Welcome! After filling out your basic contact information below, you will be directed to the Free Leadership Assessment.
After you complete and submit the assessment,Â you will be invited to schedule a complimentary coaching call. You will be amazed to discover how much insight you can acquire from this one short exercise.
Welcome! After filling out your basic contact information below, you will be directed to the Free Team Assessment.
After you complete and submit the assessment,Â you will be invited to schedule a complimentary coaching call. You will be amazed to discover how much insight you can acquire from this one short exercise.
Every time an employee quits, it creates disruption and costs your business approximately 1.5 times his or her salary to replace them. Therefore 1 person on $65,000 will cost the business $97,500 to replace! How?
Think about the cost to the business of a disengaged employee, time and cost to recruit a new person, time and cost to train the new employee, time it takes for the new person to build their work capacity to that of the previous employee, let alone the impact on other employees.
But not only does it cost us financially, the overall effect of a high turnover rate can erode both business direction and morale.
According to a Gallup and Forbes survey the 10 top reasons why people leave are controllable by the employer!
So why do people leave?
Relationship with their boss – this is the No. 1 reason.
Bored and unchallenged by the work itself (underwhelmed)
Contribution of work to the business goals – (purpose)
Autonomy and independence (micro-management)
Relationships with co-workers (trust, transparency and courageous conversations)
Opportunity for promotion
Overloaded with work (stressed)
Organization’s financial stability (security)
Vision, purpose and values of the business (knowing the connect between what I do and the company vision)
Overall culture. Management’s recognition of employee job performance. (Acknowledgement)
So we know that replacing an employee can cost up to 1.5 times their annual income but let’s consider the cost if they don’t leave. If they stay but are not engaged!
For the purpose of the exercise: if you have 20 employees, 10 of which are working at 60% capacity. We know that people cannot work at 100% capacity all of the time, so let’s assume they work at 80% capacity.
Paid time not worked
Cost to the Business at 100%
Cost to the Business at 80%
So what can you do to prevent this?
For a short time we are offering an
Obligation free strategy session (Valued at $550)
whereby we’ll help you create a learning & development strategy plan.
In the process of developing your strategy plan we’ll discuss the following items because they are directly linked to why people leave or why they disengage:
Getting clear about and how to share your company’s vision, purpose and values.
Create a plan to develop your Managers and Leaders in all constructive leadership principles.
Build self-awareness through giving employees opportunities to discover their strengths and weaknesses and support them in developing all areas.
Understand different personality styles and their needs so you can adapt and be flexible.
Engage Managers and Leaders in building relationships using highly developed communication skills.
Address issues and conflict effectively and as early as possible.
Be clear about expectations and accountabilities to then allow autonomy.
Be open to giving and receiving feedback on a regular basis (not just at the end of year performance review)
If you have already decided to take advantage of our offer of a free strategy session we’ll get you started straight away. Simply call us on 0417 982637 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ll set up a time for our strategy session meeting and then we’ll send out a questionnaire for you to complete prior to this meeting. This will give you time to think and allow us to maximise the time we spend together.
In our meeting we’ll discuss your answers in more detail and identify gaps.
We’ll explore and document all the options on how to close these gaps.
I’ll take all this information away and formulate your Strategy Plan
We’ll schedule another time for me to present to you your strategy plan
So don’t hesitate, contact us now on 0417982637 or send us an email at email@example.com
If you’re anything like me, when someone says “You simply need to control your emotions” I think, well OK, that sounds logical, but how the ………………. do I do that?
I’m sure you have experienced these or similar scenarios before:
When someone tells you “You’re wrong” and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up!
Or, you’ve arrived 5 minutes early for a meeting only to sit there waiting for 20 mins for the other person to arrive! How disrespectful!
When you stare at the check-in person with horrified disbelief after they tell you that you have missed the check in by 2 minutes!
Can you relate? I’m sure you can, but if you can’t, how about witnessing other people when they totally lose it:
Like when your partner asks you to pick up some milk on the way home and you forgot to, and they scream at you!
Or you see a driver with their hand fully planted on the horn and at the same time making hand signals out the window when an old lady is driving slower than the speed limit!
There are so many things that culminate into causing you to react in a certain way: How your day has been up to now (whether stressful or calm) or how many things you have planned for the rest of your day. Things like what happened the night before, how well you slept, or if you had an argument with your partner.
The list is endless, but gives you an idea as to how many things come into play which will enable or disable your ability to control your emotions.
Look, if we didn’t have emotional responses we wouldn’t be human. The key to emotional mastery however, is to manage and control your emotions, so you can control your reactions.
Consider this equation:
The degree you are invested in something = the degree of emotional reaction.
