The Oxford English Dictionary defines emotional intelligence as “The capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.”

Recent events have created unprecedented levels of change, in our personal and professional lives. For most of us, any type of change can provoke a range of emotions from fear and resistance, to confusion and frustration.

This also apples when considering organisational change.  Whilst organisational change is continuous, the pace of change within organisations has rapidly accelerated in recent months resulting in many employees feeling higher than normal levels of uncertainty and fear about how this change affects them and their career prospects.

In order to lead change successfully during emotionally turbulent times requires the ability to communicate a vision for change that inspires others, encouraging them to adjust their behaviour at work in order to navigate the change.

A high level of emotional intelligence is a powerful tool allowing leaders to guide their workforce through change.  It is a huge factor in leaders navigating the behaviour and emotions of others during times of change.

High levels of emotional intelligence can help leaders to:

  • Overcome resistance to change from employees by listening to concerns and addressing them appropriately as part of the change process
  • Make better informed decisions that take into account the emotions of others involved in the change process
  • Build relationships with colleagues at all levels based on openness and trust
  • Drive to improve their own skills through self-awareness and the understanding that lessons can be learned from previous successes and failures

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