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Greater emotional intelligence is your key to superior team performance

  • When emotionally aware, we are more able to trust our capability and employ a growth mindset.
  • Self-supporting teams help to present arguments, analyse and learn logical decision-making.
  • Appreciation of emotional intelligence and cultural awareness is fast becoming a strategic advantage and will in the future be more of a market disrupter than robots and digital technologies.

‘Leadership has little to do with authority, management acumen, or even being in charge. True leadership is about empowering others to achieve things they didn’t think possible.’ Simon Sinek

As a leader, would you like to be respected for your strength of character, resilience, strategic awareness, strong sense of purpose and your empowerment of others? Would you like to inspire others to grow and fulfil their dreams, to make a difference, and experience improved wellbeing, connection, and longevity? Leading by trust indicates your willingness to share your environment and place others needs above your own. As an emotionally intelligent leader, when you can harness and network the power of the collective, you open up a world of employee empowerment, strategy, innovation and opportunity.

Our level of emotional intelligence is a measure of how we challenge ourselves to collaborate, how we employ our curiosity to dig into conversations, are centred and positively engage in our world, and are accepting of our surrounds. Appreciation of big-picture awareness is fully dependent on how much we empathise and engage with all aspects of life. We need to know what defines our capability before self-awareness for emotional and social intelligence can flourish. To establish a leadership cultural competence and strategic awareness, we need to understand how we influence our environment for sustained employee wellbeing and growth.

We tend to deepen our trust through mastering relationships and developing our critical reasoning skills.

Learn to drop your guard and expectations to be more self-aware and authentic

We learn trust when we embody trust and rely on our value system (intuition) to become more instinctive and authentic in order to centre us in our environment. We tend to deepen our trust through mastering relationships and developing our critical reasoning skills. We come to appreciate the characteristics of trusting people and respect the value of our social connections in keeping us current. When we understand our instincts and learn our motivations, our instincts become more about trust than being protective. This has significant health benefits as our intuition helps to free the mind and employs our second nature, common sense, and draws on a lifetime of experiences and learnt emotional associations. By freeing the mind and employing our instincts for reasoning and digging deeper into conversation, we learn to release the noise, distractions, self-doubt and negative self-talk in our mind. An estimated 75 per cent to 90 per cent of all doctor visits are for stress-related issues.1 Developing our self-awareness allows us to better regulate and understand stress. The positive, centred, present state also provides better listening skills and the freedom to grow.

Employees love the calm, kind, selfless, and secure attributes of a trusting, emotionally intelligent leader who can employ their reasoning, spatial awareness, and executive functions to inspire and implement visions and strategy to secure their future.

Emotional intelligence (Ei) supports growth mindsets and leadership strength

The current trend is for businesses to move to open environments and agile teams (where we represent our interests and our likes over dislikes) allows us to play to our strengths and build confidence and a robust identity. Self-supporting teams present arguments, analyse and learn logical decision-making. At the point we have resolved self-doubt, and are confident, we need to self-reflect to move beyond the distractions and limitations of our judgments and thoughts, by dropping our guard, daring to be different, giving ourselves permission to be imperfect and confident, and being more centred, empathetic, intuitive, and growing our big picture awareness for understanding.

Self-awareness and emotional growth are our next objectives, especially for management. Learn to feel and share your environment with empathy. Just being grateful for the beauty and bounty around you helps to fuel your awareness. When emotionally aware, we are more able to trust our capability and employ a growth mindset. A growth mindset allows us to address any shortcomings or learning stages. Becoming accustomed to every development stage builds mental toughness and a well-rounded, 360-degree view of the world — past, present, future, and inside to outside. Once we are more accepting of our environment, we can focus our awareness on opportunity — we no longer need to be protective and pass judgments to bring understanding and manage our esteem.

DiSC/MBTi (Carl Jung) Behavioural Profiles
Figure on Behavioural Profiles

Introducing the Balanced Behavioural Development Model

In the Balanced Behavioural Development Model (BBDM), every behaviour has a purpose. By definition, the four sets of Myers Briggs (MBTi) primary and secondary behaviours can only be aligned in this way to hold true. The DiSC quadrants and definitions also prove the model and development pathway. Behaviours influence our thoughts, which influence our emotional associations, and then influence our behaviours in a perpetuating cycle. The INFJ profile (stage 3) is perfect for HR, managers and coaching.2 The ENFP profile (stage 4) enables influencing and inspiring creative leadership traits.3

The influence of leadership styles in building trust

As a transformational leader (stage 4), when self-aware, we recognise the need for employees to grow and we are more able to coach and challenge them to build confidence and awareness.

Being logical and in our heads limits our trust and awareness. As a manager or leader, when conversing, learn to be in the moment and spontaneous — leave your deep reflections to your alone time to analyse and logically define your arguments. Learn to lead with your intuition and delegate the detail to those who need to learn it. First and foremost, leaders need to be focused on networking strategies and innovation. When we appreciate our trust instincts, we are more positive, creative, and independent in our decision making. We heighten our trust, feelings and empathy by being more open, engaged, and adaptive when comfortable in our environment. This is supported by setting meaningful, purposeful future goals (our why) that align with our motivations or value system.

Transactional leaders (typically stage 1 or 2) who are guarded rely on their judgments, thinking and logical behaviours and are more likely to identify with problems over solutions, they can be conventional and practical in their application and their protective style may influence their micro-management. These boss styles are not learnt in employing their spatial awareness for growth strategies. They are typically reactive and talk policy and expense containment over growth. In focusing on problems, they may hinder employee and business growth.

Setting future visions and strategy are a transcendent, free, social, right brain function. Without inspired vision and strategy, or the security of a pathway to grow, employees may struggle to move beyond a fixed mindset. Appreciation of Ei and cultural awareness (Ci) is fast becoming a strategic advantage and will in the future be more of a market disrupter than robots and digital technologies. There is a strong correlation between developing employees, improved employee productivity and wellbeing, and organisational performance. Our culturally competent leadership attributes are a measure of our development success.

  1. Boone JL and Anthony JP, ‘Evaluating the impact of stress on systemic disease: The MOST protocol in primary care’, Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, Vol 103, No 5,  May 2003, p 239.
  2. Drenth AJ, INFJ Personality Type: Lover of Beauty & Wisdom,
  3. Drenth AJ, ‘ENFP Personality Type: The Creative Idealist’,

Tony Holmwood can be contacted on 0415 757 285 or via the website.

Material published in Governance Directions is copyright and may not be reproduced without permission. The views expressed therein are those of the author and not of Governance Institute of Australia. All views and opinions are provided as general commentary only and should not be relied upon in place of specific accounting, legal or other professional advice.

Acting for You, May 2019

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