Teams are a mix of different kinds of people. Each person has their own ideas of what’s right and how things should be done. Within that group of people, someone usually rises to the top of the group as the leader. Recently, I’ve been reading a book on this very topic, and many leaders get to the top because of their ability to work with people effectively. This is known as emotional intelligence and is made up of multiple pillars. Now, how can you effectively use this to influence the people you work with to rally around the same idea? Let’s get into that now.
Empathy is a huge hot button in the realm of emotional intelligence. Being able to relate to the struggles of other people and come up with solutions or just listen is one of the most important abilities you can have especially on smaller teams. Many times as an Indie, we don’t have the ability to pay people. This means they’re usually doing the work out of the goodness of their heart or the promise of the future. This has side effects on how you handle stressful situations in the group.
In stressful situations, no one is bound by a contract to stay; If they get discouraged or have someone disrupting the flow of the group, it’s over. You can fix this with a bit of empathy and being aware of where everyone stands.
By focusing on creating an environment of positivity and showing people the results of all the work that they’re doing you can keep them encouraged. If fights break out in the group, try to find a middle ground for all the people involved. Never take sides as it makes people feel like they’re wrong. You should let everyone feel heard and then make a decision because what people want at the end of the day is to feel heard.
By being an empathetic individual and understanding that key point, you can start to have an easier time keeping your team together.
With that in mind, there’s one more thing that can help you rise to the top as a leader.
You can be the most empathetic person in the world, but if you can’t handle the complexities of human relationships, you’re going to have problems in the long run. You have to develop the social skills in order to express empathy, connect with others, and really get people to help you create your dreams! So, what are the most important social skills to develop then?
Develop your ability to speak to people; being able to effectively communicate your thoughts makes sure everyone understands you effectively. With this core skill, you can now develop your skills of persuasion.
If you can’t sell anyone, you won’t be able to sell your game or any other product you create. This is where empathy helps massively. Empathy allows you to put yourself in the shoes of your customers or employee and communicate in a way that resonates with them. This is not easy to do. Now, there are other skills that you could use to increase your leadership potential, but these are some of the most important pillars. With that said, if you’re curious, take a look into emotional intelligence for more information.
Now, these are the tips I have for you now. Good luck with making your game!