Tag Archives: emotional intelligence

Emotional Intelligence. Have you lost it? Part II

Today’s guest blogger is Morag Barrett, the founder of Skye Team and author of Cultivate: The Power of Winning Relationships. This is Part 2 of 2. Read Part I.

The more I read about Emotional Intelligence the more fascinated I become about its impact in both the workplace and at home. I am also conscious that awareness is not sufficient, as my earlier example shows, knowing what I should have, or could have done different is not as effective as actually doing different…

Now if you are raising your eyebrow and thinking “that would never happen to me” or “this is a business, there is no place for emotions in business” or “I’m a tough leader… I don’t get emotional.” Then take a moment and humor me for a moment. I want to show you how quickly emotions drive behavior. How quickly emotions drive YOUR behavior.

My team and I start our EQ workshops with a discussion and activity that demonstrates how emotions and feelings are at the root of all our actions and drive behavior, performance and leadership. Here is a quick example of how emotions impact and drive behavior…

Imagine you are walking down the street… around the corner comes your Nemesis, your archenemy, what are you thinking and feeling in that moment?

Here are some of the things we hear from workshop participants:

• Dread
• How can I avoid them?
• I feel myself get defensive

When we then as what happens next, participants will say they:

• Cross the street
• Pretend to be on a phone call
• Avoid eye contact
• Walk quicker (so as to spend as little time as possible with them)

Now imagine its your best friend who turns that corner… What are you thinking and feeling in that moment?

• Excitement
• Pleased to see them
• Maybe you have a quick flashback to your last evening out together

What happens to your behavior this time?

• Smile
• Walk quicker (to be able to spend more time with them)
• Make eye contact

Even in the classroom we can see participants visibly tense up in the first scenario, and then relax and smile in the second, even though their best friend is not in the room, they are only mentally picturing the encounter.

This is a simple but powerful example of Emotional Intelligence in action. Emotions are part of our DNA, our operating system, and try as you might, you cannot leave your emotions at the door. They are with us every minute of the day. Emotional intelligence is about recognizing this fact, understanding the emotions we are experiencing, why and how best to leverage that emotion to achieve a successful outcome.

Emotionally Intelligent leaders are aware of the emotions they experience in or about work. Consciously and unconsciously these emotions impact the how you communicate and the messages you send to those who work for and with you.

• When was the last time you laughed at work? Why did you laugh? Did others sense your positive mood?
• When was the last time you were frustrated? How did this impact the atmosphere of your team?

My advice? Don’t dismiss EQ as a fad, or as something you don’t need. “I have got to where I am today without it, why would I need to know this?” Think of it more in terms of where do you need to be in the future, to what extent does that rely on building effective relationships and managing your responses in given situations? Emotional Intelligence is the game changer that differentiates great leaders from the pack.

You can learn more about emotional intelligence at Morag Barrett’s SoundviewPro course A Leader’s Guide to Emotional Intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence. Have you lost it?

Today’s guest blogger is Morag Barrett, the founder of Skye Team and author of Cultivate: The Power of Winning Relationships. This is Part I of 2.

I lost it yesterday. I was at a meeting and all was going reasonably well. I was aware that I was tired and not focusing 100% on the matter at hand when it happened, I lost it. What happened? Someone made a comment and I decided to come out of my corner fighting. As soon as I did I regretted it.

How many times has that happened to you?

• Have you ever been in a conversation that started ‘heating up’, where the tension and/or complexity increased?
• Where you wanted to say ‘No’ but found yourself saying ‘yes’
• When things didn’t go as well as you would have liked? …

And a few minutes later you’re thinking, “Why didn’t I do this?” or “Why didn’t I say that?”

