Leadership Essentials the first of a multi-part series – Todays Talk On Purpose with Shad Ali 190508
To begin with, I think it’s important to share with you our definition of Leadership at On Purpose.
To us, Leadership is a complex process by which a person influences others to accomplish a mission, a task, or an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent allowing it to better (more effectively and efficiently) achieve its intended purpose.
Now, in our experience, a person carries out this process by applying his/her key attributes (beliefs, values, ethics, character, knowledge, and skills).
To us, Leadership creates in people a desire to accomplish high goals and objectives.
I am often asked what is most essential to leadership. To which I say:
- Trustworthiness – Trust & Confidence
- Effective Communication by leadership in three critical areas:
- Helping people understand the organization’s overall business strategy;
- Helping people understand how they contribute to achieving key business objectives:
- Sharing information with people on both how the organization is doing and how they are doing relative to strategic business objectives.
- I mean apart from this leaders need to concern themselves predominantly with People, Strategy and Risk issues right.
Stay tuned for a few more episodes in this multipart series on Leadership Essentials.
For today, I encourage you to be disciplined and consistent in your application of these Leadership Essentials – today’s Talk On Purpose With Shad Ali.
Strategies for Managing Workplace Conflict – Today’s Talk On Purpose With Shad Ali – 190502
First, let me say I am amazed but not entirely surprised by the extent to which Workplace Conflict has become prevalent. And this view is validated by research data and real-world experience even as recent as two days ago.
Studies indicate: 25 percent of employees surveyed in 1998 reported being treated rudely at work at least once a week and That figure rose to 55 percent in 2011 and rose again to 62 percent in 2016,
Another study from the UK this time found that four in 10 employees reported having experienced some form of interpersonal conflict at work in the last year. Oh and 85% say they deal with conflict to some extent at work; 29% of them say it occurs always or frequently.
Now, should we be concerned about this? Well consider the impacts:
- It costs organizations on average $12,000. in Employee turnover costs per toxic employee;
- Employees spend on average one day per month dealing with Conflict
- Managers can spend as much as 1/3 of their time dealing with conflict issues.
And I encourage you to visit onpurpose.ca and calculate the costs of employee disengagement in your workplace, we have a quick and simple calculator there that can help.
While there are several causes of workplace conflict, among them being: poor communication; Incomplete, incorrect or ambiguous information (Assumptions); inappropriate management styles; Cultural, social or personal uniqueness and sensitivities; Inappropriate use of authority; Opposing positions, competitive tensions, power struggles, ego, pride, jealousy, performance discrepancies, compensation issues, or someone just having a bad day.
As for the effects, well they are several to including work disruption; decreased productivity; project failure; absenteeism; turnover; voluntary and involuntary termination; and of course, Emotional stress can be both a cause and an effect of workplace conflict. You know, our Stages of growth X-Ray process is pretty good at detecting these types of issues and helping leaders cut them off at the pass, so that’s something worth looking in to.
So, what can managers and leaders do to address and maybe stem or arrest workplace conflict?
- Well start by defining acceptable behaviour,
- Have open dialogue about conflict and address it head on
- View conflict as an opportunity
- Foster interactive communication. Communication that is clear and respectful can help build trust between and among employees and managers
- Build and foster Trust environments. The absence of trust among employees and managers can compromise communication all around and the presence of Trust can accelerate performance, productivity and results.
- Encourage Empathy. When people are sensitive to colleague’s feelings and show empathy and awareness wow, this is central to establishing a trusting relationship among
- Set clear expectations and communicate up and down the line.
- Commit to Conflict resolution Although conflicts arise in every organization, the methods to handle them vary. Managers and leaders must deal with workplace conflict issues head-on and resolve disputes fairly and quickly or they will escalate and gain amplitude.
While not a complete list of strategies the aforenoted is a good start anyway. So take action on these strategies for addressing workplace conflict – Today’s Talk On Purpose With Shad Ali.
