28 June 2021
Kristen Russell – High Performance & Emotional Intelligence Coach
by admin_kmd
Coaching Executive High Performance Leadership & Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand and manage our own emotions to allow us to understand, recognise and influence the emotions of others. Emotionally intelligent leaders have the skills of emotional awareness, emotional range, and regulation, push through setbacks and have resilience, have amazing social skills and the ability to build great relationships, as well as, have empathy for others and themselves.

To become emotionally intelligent, sometimes that means we must work through our own emotional challenges. I know for me personally, this was one of my biggest challenges on my journey. At the beginning of my journey into becoming a coach, some of these skills were like a distant wish that I thought was unlikely ever to happen. I had shut out emotions for years (and other people for that matter), and this meant I was disconnected, saw the world through the lens of my own heartache and quite often made things about me. Learning the skills of how to be emotionally intelligent was truly the greatest gift I have ever given myself. I absolutely light up when I get to share the importance of this with others.

In the business and leadership world, the more we understand and are ok with our own emotional state, the more we can understand, empathise and actively engage with the members of our team. Businesses with high emotionally intelligence cultures are the difference between average performance and high levels of performance.

When we use these skills, we lead with inspiration, create teams that are highly productive, more connected and in sync, have extremely high trust levels and shining positive cultures. We create teams with team members that genuinely want to go above and beyond and are loyal to the business or organisation.
I hear all the time, “Kristen, I don’t even know how to be inspirational, what does that even mean?”

Inspirational leaders possess something that team members aspire to have. Team members see the leader as someone that is authentic, confident, and resilient, has a positive mindset and is like a boat that is just sailing smoothly through the storms, with the ability to ask the hard questions and not get rocked by the answers. 
Inspirational leaders light and lead the way.

These leaders know who they are, understand their needs and desires and their own challenges, learn how to work through them as well as recognising these qualities in their team. These leaders are open, collaborative and connected. They can lead through a clean lens, one that is not filtered by their own emotions and responses getting in the way- Have you ever had a boss that would fly off the handle and get angry and not be able to manage themselves? How likely were you to want to go above and beyond for this person? As opposed to a leader, that can understand, empathise, and know how to manage situations and you effectively with certainty and confidence. Emotionally intelligent leaders have high levels of self-awareness and take responsibility for their own stuff.

You cannot lead others without leading yourself first.

There is a saying I often use by Maya Angelou and its “No one will remember what you said, they will remember the way you made them feel” and I love this quote (for a few reasons) but, mainly because as leaders, we think we need to know all the answers and get it right all the time, and ok sometimes that is extremely important particular in business decisions that have a big impact (or small). Still, you get what I mean…, what I love is that when we are managing people, we simply just need to care about ourselves firstly enough to know ourselves deeply and to know and care about our people.

First, the work begins with us.

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