This is Emotional Intelligence in action… or in my case, re-action, as I didn’t effectively manage my response to the situation. My emotions ‘escaped’ and I only applied the emotional intelligence knowledge afterwards.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Daniel Goleman’s Primal Leadership is an excellent read. If you haven’t already obtained a copy I would highly recommend that you do. Daniel talks about Emotional Intelligence as the key ingredient that causes great leaders and performers to stand out. As you move through your career it becomes less about how smart you are or the results that you achieve personally…it is about your ability to build effective relationships and to motivate and inspire others – to achieve results through them.

Daniel Goleman’s model for EQ has 5 components.

Personal Competence – this comes from you and understanding the following:

1. Self-Awareness– understanding yourself. What is your default behavior, fight or flight? What causes or triggers you to react one way or another and it may be different at home than work. It may be situational, specific to individuals with whom you are working. Once you understand what drives you, you can move to:

2. Self-Management – how can you anticipate and plan for your reactions and triggers. If you know you are about to enter a situation or a meeting that in the past has caused you to behave in a way that is different to what you intended, how can you anticipate and influence your reactions and stay in the moment. And trust me, its one thing to know and anticipate an ‘amygdala hijack’ – when your brain takes control of your ‘sane mind’ and you speak without thinking and another thing to be able to manage it in the heat of the moment. Think about it, how many times have you thought about the ‘right response’ or “I wish I had only…” later on in the day, when it is too late?

3. Motivation -understanding what drives you to individual and team success. How you react to and explain successes and setbacks.
Social Competence -understanding and managing other’s reactions.

4. Connection – once you are aware of your reactions then you can apply these to others. Understanding from their perspective how they may perceive the situation, their reactions and seeking to start from their point of view, to learn and to move forward in an effective manner.
5. Social Skills-the ability to influence others, to communicate effectively such that the shared learning and understanding of different perspectives grow (rather than just focusing on one point of view). To lead and inspire others, to manage conflict effectively and to build relationships that collaborate and work effectively together to achieve common goals.

To Be Continued . . .

You can learn more about emotional intelligence at Morag Barrett’s SoundviewPro course A Leader’s Guide to Emotional Intelligence.

Announcing New Courses for February

We’ve added several new course this month that you’ll want to check you, covering leadership, sales, software and more.

Transform Your Organization with the Executive Checklist with James Kerr
Learn how to better set your organization’s direction and manage change. In this course, taught by veteran expert management consultant James M. Kerr, you’ll learn to develop a strategic plan, engage your employees and help create your company’s vision for the future.

Creating a Networking Lifestyle to Grow Your Business with Guy Dunn
If you’re looking to improve your career, your focus should be on others, not yourself. In this course, you will learn how to take a strategic approach to networking. You’ll learn how to create a networking plan, execute specific action steps and ensure timely follow-up that gets results.

A Leader’s Guide to Emotional Intelligence with Morag Barrett
There are certain situations that bring on stress and cause you to perform at less than your best. In this course, global executive coach Morag Barrett will help you increase your self-awareness, recognize your emotional triggers and control the situation to keep you on the path to success.

Sales Onboarding – Keys to Success with David Leaver
As top sales management consultant David Leaver will tell you, sales onboarding is not a one-time event. Learn a powerful framework to help your sales professionals connect learning to growth and create effective execution to win more sales.

Final Cut Pro X: Beginner with Sean McKnight
Learn the basic video editing skills for Final Cut Pro X. This course will teach you the basics and includes a set of media files to allow you to edit your own version of the project created by the instructor.

Microsoft Excel 2010: Advanced with Robert Devine
Challenge yourself and maximize your skills in this advanced course for Microsoft Excel 2010. You’ll learn the full functionality of UserForms. You’ll also learn how to connect to a database and format and fit database records to a worksheet.

Adobe Premiere Pro CS6: Intermediate with Tim Walker
Learn to combine creativity and complexity and produce professional videos. In this course, you’ll learn editing techniques to help you tell a compelling story that gets attention. To sharpen your skills, this project-based course will have you create an intro video, photo montage, short documentary and a commercial.

Enjoy!

The Five Best Interview Questions Ever (we think so anyway)

A guest blog from Jen Shirkani, founder and CEO of Penumbra Group.

