As Donald Trump starts his first full week in office following his inauguration on Friday, it’s telling to hear that Obama’s parting words of advice to the new president were that “this is a job of such magnitude….you can’t do it by yourself’.
Obama goes on to explain “You are enormously reliant on the team, your Cabinet, your senior White House staff” reminding us once again just how critical it is for leaders to build a strong team around them.
With this in mind, we wanted to share with President Trump our expert advice on how to use your emotional intelligence to build a high performance team, able to go the extra mile and achieve the extraordinary.
3 Steps To Building A High Performance Team
1. Build A Sense Of Trust
Great leaders engender trust in themselves and others by their ability to build relationships with their team. To understand exactly how leaders inspire this trust, we need to take a look at the trust equation.
Credibility + Reliability + Empathy
According to this equation you need to use your EQ to get others to believe in you (credibility), to follow through on your promises (reliability) and put yourself in other people shoes (empathy) in order to build trust. At the same time you have to limit your own self-interest otherwise people will doubt your true motivation. For example in the case of Trump, he needs to establish himself as a statesman, be able to deliver his election pledges, understand what makes other people tick – whilst at the same time minimising his personal desire for fame and glory. It is only by building trust within you team that you can create a shared sense of purpose.
2. Have Straightforward Conversations
Peak performing teams know exactly what success looks like because they are able to have straightforward conversations. However, it’s important to remember you need to be straightforward in an empathetic way; this means delivering an open and honest message and understanding how it will impact others. Trump is undoubtedly capable of having straightforward conversations, however he needs to develop his EQ so he is able be responsive to those around him who are equally straightforward back. Linked to this is the ability of high performing teams to give and receive constructive and timely feedback so that they are able to keep raising the bar.
3. Play to Your Strengths
In the past people have generally focused on improving their areas for development as a way of raising their game. However, peak performing teams use their EQ to boost their self awareness and identify their strengths – the things we are good at and which give us positive energy. By finding ways to stretch your individual strengths and the collective strength of your team, you will reap the rewards of greater success and fulfilment. However, be careful that you don’t use your strengths in overdrive – this is when you overplay your strengths. For example, in the case of Trump whilst his straightforwardness appeals to many of the electorate by overplaying it he could – and one could argue has – alienated people who do not share his views.
So as we embark on the uncertainty of the Trump era, we can only hope that behind closed White House doors, the new president heeds Obama’s advice and tries to develop his EQ so he is able to build a high performance team able to successfully govern the most powerful country in the world.
If you know of any leaders who may also need to develop their EQ – drop us a line – we would love to hear from you.