Strategies That Enhance Employee Engagement – Todays Talk On Purpose with Shad Ali 190423
Recent studies suggest a mere 7% of employees fully understand their company’s business strategies and what’s expected of them to help achieve company goals. This is of grave concern for you if you are a CEO, President, Executive Director or Business Owner.
Another study involving over 100,000 employees found employees want from their leaders: Hope, Compassion, Stability and Trust. It also found 29% of employees are engaged, while 54% are not engaged and 17% are actively disengaged. Contrast that with the finding that 30% of executives say motivating their employees is their toughest challenge.
So how exactly does one create better engagement and build a strong culture?
First, a couple of root causes:
- Hiring right in the first place – every time you add a person you affect company culture. so be sure to use tools such as our On Purpose Job Benchmarking process which has proved to be highly effective in this.
- Our Stages of Growth process illustrates that when organizations don’t delegate both authority and responsibility appropriately, particularly if in Stage 3 Maturity, they increase the chances of failure within 3 years by up to 80%. And by contrast, those that regularly allow staff to author, contribute and monitor the business vision have 60% less employee turnover than those that plan and strategize from the top down.
Second, Is it worth it to invest in employee engagement?
Well according to the Best Workplaces for Giving Back study it sure does. Employee Engagement insights from this study indicate:
- Brand ambassadorship is 79% higher
- Discretionary effort from staff is 83% higher
- Employee Impact is 57% higher
- Voluntary turnover is 43% lower
- Revenue growth is 19% faster
- And they have 33% more innovation
- So clearly there is tremendous and tangible benefit from investing in employee engagement.
One of the keys is how leaders handle what our Stages of Growth process refers to as Transition Zones: The Flood Zone or Wind Tunnel that organizations experience when in transition between stages of maturity.
- For instance adding staff too quickly when in a Flood Zone, all be it because the workload is increasing, can see employees become frustrated, performance erode, profits dwindle, clients leave and Systems become ignored due to the faster pace of delivery. So leaders need to take care in how they handle this. Leaders need to alert staff early enough about the impending changes in activity levels and they must work with managers to address how they will properly address these changes and impending volatility.
So here are a few strategies to help enhance your employee engagement:
(These are influenced by Gallup, who has a longitudinal study of Employee Engagement)
- Begin at the source – For me that means start at the most localized level of your organization. This is where real work is done, at the workgroup level. And remember leaders set the tone and pace at the top. Leaders and managers must do everything to ensure employees feel empowered to make significant differences in their immediate environment.
- Ensure you have the right managers – The best managers are the ones who recognize their own success, as well as the success of the organization, relies on the achievements of its employees. Great managers empower their employees, recognize and value their contributions, and actively seek their ideas and opinions.
- Hold managers accountable for employee engagement – Managers are primarily responsible for the engagement of their employees and organizations need to ensure managers are taking an active role in building engagement plans with their employees. And here is one of the places where the Manager’s Emotional Quotient will be important.
- Realistic Goals stated in everyday terms: Leaders and managers must make engagement goals meaningful to employees’ day-to-day experiences. Employee engagement needs to be a part of weekly meetings and action planning conversations.
- Survey right – if you are going to survey and I think you should. Then when you survey don’t just survey for the sake of surveying. Generally, when a company asks its employees for their opinions and feedback, employees have an expectation, and a reasonable one at that, of follow up and follow through.so ensure survey data is specific, relevant and actionable but also that the data is proven to influence key performance metrics.
Commit to action on these Strategies that Enhance Employee Engagement – today’s Talk On Purpose With Shad Ali.
In today’s Talk On Purpose with Shad Ali 190416: our video Blog Post Shad tackles the subject: As human beings, we can handle any size what if we have a large enough why. Some of you may have heard Simon Sinek and his book start with why, some perhaps heard it from St Francis of Assisi, or maybe even fewer yet might have seen it referenced to Patanjali.
Check out today’s Video Blog Post.
While the DISC tool, which provides insight on a person’s behavioural preferences and orientation, is powerful on its own, it’s impacts can and will be enhanced with other assessment tools. People are unique and measuring only one part in the hope to understand the whole will be challenging and near impossible. People with the same behaviors might different drivers that must be met in order for them to feel fulfilled. DISC may tell part of the story, but alone it does not paint a complete picture.