Stimulus, plus the way you think about it = your reaction.
S + T = R
Let’s consider you have been preparing and researching information on how to improve the customer experience within your retail outlet. You have received 100’s of customer surveys, researched your competitors’ offerings, and interviewed customers directly. Finally you get to present your research to the owners only to have them coldly dismiss your ideas! Your investment has been significant, and to simply have your ideas dismissed after so much effort is a pretty tough cookie to swallow!
So can you control your emotions in this situation? Absolutely! I’m not saying it’s easy but hey, if you want to be successful in any area of life or business you need to develop the skill of emotional control.
Early in my career I distinctly remember reading;
“If you don’t control your emotions they WILL control you”.
So how do we do this?
1: Identify where the emotion is in your body
Your body will feel and show the emotion. Have you ever tried being really happy with a body slumped over, glum face and eyes pointed to the ground. No, because it just wouldn’t work.
Let’s use this as an example – you have just heard that someone else got the job that you applied for and yet you were so confident that you would get it. No-one said anything to you but you heard through the grapevine that someone from outside the company got the job. Boom! The emotion hits you.
I want you to ask yourself – where is that emotion in your body – where are you feeling it? I feel things like this in my gut – it’s heavy and deep and hurts. Some of you will feel it in your head, others your chest.
2. Label the emotion
What is the emotion? Many of you might say well I feel angry but that’s quite a common surface emotion, so I encourage you to go a little deeper; what is the anger, is it disrespect, feeling devalued, being dismissed, or being rejected? People hate being rejected and it will bring up all sorts of responses. If you are stuck here, continue to ask yourself the question; “why am I feeling angry?” Even get someone to coach you on this, by asking the questions to get you to go a little deeper.
So now you know where it is in your body, and you have labeled it.
3. Take note of what is happening with your body.
What is ideal here is if you can get someone to tell you what you are doing with your body. How are you breathing – short quick breaths high in your chest or deep diaphragmatic breathing? What are you doing with your mouth; are you biting your lip or pursing your lips, or have an open mouth? How are your eyes; glazed, staring, wide open, squinting? Where is your head – up or down? What are your hands doing; are they clenched or open? How is your spine; are you standing straight or have you slumped?
4. Notice what are you telling yourself about the situation (Your Story)
It’s quite hard to distinguish between step 3 and 4 because they happen almost instantaneously.
Here’s an example – My neighbor lost it emotionally when I spoke to her about putting some green plants along the fence line at the rear of her house and the front of mine. This is an unusual setup and I was to find out later that she did have a say about what was or wasn’t put along this fence line. You know most people wouldn’t care less what goes behind their fence when they never look at it, but she did. To add a bit more context, apparently she had been burgled previously and did not want anyone watering, weeding or making noises at her rear fence. But at the time of this confrontation, I didn’t know that.
So here I was confronted with my very emotional and serious neighbour. I thought, oh my goodness I have just spent a significant amount of money on my dream home and the thought of looking at a plain cream fence horrified me.
At the same time, I was fully aware that I was in a heightened emotional state; my mind was racing trying to think of a way to convince this woman that her worries were not valid.
My eyebrows raised, my heart started beating faster, the blood started rushing through my body – you know like you do when you see a tiger running down the street ready to pounce on you……….. flight or fight state. Well, I was definitely in the fight state. (The emotion was in my chest, and it was panic)
I became aware of this, so I started taking deep breaths. The reason being; I know a brain doesn’t work particularly well without oxygen. I put my body into a calm but confident state; arms down, legs hip width apart, shoulders up and back, and I continued to breathe. (I changed my body to a clam state)
My emotion was disbelief, shock, and sadness but slowly, as I changed my thoughts, my emotions moved to empathy. I realized this woman was scared. As irrational as it was for me, it was very real to her. (I changed what I was telling myself, from saying that she was wrong, to trying to understand her). Did I want to understand her? NO… but I knew there was no hope for me if I didn’t calm down and change the way I was approaching the situation.
This is a PRIMARY KEY to effective conflict and negotiation techniques.
The only way I was able to do that was to step back from my own emotional state and listen and question to try to understand her point of view. As I did this my emotion turned to empathy.
In Summary the key steps in the process are:
1. Notice where the emotion is in your body
2. Label the emotion.
3. Notice and think about what you are doing with your body and change it so the emotion can’t sit right (like sadness to happiness, frustration to empathy etc).
4. Notice what you are saying to yourself and change it (from she’s wrong, to how can I understand her point of view, from I’m never going to achieve this, to how can I achieve this)
So did I end up with some nice plants along the fence line? In the end it was a bit of a compromise of native plants & artificial turf. It kept the noise at her back fence to a minimum and I got a bit of green.
