Emotional Intelligence – A Transformational Journey of Your Personal Brand 1

Kenneth W Wheeler

It is the subtle things at work that contribute most to a great brand – from understanding your authenticity, differentiation, and relevance to practising mindfulness and compassion. Great leaders understand this and the link between Emotional Intelligence (EI) and successful personal branding. So, how can we align and bring out the best in us and others under the umbrella of EI? Let’s find out!

What is your ‘personal brand’ as a leader or as an individual? I understand the greatest impact and influence of your personal brand is what & how people speak about you in your absence. Take a pause and self-reflect on that thought for a moment. What do you really hear? How do you think people describe you? What do they really say? Does the answer comforts you or diverts you to worry/concern? If you truly care to sketch a self-legacy & personal brand that is worth mentioning, inspiring, and uplifting (for yourself and others)then you need to enthusiastically embark on the journey of emotional intelligence, be more consciously aware and willing to invest in its enhancement!

Let’s say when faced with a project failure and being caught under high-stress situations, how would you prefer to be known? Someone who responds erratically, shouts, and pins the blame on everyone else except yourself? Or, someone who stays calm, is vulnerable to own mistakes and works with the team to look for an alternate solution? I am certain your pick must be the latter. The success mantra to help you accomplish that choice depends largely on how equipped you are with your Emotional Intelligence (EI) spectrum. The other way to look at it is, as a leader (or individual) do you own your emotions or do your emotions own you? What would you prefer and why?

Emotional Intelligence

EI as defined by Peter Salovey and John Mayer is the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour. The world has changed more in the last 100 days than it has in decades. Covid-19 has impacted jobs, businesses, and prolonged work from the home situation has multiplied the relevance of EI than ever before!

Before we proceed, let us briefly understand some giveaway behavioural attributes that indicate you are struggling with low EI.

• Not certain on how to leverage your strengths when faced with troubled waters
• Your team and peers tag you as someone who is difficult to trust
• Decision making is delayed due to overdependence on self
• You shy away from 
difficult conversation and confrontations
• You adopt a stick approach as your natural go-to tool without identifying the negative impact your action can have on others

Now let’s look at how we can align and bring out the best in us and others under the umbrella of EI? After all, a leader’s EI ability can play a significant role in how they cope with tough situations but more importantly, how they act as influential role models for others to observe, follow and learn!

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Be Mindful of Your Reactions

Actions speak louder than words – we all have used this phrase at some point. With today’s environment of virtual connect, it becomes more paramount to be extremely mindful of our reactions. We ought to be more conscious of our emotions when we react to our employees and peers. It is an opportunity for us to recognize the different challenges and distractions we face and be comfortable to let our guard down and balance the load on basics such as:

  • Our expectations on project deadlines & the pressure we create from it
  • Scattered work hours – allow employees to pick time slots that comforts them
  • Individuals not operating to their maximum potential – accept it and react in support of it
  • Employees time off – recognize the emotional burden and encourage time off
  • TAT for email, chats and phone response – don’t let delay agitate you

Our reactions must truly display the essence of ‘we work with one another’ and shed away the reporting/hierarchy or power/authority visuals we have in our minds.

EI allows us to be our best version at work or else wise. It is when we look to understand EI, embrace it and grow it consciously, we genuinely transition from a good to a great leader. When we can pause, think, differentiate emotions of self and others only then our contribution can be more meaningful to us and the many different lives we touch daily. 

Shift from Empathy to Compassion

At work, when dealing with ourselves or others, most of us at best operate from a sympathy level. Very few are able to progress towards empathy. However, in today’s difficult circumstances of uncertainty, stress, anxiety and even fear, empathy is just not enough. One needs to transition to a compassion mindset which will allow us to act with more authenticity and be helpful and supportive to others in our sphere of influence. When employees reach out to you in their troubled times, having a higher EI quotient will encourage you to partner with them and do what it takes to solve the issue and not merely respond with empathy alone. Compassion is what will be valued most and cherished by all employees as we all battle this pandemic together.

Mindset Mantra of ‘It is Not about Me – It is about Others’

When you firmly confine your belief in this mantra, you operate from a higher level of EI. Just this perspective alone can allow you to think, behave and act in a more complete way and do wonders for your personal brand. Investment in developing your EI and being fully aware of yours and others’ emotions will be your guide to setting up a framework that allows the best work to come forth and make it a win-win situation for all concerned stakeholders. How often do you ask yourself “how can I enrich my employee’s world?” “What can I do to help them deliver their best work?” “How can I contribute to their growth?” EI is that vehicle to make this mindset transition and boost your personal brand.

Emotional Intelligence

Care for Employee Wellness & Well-being

The turmoil of emotions experienced today at every level of hierarchy has been vast. While some have found ways to cope with it, most still continue to struggle and feel overwhelmed. The recognition and acceptance of this attribute coming from a high level of EI help you and your organization to seriously establish a strategic employee mental and emotional wellbeing program. In-fact, it must be a high stake KRA for the HR function to design, implement, measure, and evaluate as one key output of their success at work. Nurture your EI and you will put together a wonderful platform to uplift yourself and your employees to manage, balance and deal with the dynamics of emotions we all find ourselves engulfed within the current scenario.

To Gather My Thoughts

EI is no longer good to have but a must-have skill that directly impacts our personal brand. EI allows us to be our best version at work or else wise. It is when we look to understand EI, embrace it and grow it consciously, we genuinely transition from a good to a great leader. When we can pause, think, differentiate emotions of self and others only then our contribution can be more meaningful to us and the many different lives we touch daily. I encourage you to walk that path and let EI be that tool for your transformational journey during these extremely challenging times and beyond!

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Kenneth W Wheeler is a seasoned HR professional with 16+ years of rich learning experience spread across different industries. Awarded as 101 Top HR Minds (India)2019 and a certified NLP Coach, he is a well-rounded expert in Envisioning, Strategizing, A key contributor in winning the BM Munjal award for LogiNext for 2 consecutive years for achieving business excellence through L&D program, Kenneth is currently the Director of Talent & Culture at True Fit Corporation. His obsession includes exploring multiple ways to build an agile learning infrastructure, governed by the use of new-age cutting technology (AR & VR, AI, ML, Bots). Thus, nurturing a culture of future fit employees by building a well- crafted blended learning approach in the form of gamification, mobile learning, experiential learning, design thinking, storytelling, and contributing directly to companies’ bottom-line results.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Kenneth, Welll written and articulately expressed! . Thank you for highlighting a very important Skill Emotional Intelligence that is of of utmost relevance and importance especially given the circumstances that we Are All in.
    What resonates with me as I read and re read 🙂 is something What i would l call POP ( Power of Pause). If this power can be utilized. recognized by All of us , this world would be a wonderful place to be in.
    Along with Empathy, Compassion for the self and others automatically translates in to our thoughts, words and actions and gets us into Alignment of being a true and Authentic Leader!
    Thanks for sharing this!
    Best regards,
    Nivedita

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