This is not the first time I have said this – Great leaders are hard to find! In an age where it’s getting harder to recruit and retain the best team, great leadership is the key to an engaged and motivated team. Yet the biggest reason people leave their job is because of their boss. There is lots of work to do and it starts with ourselves as leaders.
There would be hundreds of books written about leadership, blogs, video’s key note speakers, yet we still struggle to engage our teams and have them performing at a consistently high level. In retail, it’s critical that your team are up when customers come in as they have to provide a great experience every time.
I have been interested in Emotional Intelligence (EQ) for some time and believe that the higher your EQ the more you will succeed as a leader and recent research certainly backs this up. High EQ leaders build and maintain interpersonal relationships and therefore establish key attributes such as trust, respect and credibility. This leads to better inspiration and motivation of their team enabling them to move forward with passion and enthusiasm and achieve better results.
EQ is defined as the ability to see and master your own emotions while also recognising and responding to the emotions of others. Not always easy with the pressure we are all under, but the higher your EQ, the better the outcomes.
The younger generation is forcing us to lead them differently and improving your EQ is one way to do this. However, it works across all ages as we all want to feel valued, acknowledged and respected. High EQ leaders develop healthy relationships with others which in turn creates an environment of trust and commitment which are two powerful motivators.
So how can you improve your EQ? Here are six ideas to focus on:
1) Are you a good listener? Listening to what others say is very powerful as it shows you are open to hearing their thoughts and not just focussing on getting your point across.
2) It pays to think before your speak or act. Being reactive in the moment can destroy all of your hard work, so take the time to think about how your response or actions will be interpreted.
3) Embrace diversity and ideas from others that you may not have even thought about. Asking questions is a powerful way to engage your team as well as challenge them, but you must be open to listening.
4) Up your empathy level. Being able to think about issues from the other person’s point of view (team member or customer) is a powerful way to gain understanding of other people’s thinking.
5) Get to know your team. Find out what motivates and de-motivates them, which will allow you to provide them with more of what they want and less of what they don’t want.
6) Show that you are vulnerable. You can show that you are human and don’t possess all the answers and have it altogether all of the time.
I hope you find the above ideas helpful as we all need to improve our leadership skills so we can reap the rewards that having an amazingly motivated team bring.
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.