Please do practice this. I can guarantee it will work, and my clients tell me regularly that it really does work. It just takes consistent effort, at least initially, to overcome a lifetime of unruly emotional responses. I guarantee it’s worth it in the end.
If you are reading this article, chances are you’re experiencing a few problems with your team and want to know how to change it. My aim with this blog therefore, is to give you an insight into some of the predominant dysfunctional behaviours, the underlying causes and what to do about it.
“For every effect there is a root cause. Find and address the root cause rather than try to fix the effect, as there is no end to the latter” Celestine Chua
If you want to witness the performance of a highly functioning team, you simply have to turn the sports channel on the television and watch a great soccer match, netball or AFL game; any high achieving sports team for that matter. This is where you will see the result of a huge amount of planning, training, grit and determination. You see what works and what doesn’t. Remember though, it’s easy to see that from the sideline, much more difficult when you are in the team. If a high performing team isn’t achieving at the highest level, you can probably see where they drop the ball. You likely won’t know why though, unless you go deeper into the functioning of the team.
Some of you may have been part of a great team so know first-hand what it feels like and what it takes to create it. It’s a fact that having a highly functioning team will give you the ultimate competitive advantage because it’s a strength that comes from within. It’s not something that people can just create a carbon copy of because so much of it is about the attitudes of the individuals involved. Sure, there is skill involved, but this is only about 20% of the equation. High performing teams are able to achieve more than the individual parts. Significantly more. If you have a team of 5 that are high performing, this team could produce the same amount as a dysfunctional team of 8 or 10. That’s the effect of teamwork.
So what are some of the dysfunctional behaviours you may observe in a work team?
People don’t admit their mistakes
Look for someone else to blame
Cover up for their weaknesses, not admitting they are struggling
Don’t ask for help
Keep their cards close to their chest
No. 1 Root Cause of these behaviours stems from a lack of trust.
So how do you change this?
Something I find useful when trying to find solutions like this, is to think about what it is in people that cause me to trust them. What behaviours and traits do they possess that are trustworthy?
For me, one of the key attributes is when people are non-judgemental; when they listen and allow you to finish, when they don’t tell you what to do; rather they ask you what you want to do about it. You see when you listen to someone, really listen and give them the time of day, you send such a positive message that they’re important. When someone feels important to you, they will share more of themselves.
So if I (the leader) sense there is a lack of trust in the team, I will be the one to start being more open, admitting mistakes, asking for help, giving people my time and encouraging open talk. As a leader, you can’t expect the team to be more open and transparent if you aren’t. I have met leaders that think they can keep things close to their chest and that no one is the wiser, but, people can see, and do sense, and trust is a sense. Building trust always starts with the leader.
“Trust is the lubrication that makes it possible for teams to work” – Warren Bennis
Other behaviours you might see:
Passive behaviour and don’t discuss differences of opinions openly
Talk about problems and people behind their backs, never addressing it directly
These behaviours stem from a fear of speaking up for fear of conflict.
What to do about it…
This is a big problem for teams. I’ve often heard leaders say that all they want is for people to get on with their jobs, though they sense an underlying disharmony without managing to put their finger on the problem.
High Performing teams will have conflict; it wouldn’t be a high performing team if it didn’t. The difference is however, a successful team can air their grievances because someone will listen and hopefully change things. The focus of these conversations is to discuss, debate and solve problems, not to make the other person wrong and themselves right.
Therefore I would work on building trust and then create more opportunities for free flowing conversation. You might want to consider a team day with a particular focus on trust, conflict and assertive communication. Dealing with conflict generally makes most people uncomfortable. However if you have a proven formula that works, it can make all the difference.
Now, just because you have an open dialogue, doesn’t mean you will always get your own way. But when the reasoning behind why a person feels the way they do, or why they made a particular decision is communicated clearly and openly, this goes a long way to understanding and acceptance.
When people understand “The Why” they will follow, even if at times they don’t agree. When people are kept in the dark they often become suspicious. When this happens, a lack of trust prevails.
Other behaviours you might see in a dysfunctional team are:
Inability to make decisions
Lack of accountability
Lack of direction
Not achieving KPI’s or goals
These behaviours can stem from self-doubt and/or unclear job roles or expectations. They may also be unclear about the vision, purpose and goals.
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” —Henry Ford
So how do you change it?