When you go deeper than DISC, you can have a much clearer understanding of yourself and others. Looking at an individual from more than one perspective is vital. At On Purpose Leadership Inc., we use the DISC assessment as well as a variety of others. We believe that a combination of these assessments will assist individuals and teams to reach new levels of excellence and success.
Let us give you one example. In a recent workshop with a team, we provided each team member with a Behaviours and Emotional Quotient assessment. When looking at the team and addressing a high conflict situation, we really could not find a sound rationale for the conflict by looking exclusively at the Behaviours (DISC) assessment comparisons. In fact, it wasn’t until we looked at the team members Emotional Quotient scores that we were able to identify the source of the conflict. One member of the team had a Self-Regulation score that was very low and well below the Self-Regulation scores of the other team members. This led us to understand that it was emotional outbursts from the one team member, and the way in which those were received and managed by the other team members, that was the real source of the conflict. Had we looked only at the Behaviours, we definitely would not have identified accurately the source or the real issue.
Below are ten reasons to go deeper than DISC:
- Increasing self-awareness
There’s an old saying that goes “you can’t help others until you help yourself.” Understanding yourself first and foremost will help you maximize your potential, which you can then leverage to help others achieve theirs. Self-awareness is an important skill that’s not measured by DISC but important to be successful in most walks of life. When a person is self-aware, especially during times of stress, they can identify a potential problem, remind themselves to take a step back and diffuse a potential problematic situation. Those with high self-awareness tend to find greater success compared with those who do not possess this skill.
- Understanding the how and the why behind a person’s behavior
How does someone identify that they are in a situation that isn’t meant for them? Identifying what drives or motivates a person is key. An example would be if an individual is motivated by creative endeavors, they could pursue avenues that utilizes creativity. This could give an individual a reason to get out of bed every morning and be excited to go to work.
- Better understanding others
Going deeper than DISC can also help a person as it relates to their peers, team and their boss or customers and suppliers. Once you figure out what your strengths are and truly know what motivates you, only then can you find your rightful part within an organization where you can use your skills and motivators – what drives you – to excel.
- Uncovering information without making assumptions
In the job marketplace, everyone starts out as a faceless resume on a piece of paper or electronic document. So many companies rely on the interview process to uncover information about potential employees, but what can you honestly learn about someone during a 30-60 conversation about their job history? Utilizing multiple assessment solutions can uncover more about a person without making assumptions or having to rely on “gut” instincts. In a nutshell, going deeper than DISC helps companies to avoid judging a book by its cover.
- Identify the needs for a group of people
Using assessments, especially team reports, can help identify the needs of a team and the individuals that make up a team. While the individual reports will dive deep to unveil important information about the individual, the team reports can shed light on the team as a whole, and how all the people within the team fit together. This makes it easy to identify if someone is in a position not necessarily suited for them. This helps to build stronger, more cohesive teams because each person on the team is doing a job they enjoy and are qualified to do.
- Identify learned skills
Learned skills, or competencies, are not measured by DISC but are key in determining if someone is cut out for a certain role and accountabilities. Each person has a unique hierarchy of competencies and these include: leadership, interpersonal skills, goal orientation, understanding others, diplomacy, teamwork, problem solving, resiliency, flexibility and negotiation, just to name a few. Having competencies in many of these areas are keystones to certain jobs. Knowing, in advance, if a potential candidate is strong or weak in these areas can help a company hire the right person. And for the individual, they can identify any vulnerabilities, so they can set goals on specific areas to improve.
- Measuring emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence measures how someone operates under pressure and how well they deal with stress. An element again not measured by DISC, but an important one, especially for people that work in high-stress, fast-paced, competitive or otherwise demanding environments. When someone has a lower emotional intelligence, they are a candidate for the occasional emotional hijack (also known as an amygdala hijack). In this scenario, a person responds negatively to stress when put in stressful situations. While everyone has a bad day here and there, it’s good to identify if a person may be regularly susceptible to this sort of issue if their job is going to be continuously high-stress.
