We’ve arrived at the 6th part in our 6-part series on Emotional Intelligence. Today, we’re going to cover the important roles of motivation and empathy as they pertain to the overall topic.
To date, we’ve covered;
If you haven’t already, we would encourage you to check out the other parts of this series above as they all relate to one another.
Our understanding in the world of emotional intelligence is that motivation and empathy are often grouped together. This could be because our practice transcends a lot through leadership and we believe wholeheartedly you require both. Empathy is other cases has been grouped into other areas but .. we’re going to stick with where we work best.
What are Motivation and Empathy?
The website, verywellmind.com, defines motivation as the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. In everyday usage, the term “motivation” is frequently used to describe why a person does something. It is the driving force behind human actions.
And, empathy as defined by greatergood.edu, generally defines “empathy” as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling.
Now, we would encourage you to take a moment using these definitions and decide if this exists in your business world. Please make a note if this is on the giving or receiving end (or both!).
Since we have that part out of the way, let’s go into why this is relevant to the world (and importance) of emotional intelligence and your business.
Self-motivated leaders work consistently toward their goals, and they have high standards for the quality of their work.
Here are 3 suggestions on how you can improve your motivation;
- Revisit your WHY. Why do you love what you do? It’s not uncommon for business owners to face some hardships and fall out of love with their career or business. Knowing that, revisit why you are doing this in the first place.
- Be aware of where you stand. How motivated are you to lead in the first place? Is a leadership role even one you desire to have?
- Be the optimist. Adopting the right mindset is critical for both motivation and empathy (more on that soon) so, ensuring you are seeing the positive in what could be a negative situation is ideal.
How can you possibly connect with and motivate others when your own motivation is lacking?
Empathy is Critical
For leaders, having empathy is critical to managing a successful team. Leaders with empathy have the ability to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. They help develop the people on their team, give constructive feedback, and listen to those who need it. Remember, there is a CLEAR difference in empathy and the word sympathy — they are NOT interchangeable. Your team doesn’t require you to feel sorry for them in fact, that won’t help anyone (including you!). Relating and understanding are key in the world of empathy.
Here are 3 suggestions to improving your level of empathy;
- Put yourself in another person’s shoes. Quite frankly, it’s easy to see things from our own point of view because it’s ours, right? Learning to come from a place of understanding on how someone else views certain tasks, challenges, etc. is important.
- Reflect on your body language. Become aware of how the person you’re speaking to is seeing you. Are your arms crossed, eyes elsewhere, pacing or otherwise? One of the easiest ways to improve empathy is by becoming aware of the non-verbal communication you are projecting.
- Respond to feelings. When you can hear disappointment, fear, discouragement or even unhappiness in your teams’ voice when you’ve asked something of them — ask them about it. Find a scenario or situation where you can identify where you ‘felt’ a similar way. Too often, we make assumptions on why people sound without knowing the real reason why. Don’t make assumptions without clear understanding.
To be effective, leaders must have a solid understanding of how their emotions and actions affect the people around them. The better a leader relates to and works with others, the more successful he or she will be!
Working on both motivation and empathy for yourself, will only help you become an even better leader!
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