If a person is suffering from self-doubt I would encourage you (the leader) to have a conversation. Point out that you value them as part of the team, however you’ve noticed that when it comes to decision making. they seem to falter. Be prepared with a couple of specific examples and ask them what’s causing this. Then listen for the answer. Do not make suggestions about why it is happening, allow them to speak up. What might come up from this discussion is that they didn’t realise or understand the expectations that were placed on them. In this case, you can go back to the clarity of role description, KPI’s and accountabilities. They may respond with they don’t have enough information, or that they are unsure about what to do, but unless you listen you will not find out. That’s why I emphasise the fact that you must listen to their answer and not give your reasons.
If people are unclear about the vision, goals and purpose of an organisation, it’s the leader’s job to clearly articulate this. However I’d like to suggest a better way, which is to get them involved in creating the vision, goals etc if possible. When people are involved in these processes they will be far more engaged and motivated to achieve the end result because they were part of the plan.
“Many people are unmotivated, not because they have a great reason to be, but rather because they have not been given a great reason to be motivated & engaged.”
For further information I would recommend “The 5 Dysfunctions of Teams” Patrick Lencioni. A great read that will further elaborate on the points I’ve made in this article.
If you have any other problems you are facing with your team please send through an email. I’d be more than happy to help.
There I was; sitting in my lounge room looking out the window thinking to myself there has to be more to life than this… Within days, a colleague of mine came to see me. He began talking about an opportunity to join a direct sales company and earn unlimited income while traveling the world. It sounded too good to be true, however I felt compelled to look into the opportunity anyway.
I saw the people that were doing well within the industry and figured if they could do it so could I. I simply had to learn what they did and it would be just a matter of time. Little did I know that the decision to pursue this opportunity would take me on a life changing personal development journey.
The experience was the most difficult and challenging, yet most thrilling and rewarding experience of my life. I was criticised, let down, and confronted as well as encouraged, mentored and supported. It was like being in the wash cycle of a washing machine. Sometimes it was a gentle stirring; sometimes I was flooded with water (emotions) and couldn’t breathe. Sometimes I was actually spinning and then I was hung out on the line to dry.
But in the end, I came out of that cycle a better person and ultimately was successful in this business. I was proud of the achievements resulting from my hard work; numerous overseas trips, company cars, diamonds and enough income to support the whole family and send my children to private school.
I came to realise that to be successful in this business it wasn’t just about me being the best; it was about me coaching and supporting others to be the best they could be. I’ve found this to be true for any leadership role.
As with many aspects of life, eventually this role began to grow a little stale, not offering the new challenges I desired. So, after eight years and realising that my needs weren’t being met any longer I began the transition of establishing my own coaching & facilitating business. As part of the journey, I had attended many personal and professional development courses around the globe. After attending a Tony Robbins seminar in Hawaii I realised it was time for a change. I no longer had the passion or drive to pursue my current journey.
About the same time, I was getting requests from people outside the business to help them with their teams. Friends and family were also encouraging me to broaden my scope and the audience that I could influence.
“If you aren’t growing and developing in some way shape or form, you are dying, and when you start to die, you start to smell” – Anthony Robbins
This is where I think people do themselves a big disservice; when they stay in a job just because it’s what they know and where they feel secure. Life’s rewards go to those who show courage and go out and seek more from life. Yes it is challenging, yes it’s scary, yes it’s facing the unknown but believe me this is where the gold is. You cannot learn about courage from reading it in a book, you have to get out there and face your fears – get on the bike so to speak. This is the place where you become more.
“The fruit is always out on the limbs of the tree”. Andrew Matthews.
I began the second growth spurt of my life. The beginning of L.E Coaching.
I worked with a mentor coach and established my vision, discovered my values and set my purpose. I established a business plan, set goals and started the journey.
Once again, this journey has been challenging, but through persistence, determination and belief in my ability I have managed to open doors and work with some amazing clients, from small business owners through to General Managers of large organisations. I have had various mentors and coaches along the way and have taken on board a huge amount of feedback to tweak my style and the suite of programs and services I offer.
Sometimes I have to pinch myself because I feel so fortunate to do this work. Sometimes I wonder how come I have been so lucky… Though I do prescribe to the words of Brian Tracy; “It’s a funny thing, the harder you work, the luckier you get”.
So yes I have the formal qualifications now to work as a coach, having achieved PCC level coach through the International Coaching Federation with many years of coaching experience. I have many other accreditations and qualifications to support my clients, but that is not all I bring to a coaching intervention. It’s all my life’s experiences, it’s knowing firsthand how challenging and frightening moving out of our comfort zone can be, but also knowing how fulfilling and rewarding taking these challenges can be. That’s where I feel I can offer the most to my clients, the driving force that gets me out of bed motivated and determined each and every day.