- Identifying stress levels
Stress assessments can measure how stressed a person is in a snapshot of time. While some people use stress as fuel or energy, others allow stress to eat them alive and obliterate their ability to be productive. Finding a person’s typical stress level will help to figure out what jobs or fields may be best suited for this person to consider for employment.
- Understanding a person’s acumen
Above we talked about identifying learned skills but understanding how these skills manifest for an individual are key to figuring out what is really inside someone. Research has shown that the most effective people are those who understand both their strengths and vulnerabilities, so they can develop strategies to meet the demands of their environment. Assessments that uncover insights about acumen can help predict the likelihood of a person succeeding or failing in certain situations.
- Solve for a problem through people
Every business exists because there is a perceived need. Whether it’s a basic need such as food or water, or a perceived need such as a new Porsche, if there is a need, there will be a product or person to fill that need. Filling certain roles within a company qualifies as a need, or “pain point.” So, if a company is looking to hire a person that needs to have very specific skills, how can an employer identify those characteristics within the framework of an interview? By assessing a person’s drivers, acumen, behaviors, stressors and emotional intelligence, a thorough, complete picture can be created that gives true insight into an individual and whether they are the person they are searching for to fill that very important position.
Understanding a person’s behavioural preferences and orientation through tools such as DISC is a great start to learning about an individual and how they might fit in with a team or an organization. But there is so much more information that can be learned and it’s important to go as deep as possible to uncover everything you can on the front end. DISC is just the tip of the iceberg. Knowing what’s underneath the iceberg is crucial in ensuring that you have all the information that’s needed to make the right decision in an important situation. Many of the points listed above have a coinciding assessment. For further information on the variety of the assessments we do at On Purpose Leadership Inc., click here
On Purpose Leadership Note: The above is adapted from an Article by, and we give our thanks to, Dave Clark. On Purpose Leadership is an Approved Provider partner of TTI Success Insights.
Understanding Acumen Capacities
First off, what exactly are we talking about when we refer to “Acumen Capacities”?
Acumen capacities is a way of looking at our internal operating system through a combination of two concepts logic and bias. Logic speaks to our objective, analytical, non-emotional thinking while bias explains the emotional conditioning (or memory) that impacts our decision-making processes.
An example of this interplay between logic and bias can be seen in our immediate thoughts when seeing a dog for the first time. One person will immediately assume the dog is friendly based on an objective understanding of canine instincts and a positive bias that emanates from past experiences. Another person might assume caution due to a different opinion about canine instincts along with one or more past experiences with dogs that were not friendly; maybe even violent. This interplay between logic and bias is imprinted in each of us subconsciously, both from genetics (nature) and experiences (nurture). It is rarely visible to us without deep self-reflection and/or using self-assessing instruments.
At On Purpose, our TriMetrix HD assessment tool uses acumen capacities to help discover the reasons behind superior performance. You can get more information on the TriMetrix Assessment here.
Our TriMetrix HD assessment is based on the use of Axiology which is the study of values. Stated concisely, axiology is the study of how we make judgments about good and bad. While axiology may be the technical name, the concept is often referred to as a person’s “acumen.”
Revealing Acumen’s Potential
- Understanding and measuring acumen capacities has many benefits
Neuroscientists now believe that most, if not all, decisions begin in the subconscious part of our brain. Our conscious mind can override or change these initial inclinations, but it rarely does. Consider that the average mid-level manager makes up to 1,000 organizational decisions every day, it stands to reason that we don’t have time to carefully analyze and change more than a handful of judgments.
One example of the relationship between logic and bias may be the story of two salespeople. One salesperson approaches each customer with trust and a natural optimism and, therefore, does everything possible to accommodate the customer’s requests. Another salesperson may approach the same customer with a natural scepticism that results in a more cautious approach, assuming the customer may seek to take unfair advantage in the pursuit of their objectives.
