. The biggest one is this: Even when you’re in a conference call discussing a collaborative team effort, you can still feel like you’re alone.
Self-isolation can take a toll on a person’s stress levels and mood. If you’re the leader of a remotely working team, it’s your responsibility to make people feel connected to each other. Not only does this help improve productivity and creativity, but it can also help your coworkers weather the odd emotional landscape of isolation.
Every single person is impacted in three main areas by the current situation.
The first is the grieving process. Everyone is grieving something. Even if you haven’t lost a person close to you, you’ve probably lost opportunities, favorite local places, the ability to see your friends, and a sense of security. And if you have lost a person, the circumstances hit even harder.
An emotionally intelligent leader is someone who can offer support and a listening ear when a coworker is unhappy. They can help their coworker feel heard and understood.
The second area is a person’s perception of time. With so little difference from day to day, many people are losing track of the passage of days. They may also feel like they’re stagnating and growing restless. A good leader uses the shortest amount of time possible to get everyone on the same page.
The third area is a sense of empathy. Everyone has some sense of what everyone else is feeling. If you’re a leader, you can’t fix everything for your team members. You can’t be a therapist. But you can find the resources to help them feel better about their own lives and proactively help themselves.