Not so long ago, leadership was solely based on your position or title. It was expected that you would use the authority associated with that title to recruit, direct, control and dismiss the workers under you. You were required to promote (if possible), discipline, and reprimand the ones that didn’t perform as directed. Many workers were required to perform relatively unchallenging tasks and were easily replaceable. Money was the key incentive used to motivate staff.
Some of you reading this article may have experienced this type of leadership. The effects are generally very negative on all people concerned, including the leader. Some of those effects are:
You will develop staff that are overly dependent and are unable to take any action without permission
Workers act out their resentment toward the leader by indirectly defying his/her authority.
Workers can become overly critical and competitive with each other
High turnover rates within an organisation
These effects are destructive and go a long way to stifling creativity and provoking “dissension in the ranks”
So what has changed in modern times?
Two things in particular:
The need for organisations to do more with less, innovate and compete in an ever-changing global market.
The needs and expectations of the people started changing.
70 years ago Abraham Maslow suggested that people wanted to feel fulfilled and energised by their work. They wanted to contribute, feel valued and make a difference. Both employees and organisations alike are coming to understand this fully.
Leaders have had to learn to embrace the people as their most important asset. I’d like to suggest that future leaders in all workplaces will be required not just to have strong minds, but also generous and caring hearts
“In the past a leader was a boss. Today’s leaders must be partners with their people, they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.” Ken Blanchard
So What is Constructive Leadership?
Constructive leadership is having a balance between achieving the task and managing the people. Knowing how to achieve the task with the people, knowing how to adapt your behavioural preferences to suit the preferences of the people you are working with. It’s having an encouraging and inspiring communication style that supports people to challenge their own thinking, to push the boundaries with creativity and objectivity. It’s to approach life and business energetically and with strong instincts and intuition.
Let me share a personal story with you.
I was working with the General Manager of a nickel mine in the Gold Fields. This Manager had come from a well-established mine site in Africa and knew there were better ways of mapping the mine, whereby more information could be taken from the one plan.
So he assigned the task to a key planner that he believed had the ability to stretch his current way of thinking. He explained that there were better ways of mapping the mine and more ways of uncovering vital information to ensure efficient and effective extraction of the ore. The GM funded a new software program and explained the type of information he wanted to extract and then handed the project over to the planner. He gave him the tools, gave him a scope of what he wanted and basically left it up to him to create.
When I came for my monthly visit, this leader gave up his own coaching hour for his planner because he wanted me to hear firsthand what this guy had created. He was absolutely thrilled with what he had achieved.
When I sat with the planner his story was so inspirational because not only had he created what he had been asked for, he had gone above and beyond and created a map and plan that well exceeded the GM’s expectations. The benefits for the entire mine was that they were able to extract far more information, setting them up to be far more accurate in their drilling exploits.
Truly I was so inspired by the whole story so I asked the planner;
“What’s it like to work for Martin? (the GM)” His response was –
“I love coming to work. I love every day here. I love working with Martin – he believes in me, he challenges me, but gives me the freedom to figure out how I can challenge the boundaries. I feel very privileged to work with such a great bloke.”
Can you imagine how productive this mine site was? Martin didn’t need to force people to work, he was able to inspire his workers through;
Genuine interest in his people – he got to know them personally, not by going to the pub for a beer, but by getting to know about their families, their hobbies, what they loved and what they disliked about their work.
Setting challenging goals, with the team, and with his belief in the people, they produced amazing results. He even nominated this planner for a town employee award.
“Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders” – Tom Peters
What Can You Do To Achieve This as a leader?
Now that question is for you, because I’m sure you know the answer. However, as I’m writing this article, I will respond with how I would do it.
I always suggest firstly to find out where you currently are, what are your strengths, what are you good at, and ensure you do more of that. Identify the areas that you want to develop and learn ways of doing that. *Get feedback and measure how you are tracking.
Let’s use my logo (a tetrahedron) as a prop for explaining the 4 key points of leadership. *A tetrahedron is the strongest minimal structure – shaped like a pyramid, with 4 points and 4 vectors or 4 equal sides. Each vector must be equal in length, width and strength as the other three sides. If you were to then put downward pressure on any one of the points the structure will not collapse.
The 4 Key Points of Constructive Leadership:
1. Set a Shared Vision and Goals
Live and breathe the vision so people will be inspired by it. Focus on a standard of achieving excellence, and have a desire to continually challenge the status quo.
Set realistic, attainable, yet challenging goals. Lead by example. You cannot fake this; you must live and breathe it. Deal with conflict directly, rationally and encourage input from team members.
2. Be Self-actualised
That is be confident, be self-aware, believe in yourself and your capacity. Have an energetic, exciting approach to life, with a strong desire to know about and experience things directly. Be open minded, respect others differences. Your zest for life will be contagious.