The customer in this scenario could also represent either the optimistic or sceptical mentality, further complicating the interactions that will take place. In the best of circumstances, both the salesperson and the customer will rely on logic to gain a beneficial outcome. The measurement of this relationship between logic and bias offers many opportunities to shape and improve decisions and relationships in the sales process, but also far beyond.
- Measuring acumen capacities reveals many nuanced opportunities for continuous growth and professional development.
Often, the difference between strong performance and top performance is a matter of identifying subtle hindrances to increased success. Earl Nightingale authored a famous, spoken-word record in 1957 entitled, “The Strangest Secret,” the first of its kind to achieve gold record status. He proposed that this secret to success was that “we become what we think about all day long.” Since then, many human performance psychologists have reaffirmed his conviction about the creative power of our thoughts, conditioning us either for success or failure.
Measuring acumen capacities adds 21st-century wisdom to Nightingale’s axiom and assists us in understanding our perceptions of the world around us and ourselves as unique human beings.
- Acumen capacities provide a clearer understanding of how people solve problems.
A main proponent of leadership is solving problems. The more challenging the problem, the more important it is for us to understand the relationship between logic and bias. Acumen capacities bring fresh insights into solving people problems, practical problems or theoretical problems. Using acumen capacities, there has been success in helping individuals recognize how their bias of overvaluing or undervaluing a person, situation, or belief has helped or hindered achieving lasting solutions.
- Measuring acumen capacities provides a clearer picture of how people view and navigate their unique circumstances.
Just as acumen capacities have helped us understand our world view, they have also provided a framework for developing a more substantive, helpful understanding of how we view ourselves. From how we see our own uniqueness and individuality, to our mental constructs of our roles and future potential, acumen capacities have provided wonderful insights into self- awareness and growth opportunities.
- Acumen capacities are a powerful way to become more successful in helping clients make decisions around hiring, promotions and succession planning.
In the hiring process, there are often identified nuanced traits in candidates that would not have been visible in any other manner. There has also been success in significantly improving and customizing interview questions to draw out the future potential and possible challenges with candidates and employees based on their acumen capacities.
Understanding and measuring acumen capacities is one of the most rewarding and impactful practices when it comes to individual performance. Since acumen capacities are directly related to performance levels, our aim at On Purpose Leadership Inc. is to help individuals grow both personally and professionally by gaining clarity with regard to their acumen capacities and its impacts and effects on their decisions, actions and performance.
On Purpose Leadership Note: The above is adapted from an Article by, and we give our thanks to, Ron Price. On Purpose Leadership is an Approved Provider partner of TTI Success Insights.
Behavioural assessments help uncover interesting insights about a person’s behaviour. Our suite of assessment tools includes one such assessment DISC which when combined with our Motivators or Driving Forces Assessment provides tremendously valuable insights. The information gained from an assessment such as DISC can be used to improve performance or help a person find a job that may be a better fit for their natural abilities.
Understanding the Model
You can get more info on the DISC Assessment here. However, let’s explore the graph here to give you a better understanding of the highs and the lows (see DISC graphic). There is a midline (also known as the energy line) at 50 and any factor above is considered “high” and any factor below is considered “low.” High is not good and low is not bad – this is just a continuum. If you fall in the “extreme” range (0-10 or 90-100), these factors are much easier to observe but more difficult to adapt. If you fall in the “tends to be” range (40-50) these factors are harder to observe but much easier to adapt up and down depending on the situation.
D assesses how you approach PROBLEMS and CHALLENGES: If you are above the midline, you are more FORCEFUL (jump in and address issues immediately). If you are below the midline, you are more ACCOMMODATING (think it through, ask questions, make sure everyone agrees).
I assesses how you influence PEOPLE to your point of view: If you are above the midline, you are more OPTIMISTIC (excited, persuasive, and convincing). If you are below the midline, you are more LOGICAL (factual, sceptical, more of a realist).
S assesses how you respond to change and PACE: If you are above the midline, you are more STEADY (thoughtful, methodical, don’t enjoy quick change). If you are below the midline, you are more DRIVING (multitasker, very flexible, open to change).
