There is a lot of talk about the governance experience required by board directors to fulfil their duties on a board. What is talked about less so but is becoming more and more important is the ability for board directors to be emotionally intelligent in the boardroom.
Exceptional board directors lead with humility, respect, have the awareness of the impact they have on those around them and know when to speak and when to listen.
Need a reminder about what EQ is all about? Emotional intelligence is described by Perter Salovey and John D. Mayer as:
The ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate amongst them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions.
Daniel Goleman in his book Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ, he classifies emotional intelligence into five domains:
Self Awareness: Knowledge of your states, preferences, resources and intuitions.
Self Regulation: Management of your states, impulses and resources.
Motivation: Emotional tendencies that guide or facilitate reaching goals.
Empathy: Awareness of others’ feelings, needs and concerns.
Social Skills: Adeptness at inducing desirable responses in others.
Here are some reflective questions to ask yourself to develop your emotional intelligence as a board director or team member.
1. Honestly do you know the strengths and weaknesses you bring to the boardroom?
2. How do you define yourself? Are these self perceptions accurate? How do you test these?
3. Do you listen and seek opportunity to understand how others perceive your strengths and weaknesses?
4. What are your personal values and are they aligned with the organisation you serve?
5. Do you rate yourself as a continual learner? Would others have the same view?
6. Do you act with humility rather than arrogance?
7. Are you respectful in your language and actions to your fellow board directors, staff and stakeholders?
8. Are you able to keep calm during conversations?
9. Do you listen openly to other’s points of view?
10. Do you notice when you’re frustrated during conversations?
11. Do you truly understand what motivates you to serve on a NFP board or in your work team?
12. Do you serve the long term interests of the organisation rather than your own concerns or short term objectives?
13. Do you act from a place of authenticity?
14. Are you self motivated to serve on a board or at work?
15. Do you set and aim to reach goals personally and as a collective on the board?
16. Do you put yourself in the shoes of the people you serve?
17. Do you understand the values, strengths and goals of your fellow board directors or team mates?
18. Do you share the workload equally on the board?
19. Are you willing to see how others perceive situations and decisions to be made?
20. Do you work hard to be trustworthy?
21. Do you commit to working respectfully with your fellow board directors?
22. Do you reach other to develop a strong relationship with your fellow board directors?
23. Do you make time to have conversations outside of the boardroom to deepen your relationship with your fellow board members?
24. Are we committed to working as equals in the boardroom?
25. Do you act with a positive attitude?
Emotional intelligence is a critical component of an effective board. Are you actively cultivating the skills of emotional intelligence?