Workplaces around the world are embracing terms like ‘culture’, ‘values’ and ‘behaviour’. No longer is it good enough to simply manufacture or sell a product or service. Progressive companies now recognise the added financial benefits of a team which is engaged and fulfilled from within.

This fulfilment comes from two key areas: the employee’s role and the leadership above them.

This pressure to provide the emotional support required by their teams is putting many leaders under the pump. Not only do leaders need to be technically proficient at their role (their ‘IQ’), but to get the best from their people they need to have the Soft Skills (or ‘EQ’) required to build appropriate culture, values and behaviour.

So, as a leader, how are your Soft Skills?

Here are seven questions to challenge your EQ (or emotional fitness) as a leader:

  1. Do you know how to create a transparent working environment that encourages open and productive discussions about emotions, feelings and behaviours?
  2. Can you build a culture of empathy and be quick to dismiss apathy across a team?
  3. Do you feel confident that you not only have the technical skills but also the people skills required to fulfill your role?
  4. Have you been hosting regular activities that promote and encourage understanding and diversity among your team members?
  5. Do you regularly monitor your team’s emotional balance, not allowing anger, frustration and or disillusionment to gather momentum?
  6. How often do you publicly or privately acknowledge people’s behaviour which promotes reconciliation and a culture of cooperation?
  7. Can you separate the behaviour from the person, being careful to call the behaviour without labelling the person?

It’s OK to admit that perhaps your EQ skills need a little work. The important thing is to demonstrate that you are active in developing a workplace culture where asking for help is sometimes the bravest course of action.

Rhett Morris is a co-owner and director of Bulletproof People. In the last four years he has delivered in excess of 600 workshops on topics including resilience, managing conflict, drugs and alcohol, and fatigue and energy management.