C assesses how you respond to rules and PROCEDURES set by others: If you are above the midline, you are more COMPLIANT (follow rules, detail-oriented, perfectionist). If you are below the midline, you are more INDEPENDENT (an out-of-the-box thinker who may ignore “unnecessary” rules).
Your Strengths can become a Vulnerability
So often, what endears a leader to others can become their very undoing. Someone with urgency and precision can be a master at completing tasks but may find themselves lacking when it comes to the human element. Someone else who is supportive and caring may have a hard time having difficult conversations when these conversations need to be had. While others who are great with details and processes may tend to be methodical micromanagers. For every yin, there is a yang and uncovering those vulnerabilities can help shore up a leader’s ability to rally his or her team to become engaged and highly productive.
Example #1 – High Directive with Low People Skills (High D/C and low I/S)
Phil is a young professional with high potential who works in the operations department of a mid-sized company. Phil’s boss thinks he is fantastic because he gets everything done quickly and with great precision, which makes the boss look good. Although Phil is already in a management role, his boss would like to see him promoted to a higher leadership position.
All is not perfect though. One of Phil’s direct reports recently left the company and there are complaints from others about his management style. The claim is he has unrealistic expectations, is overly critical, condescending and does not care about them personally. I have been asked by Phil’s boss to assess and possibly provide coaching to him on his “people skills”.
As I began to work with Phil, it was evident his “get it done now (D) and get it done right (C)” style has its benefits, but also some vulnerabilities. When working with someone who has a very intense dominance and compliance personality, it’s all about completing the task quickly and to perfection. A person with this type of behavioural combination can set expectations so high, they may never be met. Before long, the staff become disengaged because they feel they are fighting an uphill battle they can never win.
Phil and I worked on his demands of his staff and his ability to use a more consultative and collaborative style with them. We explored ways in which he could become a little more invested in them and include them in the setting of standards and ways to achieve goals and desired outcomes. He is slowly becoming more connected with his staff.
Phil has begun to delegate more and to take a personal interest in those for whom he has responsibility. And that little shift in thinking from his “Direct Reports” to “Those for whom he has responsibility”, made the world of difference in Phil’s outlook, expectations and communication and management style and practices.
Building connections with his staff went a long way towards Phil’s success although it was challenging at first – he said he felt disingenuous, because he just wasn’t the kind of person interested in small talk, however, once he took the time to find common interests (i.e. kids playing sports) it no longer felt like he was forcing small talk and instead has begun looking forward to the conversations.
Example #2 – Supportive and caring, but averse to confrontation (High I/S and low D/C)
Jenny is a new manager in a fast-paced work environment. She was promoted because of her customer service skills and how willing she is to always help others when needed. Everyone loves working for her, especially since the former manager was known to be a bit forceful and direct.
While Jenny is well-liked and respected, her team was not meeting the metrics needed to be successful and were starting to get customer complaints. Her boss suspected that Jenny was not holding her staff accountable and not having the needed performance conversations. Complicating matters was the fact that staff for whom she now has responsibility were her peers just a couple of months ago and going from peer to leader has been somewhat of a challenge for Jenny.
During a recent team dynamics session, the team was asked to share what they appreciate most about Jenny. It’s evident how much her friendship and support is of value to them.
The next phase of the team dynamics session had the group engage in an exercise which required each person to share with Jenny exactly what they need from her to be successful in their role. Majority of the group commented that issues were not being confronted directly and tough decisions required were not being made fast enough. These were creating delays and negatively impacting working with their clients. There was also a common undertone that Jenny was not addressing some team issues which is creating some teamwork issues.
Jenny through hard work and candid conversations has come to recognize and acknowledge that her positive and connective (I), as well as her caring and supportive (S) style that has gained her admiration of her staff and colleagues, are the very same attributes that are keeping her from helping her team produce the results for which they are accountable. Jenny has come to understand that people want and need feedback and performance conversations (even the negative ones) to grow in their roles and performance. She realizes having these conversations increases her credibility with the very people that adore her and helps her become more ineffective as a leader.
