The importance of emotional intelligence in leadership roles
Over the past month or so, I’ve been writing blog articles for the strata community.
As part of this process, I decided it was important to know my audience well to ensure the content I wrote was helpful in some way. When I asked the strata community what they’d like to read about, one of the common topics that arose centred around leadership and relationship management in committee meetings.
As some of you may or may not know, my background is in HVAC, LED lighting, and energy saving. Since I’m not a leadership expert, I approached Jim Davidson, a Team Performance Coach, and asked him for tips and tricks to assist with the running of productive meetings and achieve the best possible outcomes for the building, the committee, and the strata team.
Read on to discover Jim’s great advice.
Why is emotional intelligence important in strata leadership?
As defined by Jim, leadership refers to the ability to influence an arc or group of individuals to have a common outcome in the end. And that’s normally built on the back of very good relationships.
Then there’s emotional intelligence.
“Emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware of our own emotions. You know, the ability to be aware of our own emotions in the moment and the emotions of others that then allow us to manage our relationships at that time.”
So why is emotional intelligence important in strata leadership?
Jim says it enables you to source a common goal between the strata manager and committee and work out what it looks like.
“The first question I’d be asking is, what’s the common objective?” says Jim. “What is the common goal and why are we all there? We all have different reasons for sitting at that table. And even within a committee, there may be different agendas, different ideas, different thoughts, and different opinions.
So a strata manager would need to understand exactly what their role is. Their role is to bring all of those people together and those mixed emotions. When there is a lot of money on the line and at stake, they need to continually move through the hurdles and the challenges around that making decisions in that space.”
A strong relationship is necessary to ensure both strata manager and committee members are willing to work together. When there’s a positive relationship, progress can happen.
How do you apply emotional intelligence in a strata meeting?
Jim says the first step is to address the frustrations experienced on both sides of the equation.
For example, a strata committee member might be feeling very frustrated about an ongoing issue which, on all appearances, has seen little action. On the other hand, the strata manager might have been working very hard on getting the issue fixed.
Jim says this results in “an escalating frustration to get things resolved.” A simple improvement in communication could reduce the tension in the future.
“Understanding the need to communicate and the best methodology to communicate is very important to continue the relationship between the strata manager and the committee.”
As recommended by Jim, there are some great communication and behavioural tools out there, such as DISC profiling. These can help you work out the committee’s communication preferences and behavioural styles.
“If we are able to recognise these communication styles and others within a situation, we can then adapt our own behaviour to build a connection. This then leads into trust and respect, which ultimately create a level of influence in the relationship.”
Communicating in a ‘Parent-Child Relationship’
During our conversation, Jim told me about the importance of communication and understanding the relationship between two parties, which tied beautifully into a topic known as the ‘Parent-Child Relationship’. I think anyone who’s attended any sort of meeting will be able to relate!
“The big issue with communication is understanding the relationship between two parties. Quite often, what happens in a (Parent-Child) relationship is that one party will take a dominant role and the other party will take a more subservient or more passive role in the relationship.
When that happens, the dominant person tends to become more dominant. Or the more submissive side takes a more passive role. This then spins – which creates irritation and frustration and drives higher emotions.
The theory of the Parent-Child model is that we have three different states. There is a parent state, an adult state, and a child state. It’s a long-term theory and it’s tough. But it’s very important to understand that we often, due to circumstances and our own personal values and behavioral style, fall into one of the three areas in our relationships.
The parent position is referred to how we feel about people in our past in positions of authority. We respond to authority in a way that is based on that feedback from our past. We’re looking back on how we how we used to respond, how we acted, and how we felt as a child in certain circumstances.”
Jim says when someone takes the parent state and the other person takes the child state, it results in an unequal relationship. And the communication from an unequal relationship perspective is very challenging and very difficult.
Moving to an Adult-Adult Relationship
If there’s an existing Parent-Child relationship, change is required if you wish to achieve your common goal.
“We’re looking to build an Adult-Adult relationship, which is based on the current situation and not impacted by history,” says Jim. “It is purely built on respect for each other and our respect for the ultimate outcome of the communication.
The most simple way to shift a Parent-Child Relationship is to develop assertiveness.”
Jim says assertiveness is not about being aggressive. And it’s not about being pushy.
“Assertiveness is actually about having respect for your own values and your own position, as well as respect for the position of the other person. In short, it’s about a win win.
However, it’s also very values driven. So if there’s respect for each other’s values, you are able to shift the relationship to an Adult-Adult relationship. This then tends to be more productive, more outcome-driven and less emotionally-driven.”
What’s your manager/committee relationship like? What changes do you need to make?
Once you solve any communication issues, Trackie is here to deal with your HVAC, LED lighting, or energy issues! Feel free to call us on 02 9894 9119 to discuss.