Our firm specializes in an intensive and advanced interviewing and hiring methodology for interviewing for Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and we are often asked if we could only ask five interview questions, what would they be? We like to do a solid assessment of technical skills and experience first, then focus one or two interviews just on their EQ. There are several skills to zero-in on, including Self-Awareness, Self-Control, Empathy, Flexibility and Optimism. No one question will reveal all these competencies, but often one question will reveal the presence or absence of several of these skills. And one more reminder: we always recommend that organizations use the behavior-based technique when phrasing questions. Simply….instead of hypothetical “What if” or “How would you handle” questions….ask for concrete past realities…“Tell me about a time when…” or “How have you handled a situation in the past when….”
Okay, here we go:

1. “Describe a time when you were unfairly criticized and tell me what the details were.”

This question is designed to uncover two things: the candidate’s Self-Awareness and their definition of criticism. Be sure to get a specific example from them. The word “unfairly” is important to include as you will be assessing how justified the feedback they received was against their actions. Would a reasonable person think it was fair or unfair criticism? You also want to understand how sensitive they are to receiving negative performance information. Does the example they share represent criticism or feedback? What does your company culture provide most often – criticism or feedback?

2. “Think of a time when you had to work with a headstrong co-worker and tell me how you handled it.”

Many candidates are concerned about sharing a weakness or failure. Interpersonal communication and proper conflict management skills are vital for team members and interviewers must do an effective job of validating skill level in these areas. The power of this question is that it asks about someone else, giving the candidate permission to share struggles due to other personalities. It also gives you a chance to glimpse their empathy/understanding of others…do they offer an indication of trying to understand better or help the person or just a superficial judgment based on self-centered reactions? I love to ask this question after a candidate tells me they have “great people skills.”
3. “Share with me the last time you went above and beyond the call of duty. Tell me about the details and why you did it.”

This question is designed to understand what the candidate defines as extra effort. Is the example they share something you consider to be of substantial heroics or actions you would expect on a routine basis? Knowing how recently it occurred will also reveal their level of engagement in the recent or distant past. Lastly, it will be critical to know what motivates this employee to work at peak performance. The hiring manager must ensure that the motivation drivers are present in the current workplace in order to match with the candidate, and not only that but it also reveals what will retain them in your company & whether they would be a fit for your leadership style (a biggy).

4. “When was the last time you had to act when there was no policy or formal procedure to do so? Tell me what you did.”

We always recommend that small companies ask this question, most of who have little in the way of formalized policy and procedure manuals. This question helps you assess the candidate’s comfort in “thinking on their feet” when they have come from a large organization or will be working in an environment with little direction or daily support. Their response may indicate how much they will seek out and need direction from others versus working independently. In highly regulated or high risk environments, the “right” answer may be a candidate who avoids working outside formal standards of conduct.

5. “We have all had times when we unintentionally insulted or offended someone at work. Tell me about a time when this happened to you.”

This is a great roll-up question because is reveals several EQ skills. Do they have the Self-Awareness to know when their behavior has a negative impact on someone else? Do they have the Empathy to see things from someone else’s point of view? Do they have the Social Skill to work through conflict and maintain effective relationships? This question requires interviewer confidence and the tenacity to tough it out through uncomfortable silence or a candidate who tries to sidestep answering, but the benefit in doing so shows what you are made of and proves to the candidate who is really in control.

This intensive interviewing approach is very different from most other interview classes you may have been to. Many of our participants have said that they always thought they knew how to interview but realize that they could be so much more effective and were actually excited to do interviews for the first time.

Asking the right questions and a strategic approach can make hiring fun and no longer a nuisance to be avoided. We tend to enjoy what we’re good at. Hiring is a skill that must be learned, so get out there & get what you need to do your very best and enjoy it along the way.

To learn more about interviewing from Jen Shirkani, check out her SoundviewPro course: Strategic Interviewing for Emotional Intelligence.