Both the examples above feature people who were doing well before using DISC and coaching, however, high performing leaders are always looking to improve. Although it’s often easier to observe how a leader’s strengths contribute to results, it’s more difficult for them to accept and take action to change those behaviours that limit their success.
Increasing your awareness of these vulnerabilities may be the most important part of the process as these vulnerabilities can be the Achilles Heel to the leader. Understanding behaviour styles help a leader choose behaviours that contribute more to their effectiveness and success, especially when they are willing and able to adapt their behaviours to fit the needs of those for whom they have responsibility.
Nowshad (Shad) Ali, CPBA, CPVA, TriMetrixHD, CEQA, CFRE
President, On Purpose Leadership
Highly rated coach, facilitator, trainer and speaker.
Expert in organization growth, individual and team excellence and hiring and retaining top talent.
Emotional intelligence is defined as an individual’s ability to sense, understand and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions to facilitate higher levels of collaboration and productivity. Emotional intelligence is often referred to as emotional quotient (EQ) as the terms are interchangeable.
Regardless of where a person is today on the EQ scale, emotional intelligence can be improved. It takes a concentrated effort, a desire to become more aware and an active attempt at restraint when facing conflict. But with a combination of awareness and self-discipline, EQ can change relatively quickly. While there are many different factors that can influence EQ, today we observe 4 ways to improve emotional intelligence.
Research shows that successful leaders and superior performers have well developed emotional intelligence skills. This makes it possible for them to work well with a wide variety of people and to respond effectively to the rapidly changing conditions in the business world. In fact, a person’s emotional intelligence may potentially be a better predictor of performance success than intelligence alone.
Emotional Intelligence is accurately measured through assessments. A person answers a series of questions, and in doing so, earns a specific score for each of the five individual sub-categories that make up EQ. Additionally, they receive an overall EQ score. Just as a person can increase their IQ through learning, a person can improve their EQ scores by focusing on specific areas of EQ.
- Becoming more self-aware
The more you become aware of your emotions and drives, the more you can control those things. Part of being self-aware is understanding the effect you have on others. Self-awareness boils down to being able to recognize when you are in a proper frame of mind.
Self-awareness starts within each person and it starts with a series of questions. To hone in on your self-awareness, ask yourself:
- How am I feeling?
- At this very moment, do things feel easy or difficult?
- Do I have a smile or a frown on my face, and why?
You cannot address any social aspect of EQ without first being aware of what’s going on inside yourself. If your mindset is altered to the negative, chances are your interactions will be, as well. Once you are consciously aware of what’s going on inside of you, you can move on to the next stage of emotional intelligence, self-regulation.
- Increasing self-regulation
Self-regulation speaks to the ability to suspend judgement in a moment of stress and thinking before acting. Defined, it is the ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods. Self-regulation is a person’s ability to modify their own mood when they become self-aware of a disruptive mindset.
I don’t have to go far to find an example of someone who has benefitted from learning a little self-regulation. For years, I was the poster child of how not act when put in stressful situations. As someone who is honest to a fault and doesn’t like to bottle emotions, I had a propensity to voice my opinions regardless of whether or not they were solicited. And, if I felt I was in any way under attack, those opinions would turn into defences. Rational conversation could quickly turn into verbal sparring as a defence mechanism.
So many times I realized, much too late, that if I just let a little time go by, what seemed like a crisis then would later become an afterthought. This realization is an example of increasing one’s self-regulation. The process is two-fold: the act of first recognizing the need and then acting upon it for the greater good.
A few questions to ask yourself include:
- Does this issue need to be addressed right this minute?
- In the grand scheme of things, how important is this really?
- Am I able to walk away from the situation to gain time and perspective?
- Becoming more socially aware
A person with social awareness has the ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people and how their words and actions affect others. It’s the ability to assess how they are communicating or may communicate with others.
