Inspiring Performance

For a leader, inspiring performance is a culmination of the other 5 factors of emotional intelligence, beginning with self-awareness. To inspire performance is to create a motivational environment that drives performance at a level higher than the individual’s normal output. In a leadership role, inspiration is the ability to influence people to do more than they have ever thought possible.

The effects of Low and High levels of Inspiring Performance

Low Level
  • Feeling Trapped
  • Dictatorial
  • Unprepared
  • Group Think
  • Breeding pessimism
Outcomes of Low Level EI
  • Repelling
  • Falling Short
  • Self-preservation
  • Turnover
  • Disenfranchised
High Level
  • Feeling Empowered
  • Democratic
  • Strategist
  • Blue Sky *
  • Culture of Coaching **

*Creative, Visionary, and Unconstrained by Practicality
**Development from a baseline of skills

Outcomes of High Level EI
  • Engaging
  • Exceeds Goals
  • Respect of Others
  • Retention
  • Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) *

*Organization Citizenship Behavior or OCB is a voluntary commitment that exceeds what is normally expected of an individual

4 Inspirational Actions of Leadership

1. Reach and Influence

Consistent and effective efforts to understand how to effectively connect with employees, peers, and other stakeholders. Influential leaders come out from behind job titles and their desks to ensure their audience hear what was intended.

2. Listen with intentionality instead of hearing with filters

Listening is an attentive, engaging, ability to bridge perspectives with the reality of what other people are going through. Too often we use filters while interacting with others or look for openings to jump in rather than gather more information. Leadership involves learning how to listen with the intention of increasing critical thinking skills of emotional reasoning.

3. Facilitate Learning

Leadership is about facilitating the learning process with others — leading individuals to discovery for themselves instead providing people with answers. Facilitation is the process of asking the questions that encourage collaboration and promote innovation. Facilitation encourages others to engage in a process of being a contributor.

To experience inspiration, people need to feel included. Inclusion goes beyond listening, to the invitation of asking questions and providing feedback. Inclusion helps people feel connected to the actions and processes that lead to decision-making and the achievement of goals. The outcome of this shared contribution in the development of solution brings ownership to each contributor.

Learning how to facilitate discussion and contribution, teaches the leadership qualities of vision and influence. Detailed knowledge of the tasks from those who are responsible for executing the processes, allows the leader to fulfill the role of being an influencer and the follower’s role of execution. Teams perform much more efficiently when these roles are defined, accepted, and executed.

4. Influence vs. Motivation

Leadership is often expressed as the process of motivating people. The leader’s role is actually one of creating a vision and influencing people toward organizational goals. A manager’s role is one of control — process, deadlines, service delivery, and recovery — controlling the chaos inside the organization. Together, the leader and the manager create a motivational environment that empowers the workforce’s contribution.

The level of proficiency with which a leader demonstrates these attributes correlates directly to the trust established with the follower. Proficiency is delivered not through a single act but through a blend of multiple competencies that can be learned and practically applied during daily interaction between leaders and followers. The connection between where each of us is right now and our best can be found in the competencies of emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a set of learned abilities that can be measured through an individual or collective assessment. Emotions influence each decision we make and every situation in which we find ourselves. Several studies have examined the role that emotions play in our lives, with increasing support of EI as an essential set of competencies for self-management and in developing and sustaining relationships with others. Because EI is a cognitive set of skills, the knowledge provided in the factors that define Emotional Intelligence can be learned, and useful in adapting our behavior for daily living.

Learning the six factors of EI, how each one impacts behavior, and the behavioral correlations between these six factors are valuable to leaders and followers alike. The competencies of EI can be learned as they are cognitive abilities developed through study and practical application. The best performing organizations will ensure that both leader and non-leader are assessed and educated in the skills of emotional intelligence, as they relate to the individual. EI is a perfect intersection for the leader’s influence over strategy, the manager’s control over process, and the follower’s execution of tasks.