3. Be the Coach
Enjoy developing people by having a genuine interest in enabling them to be the best they can be. Be open and accepting of people’s differences. Be patient with each individual’s gestation time i.e time it takes to grow and develop. Be willing to have your own beliefs and values challenged, demonstrate humility. Develop unique ways of involving individuals and teams in solving problems. Ask questions and seek to understand rather than be judgemental and critical.
4. Appreciate the value of relationships
Have excellent interpersonal relationships, appreciate people, and establish strong emotional and social ties. Be relaxed and comfortable in your own skin in crowds. Don’t feel you need to entertain others; it’s more about listening and getting to know people. Emphasise the value of teams and diversity. Have highly tuned
Don’t feel you need to entertain others; it’s more about listening and getting to know people. Emphasise the value of teams and diversity. Have highly tuned communication skills.
“Leaders do not avoid, repress, or deny conflict, but rather see it as an opportunity.” Warren Bennis
For some, you might feel you are already well on the road to constructive leadership, for others it might seem an endless journey.
As Lao Tzu, said,
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
Brian Tracy said
“If you want to get really good at something, do something about it every day for 10 years and at the end of that time you will be an expert”.
I have personally experienced this journey developing myself as a coach, establishing my business 16 years ago and with the thought that if I did something, learned something new every day for 10 years I will be an expert. I’m still on the journey but I know a hell of a lot more than I knew 16 years ago.
My advice to you; Start your journey today. You won’t regret it.
Although there are an array of factors involved, generally the key component of ‘success’ comes down to interaction and relationships with other people. Success is not achieved alone. So to answer the question of ‘why?’ straight out of the gate; those with high levels of emotional intelligence connect with people on a deep, unconscious level. People with high EQ have the ability to read how a person is feeling, use their own emotional self-management to adjust their communication and deliver a message that resonates with the whole person and not just their logical minds.
People will work harder, stay longer, be more tolerant, be more honest when they feel understood, appreciated, listened to and if they feel their input makes a difference. This is what leads to success.
Although research was being done by Peter Salavoy and John Mayer in 1920’s and 30’s it was the release of Daniel Goleman’s book in 1996 “Emotional Intelligence” – Why it can matter more than IQ, that people have become more aware of this subject. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re aware of what it is…
So what Is Emotional Intelligence?
According to Daniel Goleman , “Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is defined as the ability to identify, assess, and control one’s own emotions, the emotions of others, and that of groups.”
Wikipedia says it like this;
Emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability to monitor one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour.
The case for emotional intelligence
EQ gives you the ability to be able to motivate yourself and persist in the face of frustrations; to control impulse and delay gratification; to regulate your moods and keep distress from swamping your ability to think; to empathise and to hope.
“In the fields I have studied, emotional intelligence is much more powerful than IQ in determining who emerges as a leader. IQ is a threshold competence. You need it, but it doesn’t make you a star. Emotional Intelligence can.” (Stephen Covey, Author of 7 Habits of Highly Effecgive People)
Research by the Center for Creative Leadership found that the primary causes of executive derailment involve deficiencies in emotional competence.
This was also supported by the research done by the Carnegie Institute of Technology that showed that 85% of our financial success was due to skills in “human engineering”, to communicate, build relationships, negotiate and inspire people to want to follow. They found that only 15% was due to technical ability. In other words, people skills or skills highly related to emotional intelligence were crucial skills.
Results of a McClelland study showed that after supervisors in a manufacturing plant received training in emotional competencies such as how to listen better, lost-time accidents decreased by 50% and grievances went down from 15 per year to three. The plant itself exceeded productivity goals by $250,000.
Let’s Make a Few Things Clear…
EQ does not mean “being nice” but rather, for example, confronting someone with an uncomfortable but consequential truth they’ve been avoiding.
EQ does not mean giving free rein to feelings – “letting it all hang out” Rather, it means managing feelings so that they are expressed appropriately and effectively, enabling people to work together smoothly toward their common goals.
EQ alone won’t get you places, you do need some IQ but research continues to produce results suggesting that EQ will take you further, will enable you to be more successful than someone with similar or even higher IQ but without the same level of EQ.
Emotions Drive People and People Drive Performance
You think about it – People prefer to do business with a person they like and trust than someone they have doubts about, even if what is on offer is a better product or lower price.
The higher up the organization the more crucial emotional intelligence abilities are. Naturally the impacts of their decisions and behaviours are greater, felt throughout the entire organization.
The same principles apply in all areas of life, whether at work or in relationships. Everyone wants to be around people who are easy to get along with, supportive, likeable, honest and trustworthy. We want to be beside people that do not get upset easily and can keep their composure when things do not work out according to plan.
