Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence and the Bachelor

by necoaching necoaching No Comments

Ok, so I am going to make a radical admission – I have been watching this season’s Bachelor on TV and let’s just say it’s quality time spent with my wife. So, when to my pleasant surprise, I heard how Corinne was being accused of lacking in Emotional Intelligence (EI) by fellow competitor the bachelorTaylor, I thought some might be interested in truly understanding what this form of intelligence is really all about.

According to Genos International, Emotional Intelligence involves a set of skills that define how effectively you perceive, understand, reason with, and manage your own and others’ emotions. Some of the keys skills are:

1. Self Awareness

How you show up in terms of your emotions / behavior forms a huge part of how other people perceive (and feel about) you. The perception of you by others is their reality and first impressions can be lasting. You may not care and that’s ok. But if you do care, such as with family, friends and co-workers, then being tuned into your behavior and its effect on others, can serve you very well.

2. Awareness of Others

In parallel with the above, being equally mindful and sensitive to the emotions of other people can really help you connect with them. By listening better and being able to tap into their emotional cues, you can build a better rapport and be genuinely empathetic; consequently, people will be drawn to you.

3. Emotional Decision Making

Many might argue that we justify based on facts, but make decisions on emotions; think of buying a car. By taking the time to consider, not only the data/facts, but how those (including yourself) might be impacted emotionally by a decision you make, could ultimately lead to making better choices.

4. Self Management

This is the classic where something is upsetting, and do you react impulsively (typically followed by regret), or do you respond in a controlled manner and achieve the desired outcome? Taking time to consider (looking before you leap) is about taking control of the choices you make, in reasonable and responsible manner.

Emotionally intelligent behavior can be summed up as doing/saying the appropriate thing, with the appropriate person, at the appropriate time. In the case of Corrine and Taylor, this just never happened and consequently resulted in what was plain to be seen right up to the end; they couldn’t even look at each other. Everybody thought it was funny (and let’s not forget it was reality TV) but based on what we saw, who would want to spend time with either person?

Top 10 Leadership Traits

by necoaching necoaching No Comments

(in no particular order)

18559263_blogThere appears to be an infinite amount of books on the subject of leadership and despite this every year more new ones come out. However to a large degree this subject just gets re-hashed through a different set of lens and therefore continues to be compelling reading for those of us that are seeking the Leadership Utopia of Knowledge. For those who don’t care to read them all, below are what I believe to be essential leadership traits. Do these well and you are 90% of the way there.

Clear vision of the future
They have absolute clarity on where the business is heading even if unsure how and by when they will get there. They truly believe in the vision.

Big picture thinkers
They focus on what’s critical and allow others to manage the detail by clearly understanding the key drivers and associated success indicators. They do not micromanage.

Invest in their people
They see that a primary role for them is to ensure that people are performing at an optimum level. Talent management, from recruitment to retirement, is one of their top priorities.

Sufficient general business knowledge
They know enough about all disciplines to execute upon the vision even though their expertise maybe in sales, operations, finance or some other discipline.

Possess a quiet determination
They work through adversity and understand that this is a journey, not a destination. They expect challenges along the way and work through them with great resolve.

Demonstrate emotionally intelligent behavior.
They understand that working with people is emotional and involves doing the appropriate thing, at the appropriate time, with the appropriate people.

Have personal humility
They possess an uncanny ability to downplay their own contribution and are more driven by supporting other people’s growth and success. They genuinely care about others and less about their own ego.

Self driven towards success
They are on their own with few peers and many reports. It can be lonely but they have learned to adapt well to this environment through a personal inner drive to succeed. They are determined and self motivated.

Look after their personal health
In order to perform at their best, they see their physical well being as key to their being sharp and alert. They exercise regularly.

Have a stable personal life
They ensure time for family because one cannot detach personal and professional life; consequently family provides a reciprocal understanding for their work commitments. They make time for both.

The Keys to Effective Employee Engagement

by necoaching necoaching No Comments

internal coachingEmployee engagement is the collective level of intellectual and emotional commitment employees have toward their work and organization. More and more organizations are embracing this as a means to understanding how they measure up from an engagement perspective. Consequently many different types of tools and surveys are now being accessed to help create some objectivity as to how people feel about their work.

Once these surveys are undertaken and organizations wish to elevate their engagement score, three areas where significant developmental opportunities exist are:

Emotionally Intelligent Leaders
Do qualities such as being responsive, empowering, resilient, expansive, empathetic, authentic and present best describe people worth following? Emotionally intelligent leaders clearly understand that their approach is less about them and more about, through these qualities, supporting and coaching the people who make it happen. This very much compares to what Jim Collins in “Good to Great” described as Level 5 Leaders; those having Personal Humility and Professional Resolve.

Highly Motivated Employees
Employee motivation is influenced by a number of factors namely your job role, your boss, the team you associate with and the organization (and culture) you are part of. Based on these criteria, it is important to ensure that the motivational need of the individual compares favorably to what is available to them; there is a fit. By focusing on developing these areas, employees are provided with a greater sense of belonging and desire to make a more meaningful contribution.

