Since trust is a FEELING, an important skill for leaders is to be able to build and grow trust by becoming more intelligent with emotions. One way you can raise the emotional intelligence, or EQ, in your organization is to start asking people how they feel. Insist on getting feelings as the response, not thoughts disguised as feelings. (Examples of thoughts in disguise: I feel like…, I feel that…, I feel as if…)
Here are some steps to follow:
Start with these feelings. Ask specifically, on a scale of 0-10 how much they feel:
Then wherever the number is less than 10, ask what it would take to raise the number.
Then do it.
Next, ask about how much they feel:
Ask what it would take to lower the numbers.
Then take action.
Start expressing your own feelings. Begin sentences with: “I am afraid….”, “I feel confused about…”, “I appreciate…, “I feel concerned about…” Again, don’t confuse expressing your feeling with stating an opinion or lecturing. If you say “I feel that…”, you are giving them an opinion. If you say “I feel you should…” then you are giving a directive or lecturing.
When you express your feelings, be authentic and honest.
After expressing your feelings, let your employees figure out what to do. Don’t tell them. Don’t underestimate their intelligence and rob them of a chance to feel good about themselves.
Let go of control.
Start thinking about the impact your words have on their feelings. Remember we all do our best work when we feel good about ourselves.