Why Finance Leaders Embrace Emotional Intelligence to Drive Business Success
There’s a famous saying in the workforce: people don’t quit organizations; they quit their bosses. In his novel, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie wisely notes that ethos—rather than logos—influences people. Emotions drive the human race, and while the world holds many analytical number crunchers, emotion is the actual influence of decision-making.
The modern leader embraces emotional intelligence to leverage company success, employee satisfaction, customer attraction, and retention. According to Psychology Today, “if an investor cannot control their emotions, they cannot control their money.” This concept rings true for finance leaders—they require emotional intelligence to optimize their finance function.
The Emotionally Intelligent Finance Leader
What qualities do finance leaders need to fulfill emotional intelligence? An emotionally intelligent finance leader can maintain and control their emotions in the moment—they are proactive, not reactive.
Team members look to their bosses for these critical characteristics to uphold their own emotional intelligence:
Influential—To be effective, finance leaders must be self-aware. The more in-tuned they are with themselves, the more they evolve into an aspirational executive. To be influential, one has to harness humility and self-control. These qualities turn individuals into stronger leaders.
Empathetic—Thoughtful finance leaders think about how they react to people’s contributions. Employees need to feel respected, heard, and validated by their managers. They want to create a dialogue between their bosses, not a debate that leads to tension.
Team Focused— Team-focused leaders establish team-first environments. This environment relates to its values, prioritizing its employees, and positive company morale.
It’s no secret that 2020 presented an astonishing turn of events. COVID influenced a mass transition into the remote workforce. Today’s employees expect more from their companies, and they want their managers to be on their side.
Strong finance leaders have social sensitivity, which is the ability to observe and sense others’ feelings in a social or business setting. Finance leaders who tune into social sensitivity lead groups in problem-solving. The more social sensitivity a finance manager has the higher degree of success they and their team experience.
The best leaders prioritize and recognize their staff. After all, their team is responsible for their business’s success. Employees know they’re valued when offered a healthy salary with generous benefits, and their workflow is seamless. These employers have a competitive advantage over other businesses because their employees are lining up to work for them.
The Evolving Finance Leader Scales Technology with Emotional IQ
The pandemic proved to be tough on workers. Influential leaders ensured their staff had sufficient support. They provided additional mental health days to prevent burnout and improve morale.
Leaders with high EQs (Emotional Intelligence) drive business success by empowering their teams to have smooth workflow processes. Modern technology prevents burnout by eliminating redundant, mundane tasks. A good leader wants solutions that will enhance their employees’ skills and eliminate the everyday challenges that burden the team.
As finance teams take on more responsibility, it only stands to reason why the No. 1 priority for senior finance leaders would be preventing employee burnout. For today’s financial leaders, the challenge is balancing their team members’ work and personal lives by creating sustainable, long-term ways to manage the upsurge in workload without adding additional headcount.
Leaders show their team support and empathy by implementing a robust tech stack that automates tedious tasks and removes bottlenecks. When low-level administrative tasks take precedence over more strategic work, finance can’t focus on what really matters: providing valuable insight into the company’s financials. Technology can offer more than the automation of repeatable tasks—any opportunity to take heavy lifts off an employee’s plate will inevitably leave room for value-added activities and more strategic support for the business.
The magical formula of technology and emotional intelligence leads to positive company morale—and that is how finance leaders can best invest in their employee’s happiness.