Simplified Emotional Leadership for Young Managers

Srihari Udugani
The New Manager
Published in
5 min readMay 15, 2024

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Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

Emotions are important while managing a team. A Manager can improve team management by understanding the team’s emotions.

Emotional intelligence or Emotional leadership has been gaining popularity in recent times.

It helps in the following areas.
1. Coaching the team
2. Managing the stress levels
3. Confidently deliver feedback
4. Better collaboration with others

What is Emotional intelligence?
It is defined as the ability to understand and manage your emotions, as well as recognize and influence the emotions of your team members and peers.

There are 2 parts in the definition.
Part#1: Ability to understand and manage your own emotions.
Part#2: Recognising and influencing the emotions of others.

In simple terms, emotional intelligence for a manager is,
- how you detect and control your emotions during difficult times,
- how you understand your team member's or peer's emotions while communicating important feedback, resolving conflict, etc.

Why emotional intelligence is important?

Here are the top 3 reasons, why emotional intelligence becomes important.

Reason#1: Lower stress levels
When you can manage your emotions during difficult situations, your stress levels will be under control.

Many of us react and create more problems to increase our stress rather than giving a response to come out of the situation.

When you control your emotions and provide responses rather than reactions, the stress levels will be lower.

Reason#2: Effective communication
Have you noticed that in some cases, your team members get what you are saying in one go?

If you are in control of your emotions and you know what your team members are going through, you know exactly how to share information.

This happens less frequently. But imagine if it occurs more often. How well you can communicate on a day-to-day basis?

Reason#3: Building strong relationships
Have you noticed with a few of your peer, you understand their thought process however vague they talk?

In the same way, your peers get what you are trying to say even though the information is not communicated correctly.

This happens when you and your peers can understand each other emotions and try to help each other. This results in relationships which will help in difficult times.

A simple framework for being emotionally intelligent

Not all of us can control our emotions.

Many believe they are in control of their emotion but not truly.

As a young manager if you take steps to practice controlling your emotions from the start you can benefit from it as you grow in your management career.

Here is my simplified 4-step framework for being emotionally intelligent.

4-step simplified framework for emotional intelligence

Step#1: Stop
When you know there is a difficult situation at hand, most of us tend to give a reaction right at that moment.

The reaction will be to blame someone in the team, maybe yourself, or somebody else who could have caused this difficult situation.

Instead, stop.

You do not need to react or respond immediately. There is no such rule.

Take a deep breath and request a follow-up call to discuss further.

This will ensure you don’t say something that will agitate someone or create more problems.

Step#2: Probe
When you know about the situation that requires your full attention, talk to the team members individually to understand more about what happened.

Asking open-ended or specific questions about the situation will help you decipher its reason.

Such conversations will help you to understand the individual component or module causing the situation.

You may also understand any workarounds that could be used to come out of the situation quickly and later work on a long-term solution.

And most importantly you will understand the team’s feelings about the situation. This emotion must be addressed.

Step#3: Hypothesise
It is not sufficient if you understand the workarounds and the individual component or module causing the situation.

It is important to understand if there is something else that is missing.

Hence hypothesize about the conflicts between team members, missing elements, workarounds, impacts, and dependencies by creating different scenarios.

This hypothesis exercise will result in gaining clarity about assumptions, conflicts, what impact will occur, and how to handle them.

With the above information, you will be confident about how to move forward and what to expect.

Step#4: Respond
In the follow-up meeting, the information collected using the above steps will help to provide a proper response.

The response will help the team handle the difficult situation without creating further issues or obligations.

The response will also ensure you don’t speak about anything that could create more problems or that anybody's emotions are hurt.

The response will solve the conflicts that could have created such a situation.

When the situation is handled and no new issues are created, will there be anything to worry about?

In summary, emotional intelligence is about practicing,
1. delaying reaction as much as possible,
2. collecting information that could help solve the situation,
3. creating scenarios to make sure nothing else is missed,
4. respond with clarity to help the team resolve the situation.

Happy management!

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Reference Links

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Srihari Udugani
The New Manager

Knowledge Made Simple and Structured, Decisions Made Clear. Happy success!