MORE: Harnessing Emotional Intelligence

Women in Technology helps promote female leadership and provides women with a network of support and encouragement that helps them to develop in their careers. In the WIT Forum on Wednesday, February 21, Dr. Kym A. Harris came and spoke about leading in your sweet spot: harnessing the power of emotional intelligence. Attending this forum and hearing her speak was both inspirational and motivational. As someone who wants to one day become a more developed leader, there were several aspects that hit home, but there were 6 concepts I will always take with me. Here is a little insight into harnessing the power of emotional intelligence:

Every day, the workplace is changing which means so are the rules. Gone are the days where education determines your status at a company, now it’s about how you handle yourself and how you handle others. The Center for Talent Innovation defines emotional intelligence as “we have to be intentional about how we show up.” Now, I know most of you are probably thinking… “You know, sometimes I just don’t feel like showing up!” Well guess what? You have to be intentional, especially if you’re in a leadership position. The way you show up impacts those around you whether you are talking with them directly, or they are just watching and observing you. The ability to create moments and experiences with those you interact with can ignite others to want... that’s right… more! During the WIT Forum, the audience was asked what they value in their leaders. Some of the answers included:

  • Vision
  • Care
  • Empowerment
  • Integrity
  • Transparency
  • Humility
  • Dignity

Do you embody these characteristics? As a leader, how are you leading in your sweet spot and harnessing the power of emotional intelligence? Below are 6 concepts to help you harness that power:

  1. You look better when you smile- I don’t know about you, but when other people smile, I just have to smile back at them. Smiling is contagious and when you don’t smile, it looks like you hate the world even though you may feel the complete opposite. When you take a moment to smile, you seem approachable and relatable.
  2. You can’t collaborate when your head is down- Collaboration leads to innovation which leads to success. FOMO (fear of missing out) is a real thing and if you’re working on something without inviting others to help,they are going to think you don’t care and will stop giving you the time of day. So, get out of your head and into conversation. Don’t be afraid to let others help.
  3. Empathy opens the heart and minds- To me, this is one of the hardest concepts to grasp because the world is not an empathetic place; however, you have the ability to change that. It’s all a matter of putting yourself in another’s shoes and figuring out what they need. Think of this as a challenge, when you see someone stressed or struggling (in work or life) go up to them and ask, “what do you need from me?” Whether there is something or not, the heart and mind is open and you are respected.
  4. You are not every woman- This relates to the word authentic or embracing who you are as an individual. It’s a relational behavior, to be truly authentic, you must not only be comfortable with yourself, but you must also be able to comfortably connect with others.
  5. You are at your best when you are simply yourself- Don’t live a lie and be who others think they want you to be. You will never be happy this way and there will always be something missing. Be yourself and let that shine proudly! Everyone is a different individual and brings something beautiful to this world, so harness that and let it shine!
  6. Your mantra keeps you in the game- Your mantra is the thing that keeps you grounded and helps you gain perspective. It could be a song, a saying, a book, a person, whatever you want it to be. For me, it’s a song and I play it every day before work to get my day started. So, think about it… What is your mantra?

In the words of Dr. Kym A. Harris, “All of this allows you to bring MORE to your leadership. Discover your MORE. Develop your MORE. Exploit the hell out of your MORE.” Take these concepts to heart and don’t forget to smile, it goes further than you think!