Adopting a Coaching Approach
The very essence of coaching involves supporting other people’s success. The skills are rooted in connecting through listening, questioning, acknowledging and validating and genuinely supporting the other person. However there is also a clear focus on action but one that can be agreed upon, acted on and recognized when complete. Coaching is used to provide people with the resources, knowledge and skills to make positive decisions/actions that can advance the individual and their organization.

 

Emotional Intelligent Selling

by necoaching necoaching No Comments

Research conducted by Emotional Intelligent (EI) thought leaders Genos suggests that sales people who demonstrate emotionally intelligent behavior have an edge. In this study it was shown that a group of 40 sales people out performed a comparable controlled group by 12% following their developmental experience with EI (Jennings and Palmer, 2007). So how does a salesperson demonstrating emotionally intelligent behavior show up?

1. Self Awareness
How you show up and present yourself (look, demeanor, attitude, communication style, etc) to a client forms a huge part of how they perceive (and feel about) you. Know what this is as their perception of you is their reality and first impressions can be lasting.

2. Awareness of Others
Sincerely help the client get what they want to buy, rather than what you want to sell. Consequently, you will listen better, be more informed, and establish a better rapport and more likely close the deal; be genuinely empathetic.

3. Emotional Decision Making
We justify based on facts but make decisions on emotions. In most sales both are in play and often we over emphasize the facts and forget about the emotions. Take time to consider how those impacted by what you have to offer really feel about it and you might be surprised with the answer you get.

4. Self Management
Inevitably in sales you are going to meet with disappointment. Don’t let this show in front of potential clients. You can manage these emotions and maintain a positive disposition at all times; remain resilient.

Emotionally intelligent behavior can be summed up as doing the appropriate thing with the appropriate person at the appropriate time. In fact some would suggest that EI might be a better predictor of sales success than experience, knowledge or personality. This is not to say that these are not important but more that Emotional Intelligence should not be overlooked.

Keys to Employee Engagement

by necoaching necoaching No Comments

employeeEmployee engagement is the collective level of intellectual and emotional commitment employees have toward their work and organization. More and more organizations are embracing this as a means to understanding how they measure up from an engagement perspective. Consequently many different types of tools and surveys are now being accessed to help create some objectivity as to how people feel about their work.

Once these surveys are undertaken and organizations wish to elevate their engagement score, three areas where significant developmental opportunities exist are:

Emotionally Intelligent Leaders

Do qualities such as being responsive, empowering, resilient, expansive, empathetic, authentic and present best describe people worth following? Emotionally intelligent leaders clearly understand that their approach is less about them and more about, through these qualities, supporting and coaching the people who make it happen. This very much compares to what Jim Collins in “Good to Great” described as Level 5 Leaders; those having Personal Humility and Professional Resolve.

Highly Motivated Employees

Employee motivation is influenced by a number of factors namely your job role, your boss, the team you associate with and the organization (and culture) you are part of. Based on these criteria, it is important to ensure that the motivational need of the individual compares favorably to what is available to them; there is a fit. By focusing on developing these areas, employees are provided with a greater sense of belonging and desire to make a more meaningful contribution.

Use of Coaching Skills

The very essence of coaching involves supporting other people’s success. The skills are rooted in connecting through listening, questioning, acknowledging and validating and genuinely supporting the other person. However there is also a clear focus on action but one that can be agreed upon, acted on and recognized when complete. Coaching is used to provide people with the resources, knowledge and skills to make positive decisions/actions that can advance the individual and their organization.

 

 

 

Behavioral Expectations

by necoaching necoaching No Comments

“Constructive Disagreement, Then Loyalty”. I still remember this vividly as a behavioral expectation for a company I worked with over 25 years ago. There were 9 others which I don’t recall but with this one it encouraged debate, point of view, even disagreement; but then there was an expectation that once a decision was made, everybody would be committed and loyal. I liked that!

dogAs part of any planning process, most progressive companies labor over how they want the management and staff in order to execute upon the strategic intent. Much of what they come up with is truly admirable and there is a consensus that if everybody was to follow along, it would be a magnificent place to work and success would be eminent. Unfortunately most of it goes no further than the paper it is written on. Why is this?

In truth, like may similar endeavors, it is high on intent and poor on execution. For many, conforming to these expectations requires them to behave different to what they normally do. If constructive disagreement, then loyalty doesn’t sit well with you outside of work, you can’t just hit a switch and expect that you will when inside.

The other obvious reason is that in order to ensure a certain expectation of behaviors, those leading must model them. However many of these “leaders” think in terms of how others should show up rather than taking a hard look in the mirror themselves. Jim Collins, in the book Good to Great, put it so eloquently when he described Level 5 leaders as possessing this unique blend of personal humility and professional resolve. Associated with these traits are some unique behaviors that were modeled by these successful leaders but then subsequently expected of their employees.

