Leadership: ‘Emotional intelligence’ is critical right now during COVID-19 crisis

Jody DeVere

The world has been turned topsy-turvy for automotive industry business leaders due to COVID-19.

As I listen and watch reactions, commentary and observe new logistical and marketing strategies emerge, I am both heart-warmed and troubled.

I applaud the creativity dealerships, auto industry companies, suppliers and vendors are deploying to help employees, customers and communities weather this storm, demonstrations of just how strong and capable we are as an industry.

We are all in this TOGETHER.

There is a real need at this time across all workplaces for level-headedness, empathy, and effective leadership. Are there causes for concern? Absolutely. From hitting numbers, to juggling family responsibilities, and the economic outlook, more burning questions and issues keep emerging every day.

Many are asking what can I do to help? What is the right approach? How can my business thrive during these challenging times? I do not have all the answers, what I do have is my own many years of experience and best practices, in up and down markets, to share.

My Suggestions:

Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.

Strong “Emotional Intelligence” and “Listening Skills” are critical for leaders to make balanced decisions, cultivate a “can-do’ culture and build for the future during this time.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou

Cultivate a collaborative environment.

Defined: Work jointly on an activity, especially to produce or create something.

Now is a good time to pull in your customers, industry partners, suppliers, employees, 20-Groups and trusted advisers to collaborate via virtual meetings on solutions. The joint creativity and perspectives of multiple stakeholders can bring about break-through ideas through these collaborative discussions.

Show Concern:

Really listening to the many concerns from all stakeholders helps correctly weight and prioritize decisions on how to move forward.

Be Caring:

Be generous and creative in showing tangible ways you really do care about your customers, employees and suppliers. Ask how you can help, find ways to join forces.

Demonstrate Compassion:

Compassion can be thought of as a mental state or an orientation towards suffering (your own or others’). We are all in some way suffering right now. Showing compassion does not mean you are required to fix or solve all problems. It does mean you can acknowledge your own and others suffering and offer meaningful supportive words or gestures of comfort.

The Dalai Lama once said, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Despite the popular belief that happiness depends solely on you, the way to achieve does not lie just within yourself, but in your relationships and interactions with others.We as leaders can accelerate a positive path forward by taking control of our reactions, actions, caring deeply for those around us, and managing the COVID-19 challenge in a way that brings out the best, rather than the worst, in ourselves and those we lead.



Jody DeVere, CEO of AskPatty.com, is an authority on marketing to women, as well as an automotive journalist, car-care expert and safety spokesperson for the industry. You can reach her at jdevere@askpatty.com.


 

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