Posted by Tash Newby on Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Imagine this scenario; you are a Manager in a retail store and it is coming into your busy period when you realize that you have lost your phone. The last place you remember having it was on the counter and now it is not there. Immediately you get upset and panicked, asking all your staff where your phone is, no one knows. You are extremely upset and immediately assume someone has stolen it, you start yelling at the staff, then blame someone because they should have been standing behind that counter…
Have you been in a similar situation before? If you were on the receiving end how did it impact on you? Is this a productive response? Or is there a better way to deal with this situation?
I saw this very scenario not so long ago, understandably the Manager was upset, I’m sure we all know that feeling of losing a phone, there is nothing worse. This is the kind of day-to-day reaction that we can sometimes find ourselves delivering or encountering – what is important to look at though is the greater affect on the rest of the team. The store was about to go into it’s rush period, and the Manager was upset and yelling at everyone, everyone else then noticeably became upset, lost focus and their ability to deliver great customer service.
So is there an alternative response or a better way of dealing with this situation? Surely it is an emotional reaction that we can’t necessarily control?
This scenario relates to our self-control, a competency in Emotional Intelligence (EQ) that our Emotional Capital Report (ECR) measures for. Self-control encompasses calmness, a rational mind and discipline. When self-control is low in terms of emotional intelligence it can mean that we get emotional in stressful situations, find it difficult to control anxiety and can often act impulsive and unpredictably; consequently you may end up putting yourself and others under undue pressure, which contributes to a stressful working environment.
As talked about earlier in the previous blog piece, emotional responses are learnt and can become habitual responses; however by acknowledging this and giving yourself space to look at the situation, we can re-learn more productive ‘emotional habits’.
What are some strategies you can employ to help develop your self-control?
• Examine negative ‘self-talk’ that drives your emotional reactions in stressful situations.
• Respond, rather than react to difficult situations by introducing a pause before speaking and acting impulsively.
• Take time to pause and give adequate thought to the impact of your words and actions on others.
These are just a few examples, but as you can see, to develop our EQ it can really be a matter of taking simple practical actions. The first step is to acknowledge this, benchmark your EQ and then work on practical coaching strategies.
And the outcome of the above scenario?...
The Manager found her phone, it was where she had left it (on a different counter), and she ended up looking and feeling quite silly about the whole situation. So save yourself the frustrations and embarrassment of going through these motions, and make an active step towards your self-development today!
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Posted by Tash Newby on Wednesday, July 13, 2011
"How is this happening again?
I swear I’ve been here before,
This is the same argument, scenario, confrontation,
It’s all the same, though the setting & characters have changed.
It can’t be my fault; they’re in the wrong,
I can’t control how they react.
But there must be a reason…
A reason this keeps occurring.
What can I possibly change?
I can’t control the uncontrollable –
People, circumstances, dilemmas…
So what can I control?"
This is where I found myself not so long ago. I had been working and managing in hospitality for almost 8 years, I had achieved some great things, and moved up steadily in my career. However there were a couple of scenarios that seemed to be reoccurring themes for me. Certain confrontations and arguments seemed to be repeated over the course of a few years in different environments.
At first, young and naïve I found it hard and refused to believe that this possibly had anything to do with me, maybe it was just a regular issue in hospitality that I had to face being a senior female manager in a male dominated industry (It is always easier to blame others for pitfalls than look at ourselves).
There have been certain scenarios that how the other party has spoken me to is inexcusable; HOWEVER, as I said there was a reoccurring theme and I seemed to be the common denominator… There had to be something I could learn or change about these interactions. As I said in the dialogue above, I cannot control the uncontrollable – particularly how other people respond to me, BUT I can control how I interact and approach people.
There was something about the way I was approaching all of these situations that was creating the same outcome time and time again. Einstein’s definition of insanity is: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results - This is exactly what I was doing!
So where to from there? Well first I had to acknowledge my part in these interactions, look at my past interactions and reflect on them with space from the heat of the moment and then… look to make a change.
Easier said than done some may say. Well to me, this is where my interest in emotional intelligence has stemmed from, as I believe there has to be something more to these interactions, something more we can learn and master next time around - for what is experience if we learn nothing from it? Experience gives us the foundation; emotional intelligence gives us the insight to build on that foundation.
Acknowledging and learning more about emotional intelligence and how it plays a major role in our interactions was like turning on a light in a room for me, then going through my Emotional Capital Report (ECR) was like focusing a laser beam on this new awareness. It got to the core of my strengths and areas for improvement and made complete sense of all my interactions (good and bad) in regards to management and leadership. In all my years of management this has been my most valuable lesson in regards to leadership, and I only wish that I had learnt more about it years ago. I truly believe that this is not only valuable, but also necessary in every field, and look forward to my EQ journey.
Click here to find out more and start your own EQ journey
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Posted by Tash Newby on Thursday, June 23, 2011
“No doubt emotional intelligence is more rare than book smarts, but my experience says it is actually more important in the making of a leader.” Jack Welch
So what does emotional intelligence have to do with your work place? Is it relevant in all work places and for all roles or just leaders? Is emotional intelligence something that can be taught or trained? These are the common questions that generally arise when the topic of emotional intelligence comes up.
So does emotional intelligence have any impact on your workplace and is it relevant for all roles? “Research shows convincingly that EQ is more important than IQ in almost every role and many times more important in leaderships roles” (Stephen Covey). We have all at some stage experienced that Manager that just seemed to be an “exceptional leader”; they lead with passion, integrity and an apparent clarity of decision. But more importantly they ignited in you these attributes. There is no arguing that these skills are invaluable in every workplace; what business owner wouldn’t want their team to be more passionate, driven, innovative and stay in the business?
Until recently these such leaders seemed a rarity, they seemed to possess a skill that you either had or didn’t, and the focus was on holding onto these people, rather than developing a whole team of “exceptional leaders”. Thanks to years of rigorous research and case studies, it seems that these skills - while rare naturally in individuals, can be developed. Martyn Newman gives us more than just theory, he gives us practical tools to develop these skills.
Newman has distilled his years of research in emotional intelligence relating to leadership into 10 core competencies:
Lets expand on one to make more sense of it all. ‘Self-knowing’, what is the relevance of this in a work place? Self-knowing encompasses emotional awareness, behavioral awareness and non-verbal communications. Typically someone who is low on self-knowing is often not good at recognizing or verbalizing their own emotions and is generally unaware of their impact of behavior on others. Now imagine this person as a manager in a work place, undoubtedly you have encountered them before, maybe they tend to ‘act out’ emotional experiences and then are surprised by your reactions; or perhaps you have come across someone who you found ‘hard to read’, as they kept their emotions & thoughts close to their chest. Both of these examples can lead to a lack of trust in the team and a general disengagement to their leadership, which is detrimental to all relationships and the working environment.
So where to from here? Well the Emotional Capital Report (ECR) focuses on these clear, tangible competencies and highlights an individual’s strengths and areas for improvement in leadership, and also gives simple coaching strategies to help develop these skills. For example, with the above illustration of self-knowing, a coaching strategy may be to:
• Introduce a brief pause before responding/reacting to check your emotional pulse
• Pay particular attention to other people’s emotional reactions to you and consider our behavior in light of the feedback.
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