In the end, these are only expectations and, in reality, sometimes they are present and often not. However there is an honorable intent in creating them in the first place and with perseverance, they can be slowly woven into the fabric of an organization. Behaviors are a function of one’s Emotional Intelligence and when combined with Intellectual Capacity form the bridge to organization success and sustainability. What do you think?

The Art of “Noticing”

by necoaching necoaching No Comments

Max Bazerman, in a recent HBR article on “Becoming a First Class Noticer” offered some wonderful insights into the value and challenges associated with noticing what is going on around you.  Intuitively this seems very obvious and simple, but in reality it’s not.  Like most human skills, we are all prone to different levels, with the net result that some are very good at it and many are not.

26232415_blogBazerman went on to identify a number of challenges that can prevent people from being adept when it comes to noticing.  These included things such as ambiguity (conflict of evidence), motivated blindness (self-interest), conflicts of interest, the slipper slope (small infractions that get out of control), misdirection (mislead by a third party) and indirect harm (fear or threat).

Notwithstanding that these factors that can get in the way, the control of one’s ability to notice can also be influenced from within.  Here are five tips or skills which, with some conscious awareness, will help to enhance your noticing abilities.

1. Be Centered – how aware are you of your own thoughts, words and actions?
2. Show Empathy – what’s important to other people?
3. Draw from Lessons Learned – how can you learn from prior experiences?
4. Seek knowledge – how can you get more information?
5. Look before you leap – how can you show appropriate caution?

With so much happening all around us and so many bytes of information to process, it’s hard to notice everything.  The key is effectively employing the various skills above so that you can ultimately make more informed decisions and do so by noticing all aspects of your surroundings.  In so doing you will be a better leader, a better teacher, a better parent and a better coach.

What is Self Awareness?

by necoaching necoaching No Comments

If you were to ask most people what they thought self awareness is about you would most likely be greeted with a quizzical look.  Yet much has been written on this subject and many thought leaders would argue that it is at the heart of interpersonal and leadership effectiveness.  So what exactly is it?

Genos, known for their expertise in the area of Emotional Intelligence, offer the simple definition that “it’s the skill of perceiving and understanding one’s own emotions”.  In simple terms, this means there is a level of (self) consciousness that allows you to be “in tune” with your own moods, feelings, emotions and actions.

Self awareness is something that ultimately lies within; you have considerable control.  Unfortunately many of us go through life saying or doing things and behaving in certain ways without realizing the consequence in terms of relationships, careers and ultimately one’s ability to achieve success.  We tend to operate on auto pilot and we quite simply don’t “look before we leap”.

So what can be done about this?  There are two techniques through which one becomes more self aware.  One is to do more self reflection which can be as simple as taking some “quiet or thinking” time, practicing meditation and/or consistently (self) reviewing how things are going.  The other is to solicit feedback from others.  In a work environment this might be formally through a review or a 360 process.  But it could also just be as simple as asking somebody for feedback in terms of how you are doing or have conducted yourself.

The key to remember is that it all starts with you!  Others form perceptions based on how you show up in terms of your moods, feelings, emotions and actions.  The only way to change those perceptions (if you so choose) is to change you.  Self awareness, though not the end all, is certainly where it all starts.

Recruiting for Success – FIT

by necoaching necoaching No Comments

As the old saying goes, “if you want to know me, come live with me”. And so it is that many organizations, despite rigorous screening processes, very often find out when it’s too late; they have hired the wrong person. When you consider the recruitment fee, signing on bonus, learning curve, etc the costs are huge. According to Eric Koester of MyHighTechStart-Up.com, estimates range from 1.5x to 3x of salary for the ‘fully-baked’ cost of an employee.

This is not to say that the current process is bad but rather insufficient. Without doubt a recruiter can provide a reasonable number of potential candidates based on technical expertise and experience. Interviews help in terms of getting a variety of perspectives from people familiar with the organization. However these can be skewed by individuals following their own agendas and not really looking for what’s best for the organization. Will this person show me up? I don’t like where he/she went to college, they’re no fun, etc. Notwithstanding this traditional process, would you really want to marry somebody after two or three dates; I don’t think so. So what’s missing? Read more

The Optimal Sales Professional

by necoaching necoaching No Comments

What does it take to become an Optimal Sales Professional? What does this even mean? Think about sales people you know who are really at the top of their game on a consistent basis. What are some of their unique characteristics? Why does selling seem so easy and natural to them? The answer to this question lies in understanding the three contributing factors to optimal performance. Though this will be illustrated in the context of a sales professional, the same principles apply to most professionals.

Knowledge

This is the foundational piece that all must have in terms of product presentation, value proposition articulation, coaching skills and confident communications. For any sales person these are the foundational skills that you must have. This KNOWLEDGE provides information to prospective clients and establishes credibility, but it’s not the only reason people will buy from you. Read more