Effective leadership is a tricky skill, one that does not come naturally to many. Even those who may be a natural leader will find that within the workplace, success with those you lead and manage may be more difficult than initially thought.
Much of this has to do with a shift in perspective that must occur in order to be a truly effective manager. So often we seek to advise others on how they should do things differently rather than look inward at what we could be doing differently.
It’s a concept that much of the business leadership world is discussing – the importance of emotional intelligence (EQ) as executives, leaders, and managers. EQ is what allows us to recognize, understand and manage our own emotions which, as a result helps us to recognize, understand and help navigate the emotions of others.
Being a successful manager is about you and not about you—all at the same time. The distinction is great leadership requires that we practice self-control and self-management in order to more successfully focus on those we lead and manage.
Traditionally, companies have not helped its leaders understand how best to communicate and lead with true emotional intelligence. However, with greater emphasis being placed on this topic, more and more companies are providing the training needed to help individuals recognize that leadership is not a status of power to misuse; instead, it is an opportunity to motivate and inspire others to do their best for themselves and the company.
For example, our corporate service and governance team dedicates a great deal of time training managers and their teams on how to contribute ideas or contrary opinions without causing discord or discomfort. Part of it comes down to showing they have actively listened to the person they disagree with. We feel strongly about fostering an environment of respect where individuals will be heard and ideas will be considered. My sister, Bich, who is in charge of the HR and Finance Department, also invested a great deal of time and effort into training programs for managers. Both Bich and I provide training to our talent pool and managers. Even though the training is conducted on Sunday, many of THP Family Pool members attend. They are there because they believe in and appreciate the investment made in their interests. Besides professional development, we also focus on making sure that THP is a place for personal development. In many of the sessions, we choose to dig deep in order to resolve many personal obstacles in the workplace. Sometimes, that means showing vulnerability even at the upper management level.
This approach takes a great deal of humility for leaders who may feel they already know the best course of action for a particular challenge. Instead of looking to their position as a sign that they know best, they look at their position as a responsibility to garner involvement, engagement and improvement. When we are able to look within to embrace those around us, we will become managers and leaders who help our teams and companies achieve greater results.