Self-awareness – The first thing that is essential for any degree of emotional intelligence is self-awareness. People with a high degree of self-awareness have a solid understanding of their own emotions, their strengths, weaknesses, and what drives them. They are neither overly critical nor unrealistically hopeful; these people are honest with themselves and others. They are aware of their emotional responses, can label them, and recognize how their feelings impact them. They are clear about their goals and values and where they are going in life. They are confident yet aware of their limitations so less likely to put themselves in situations where they will fail. They are comfortable talking about themselves in a frank open manner.
Ability To Self-Regulate Emotions – We all have emotions and they will affect us. Quite frankly if we didn’t have emotions we wouldn’t be human. People who are good at self-regulation, however, are able to manage their emotions so they can make rational decisions and motivate themselves, even in stressful situations.
“Either you Learn to Manage your Emotions or They WILL manage you.” – Anthony Robbins
People who self-regulate have the ability to wait until their emotions pass, allowing themselves to respond from a place of reason, rather than simply reacting to feelings. The signs of someone who is good at self-regulation are reflection, thoughtfulness, and comfort with ambiguity, change, and not having all the answers.
Recognising and Understanding Emotions in Others – Empathy is another important aspect. Someone who has empathy will have an awareness of the feelings of others and consider those feelings in their words and actions. This does not mean that they will tiptoe around or be unwilling to make tough decisions for fear of hurting someone’s feelings. It simply means that they are aware of, and take into consideration the impact on others. They are willing to share their own worries and concerns and openly acknowledge other’s emotions.
Managing Relationships with Good Social skills – Social skill is another area of emotional intelligence that is important in the workplace. To have good social skills requires a high level of all the other skills already mentioned, as well as the ability to relate and find common ground with a wide range of people. It goes beyond just friendliness and the ability to get along with others.
Having excellent social skills allows them to be good team members as they are great at making connections, networking and uniting people.
Can EQ be learned?
The good thing is EQ can be learned. If you get clear on what Emotional Intelligence is, measure your ability as to where you are and if you are committed to change then 100% yes you can increase your EQ.
If you’d like to find out more, get in touch. We use EQ-i2 and EQ 360° diagnostic tools to determine your EQ, from there guiding you through the results and how they can be effectively put to use in your own success journey.
Everyone, at some point in their professional development, wonders how they are doing. Feedback plays an important role in this self-awareness process. As individuals, we have our own perceptions as to how effective we believe we are in the workplace.
But what about the impact your behaviour has on others? Do they see the same qualities in you as you see in yourself?
If you have desires to improve yourself and climb the ladder of success, one of the most important elements of this journey is to be able to see yourself through the eyes of others.Â To know how your leadership style, communication style or perhaps your conflict style impacts others. Does it encourage or discourage people? Does it motivate or demotivate? Â Being able to look at ourselves through the eyes of others provides information essential to the self-development process.
Often what we mean to do is not what others see. Learning the difference can greatly enhance our self-awareness and improvement.
Due to the sometimes negative experiences individuals have had in processes like performance reviews; they often avoid asking for othersâ€™ opinions of themselves and their workstyles. Hence, the concept of â€œfeedbackâ€ is often confused with â€œcriticismâ€. This is a mistake.
Let me share my story with you…
Many years ago I was working in a direct selling organisation, managing a large group of people.Â I would present to well over 100 individuals on a weekly basis and workedÂ a little more closely with a group of about 8 down line Managers, 4 up line Managers as well as a dozen peers.Â Feedback in this industry was encouraged and people would openly share their thoughts, opinions and recommendations.
After a period of time, I started to realise that a big chunk of the feedback was not actually helpful to me. From my peers and Managers, I would receive positive feedback combined with specifics about how I could improve, grow and develop. Yet other feedback I was receiving simply felt like criticism with no specifics, no balance and basically just felt negative.Â It felt like it was coming from people who basically just wanted to discourage me.
I recall lying in bed one morning thinking this was all getting too hard and it was knocking my self-confidence around. Â It was then I decided I simply needed to manage the feedback.Â So I set some boundaries around the feedback. They were:
Only accept it from people I respected and admired;
Those people whose lives or businesses were working
Those people who were moving in the circles I wanted to move in.
Those people who I believed genuinely wanted the best for me and would give me honest and balanced feedback.
For most of the feedback outside those boundaries, I let disappear into the ether. This had a much more positive effect on my growth and development.
So what Iâ€™m suggesting here is to seek out feedback, but set your own boundaries around who you want to receive it from. Iâ€™m not suggesting you only seek out feedback from those people that really like you and will tell you what you want to hear, but balanced with both the positive and the areas for development.
