Quick thoughts on how Emotional Intelligence contributes to a psychologically safe environment.
From my experience in Leadership Development specifically utilising emotional intelligence to build leadership capability, for a leader to create an environment that is psychologically safe for others they firstly need Emotional Self-Awareness quickly backed up by Empathy and Interpersonal Relationships. That is, they need to be aware of how they are perceived by others, be cognisant of other’s reactions to what they are saying and have the ability to build mutually satisfying relationships that have trust at their centre.
I would also add that Self Regard plays a role in terms of being able to let go of your ego and allow others to take the floor and the limelight without judgement.
A good level of Reality Testing combined with Emotional Self-Awareness and Empathy further provides the leader with the ability to ‘read the room’ and assess how their style is impacting on the team dynamics and comfort of others to speak.
Flexibility steps in to provide the capability to adapt and flex their style in response to their evaluation of the environment.
A certain level of Assertiveness is required so the leader can call out those in the room who may directly or inadvertently be inhibiting others to feel comfortable.
And then we come to Brene Brown’s concept of vulnerability. By showing their own self, warts and all, the leaders allows others to also be flawed. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a licence to behave badly – see my first point regarding Emotional Self Awareness.
We can use our emotional intelligence to create a space for people to do their best work free from judgement.
What might you need to be mindful of in your interactions?