We may have the best intentions. We wake in the morning and we want to treat everyone with respect. We want to be thought of in a positive way and plan to experience nothing but friendly interactions. And that all goes out the window when stress arrives. Whether the people we are communicating with are the cause of the stress or not, communicating when you’re not in the proper frame of mind can come with consequences and negative outcomes.
It can be as slight as facial expressions, mannerisms, body language or tone of voice. An observant person can gauge our mood and attitude before we even say our first word! Just like a math equation that has a definite starting and end point, EQ works in a similar fashion. Once a person becomes self-aware first and self-regulated next, they need to take those skills and use them outwardly in social interactions. These skills come in handy especially during stressful situations.
In trying to become more socially aware, ask yourself the following questions:
- What does my outward expression say to someone?
- How would someone interpret my body language?
- Am I projecting my emotions through my tone of voice?
- Improving social regulation
Social regulation involves the ability to influence the emotional clarity of others through a proficiency in managing relationships and building networks.
It’s very easy to be the life of the party when everyone is having a good time. A person with strong social regulation can be just as well-liked and respected during times of stress because they are able to control their reactions to the stress stimuli.
Think back over your career and picture a boss or bosses for which you had a great detail of respect. What were some of their characteristics? It’s likely they were fair, respectful, even-keeled and thoughtful. Chances are, what you’ll recall most about them is their consistent nature by which they communicated to you and your coworkers. Their consistency had a calming effect on you.
The more a person can regulate their social situations, the more successful they will likely be. It’s pretty simple really. Do you buy from a salesperson who is pushy or one who makes a personal connection with you? Do you go to a doctor that treats you like a number, or one that takes time to get to the heart of the matter? The better our interactions with others, the more successful we will be at whatever we want to accomplish, regardless if that’s closing a big sale or making a new friend.
Questions to ask yourself include:
- Am I being respectful at this moment?
- Am I hearing the entire story before passing judgement?
- Is it possible that things aren’t really as they might appear to be on the surface?
Evolution of EQ
Just as we strive to increase our knowledge, wealth and interesting life stories, we can increase our EQ with a conscious effort. Bad habits are not formed overnight nor are they fixed that quickly. It doesn’t matter what our upbringing was, for whom we worked or what life was like on the playground when we were kids. It’s up to each of us to make a conscious decision to improve our EQ. If we take the lead and put in the effort, our EQ will rise, and very likely, also will our success in all walks of life.
On Purpose Leadership Note: Thanks to Dave Clark TTI Success Insights Staff writer for this article. On Purpose Leadership is an Approved Provider partner of TTI Success Insights.
A Manager performing at the excellence level maintains a strategic mindset. This means they are asking the questions:
- What is the business trying to accomplish?
- How must it position itself in the market? and relative to its competitors?
- Has the Strategy changed or is it likely to soon? What forces might affect/impact it most (likelihood and significance)?
- How does my role (unit or function) contribute to our company’s competitive advantage?
- What must each of my people contribute to our competitive advantage?
- How does my unit impact or affect the company’s strategy?
- Are we on the appropriate gates of focus sequence: (Profit; People; Process)?
- Am I applying the appropriate leadership modality to propel my team forward?
- Do I and my team access and maximize use of our greatest talents continually and bringing out the best in ourselves and others?
We have tools that can help with effectiveness in this realm. Check out our:
To Quote Vineet Nayar “Three differences between managers and leaders are:
Counting value vs Creating value. You’re probably counting value, not adding it, if you’re managing people. Only managers count value; some even reduce value by disabling those who add value. Leaders focus on creating value, saying: “I’d like you to handle A while I deal with B.” He or she generates value over and above that which the team creates, and is as much a value-creator as his or her team.
Circles of influence vs Circles of power. Managers create circles of power while leaders create circles of influence. The quickest way to figure out which of the two you’re doing is to count the number of people outside your reporting hierarchy who come to you for advice. The more that do, the more likely it is that you are perceived to be a leader.
Leading people vs Managing work. Management consists of controlling a group or a set of entities to accomplish a goal. Leadership refers to an individual’s ability to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward organizational success. Influence and inspiration separate leaders from managers, not power and control.”