Audit the sources of your feedback!
The intention of feedback needs to come from a space of genuinely wanting to help people grow and develop. If the recipient knows that, it will be a positive experience.
There are various ways of receiving feedback; from formal through to casual.Â Some of the formal ways are through the use of a 360Â° assessment whereby you complete a questionnaire for yourself and your manager/s, peers and direct reports answer the same questions about you.Â A report is produced and the results of this type of feedback are given in a supportive coaching session.
Other types of feedback are through performance reviews, through a mentor or coach, or informally with a group of people that you respect and value their feedback.
As Iâ€™m writing this article I can imagine that some of you might feel a little anxious.Â I can assure you, feeling that way is quite normal but something you need to overcome.
This element is so very valuable for your growth and development that the fear behind it needs to be overcome.Â Itâ€™s not easy, but it’s certainly something you can do. Â When you really think about it, what are you afraid of?Â Itâ€™s quite simply hearing something negative about ourselves, and really whatâ€™s the worst thing thatâ€™s going to happen? Â You may disagree with it, but here Iâ€™d be cautious about that because you may disagree, but you may also not know it about yourself.
Introducing the Johari Window…
The Johari Window is a communication model that is used to improve understanding between individuals. The word “Johari” is taken from the names of Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham, who developed the model in 1955.
Quadrant 1: Known Self or Open Self
This is the information about the person – behaviour, attitude, feelings, emotions, knowledge, experience, skills, views, etc -Â knownÂ by the person (‘the self’) andÂ knownÂ by the group (‘others’)
Quadrant 2: Blind selfÂ
This is what’s known about the person by others but is unknown by the person themselves.Â By seeking feedback from others, the aim should be to reduce this area and thereby increase the open area i.e. to increase self-awareness.Â This blind area is not an effective or productive space for individuals or groups.Â The blind area could also be referred to as ignorance about oneself.Â An example is when someone repeats a word or statement over and over like â€œI guessâ€.Â After a while, that is all the audience can hear, causing them to miss the balance of the conversation. Yet the person delivering the message isnâ€™t aware this is happening.
Quadrant 3: Hidden SelfÂ
This is what’sÂ knownÂ to us but kept hidden from, and thereforeÂ unknown, to others. This hidden self represents emotions, fears, information, agendas, secrets, likes and dislikes that for whatever reason, he/she chooses not to disclose. Itâ€™s natural to keep personal information private, however when it ‘s work related, it’s so much better to be exposed in the open area.
Quadrant 4: Unknown SelfÂ
The final quadrant contains information, feelings, dormant talents, abilitiesÂ etc. that areÂ unknownÂ to the person andÂ unknownÂ to others. Large unknown areas would typically be expected in younger people, and people who lack experience or self-belief.
What you do with that feedback is the next vital step in your journey. I have coached hundreds of Managers and have seen on many occasions whereby the feedback was given then filed away into the filing cabinet.Â Really whatâ€™s the point?Â Itâ€™s just a waste of time, money and devalues the people who spent their time giving the feedback.
I always encourage the people I work with to go back to the people who gave the feedback and thank them. The next thing is to do something with the feedback.Â A desire or wish is simply that unless you take some action.
Create a development plan and set some goals.Â Document the areas you want to improve with specifics of how you will go about it and put timelines on everything.
If people see you actually making the effort, let alone changing, it sends such a positive message.
â€œ’Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.â€ – Gandhi
Wise words to live by, arenâ€™t they? We agree on the point that human beings are meant to continually learn. Every day, you can learn something new, provided you keep your eyes and ears open, and your mind alert ready to accept new knowledge.
However, life does bring with it many challenges making it difficult to always maintain this mindset. Remember learning to overcome the challenge is learning something new in itself. For when that same challenges arises you will be able to deal with it confidently, knowing that you have done it before. Here are a few tips that can be helpful:
Are you often stressed out at work? Do you find it difficult to establish emotional connections with friends and co-workers? Are you unable to find positive solutions to problems? If the answer of one or more questions among these is yes, then you may have low emotional intelligence.
No, it has nothing to do with Intelligence Quotient (IQ). Indeed, even a person with an exceptionally high IQ might have low EQ. If you have low EQ, then you might find it difficult to focus properly at work, resolve problems peacefully, and develop meaningful relationships. Fortunately, EQ is something you can learn, and develop, with someone to guide you.
It is a fact that humans are social beings. Another fact is that if we have relationships we will have conflict â€“ it is inevitable. Having conflict is a healthy part of relationships and we need not be concerned about the conflict itself but our ability to effectively resolve conflict.
â€œItâ€™s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.â€ – Bruce Wayne, Batman Begins