I've always been empathetic to those around me and even people on TV. Growing up, I never understood why I cried so easily or when I watch people cry on TV, I would as well.
It wasn't until recently that I realized I was an empath and this realization of my personality has created a deeper understanding of how I work as a person. I'm very in touch with people's emotions and as a person very in tune with how people feel, it can easily sway my energy in a positive or negative way. Often, I try to set the tone by creating a positive and happy vibe by being casual and inject a lot of jokes in my team.
I have a great team with a bunch of great characters who really try to lighten the mood, lend a helping hand when people are down, and really just work together as a family. I applaud them for realizing it's never us versus them, it's only us.
From a leadership standpoint, I'm all in on the emotional quotient because knowing people is the best way to lead. You have to have multiple brushes and tips to lead different personality types. What works for you, doesn't mean will work for your employees because everyone thinks and acts differently. Not only that, everyone has different values in which they operate in. I've seen it time and time again, managers forcing their ways of performance on people who don't operate the same way as they do. What are results? People disconnect from your leadership style, they become disengaged, and hence the moral suffers.
My Uncle Wing said it best, he said to lead is to know people. IQ is for generating the numbers but in order to generate the numbers, you need the EQ to execute on the IQ. Without the EQ as the driving force, then the KPI will always suffer. At the end of the day, who are the people that will execute on your ideas. Do they understand where they stand? Do they take ownership of their work?
Here's the thing that I've come to learn. I give my employees the leash to come up with ideas and really drive the point that they are in control of their own legacy. I tell them, as morbid as it sounds, at the end of the day, how do you want to be known and remembered as. I once gave an emotional speech and really told them that they are in control of making our department shine as a group. It's not me telling them, they need to believe that they bring value day in and day out to our customers and internal stakeholders. I gave them the motivation to believe in their own greatness and whenever we face obstacles, we are there to help each other to get past whatever makes the day difficult.
I care deeply about each and every individual that I come in contact with on a daily basis. I understand that people have lives outside these cubicle walls and sometimes their lives creep into the workplace. It's unavoidable and sometimes issues outside of work take precedence over whatever basic work we do to earn the paycheck. I get it, have compassion, but I hear you haters out there yelling, "what about being played?"
I give the benefit of the doubt to all my employees because facts are presented to me by them. Until other facts emerge, they will always have my trust, if they break my trust, their reputation is forever tarnished. Bad choices and actions come with their consequences. All I ask for as a leader from everyone is honesty. I'll be honest with my actions if you're honest with yours. We all need to be held accountable and really take ownership of what we do on the day to day.
The one takeaway from this is never let the power get to your head. It's not us versus them. There is only us, us as a team, us as a group, us as a company. We all are working towards the same goal, we know why we do what we do. We know our challenges, our struggles, and what needs to be done. Lend a hand when someone needs it. Stay positive cause challenges always bring an opportunity for growth. Negativity is the easy way out.