Introduction: The position of coaching or mentoring has increased in recent years. Leaders need multiple skills to understand and interact with others. Emotional intelligence is one of these multiple management and teamwork skills. In a time when the foundation of management is moving toward empathy, the ability to acquire and enhance emotional intelligence also becomes essential. Given the challenges and gaps between what we hear and say in the workplace, we have come to share Muriel Maingnan Wilkins’ solutions:
In my ten years as an Executive Leadership Coach, I have never seen anyone voluntarily declare that they need to work on their emotional intelligence. There is still a small number of people who have heard me say that their colleagues need to reinforce this intelligence. The problem is that the people who are most in need of emotional intelligence are usually those who have a minimal understanding of this need. The data shows that emotional intelligence is the key differentiator of the people who perform the most, and the other benefits are undeniable. Either way, there are people who haven’t been looking for this skill or are waiting for it to be too late!
Take Craig (not real name) as an example. He is one of the people who comes to me for coaching and demonstrates the great potential and ability to advance company goals. Carrage’s problem is in choosing the method used to achieve the goals. When I asked his colleagues about his features, they responded, “He doesn’t care about his behavior and many people are victimized”, his view of projects was not uniform and he could not attract, retain or retain talented people. Direct reports show that Carridge has mostly humiliated his colleagues. Carridge’s senior manager has also pointed to behaviors such as impatience and a willingness to destroy peers at the same level. When I discussed this with Carrage, he initially disagreed, believing that I had a misunderstanding of what he was hearing. His lack of awareness or empathy were clear signs of his emotional intelligence deficiency. Here are some of the signs that you should work on your emotional intelligence:
You often feel that others do not understand what you mean and you become upset and angry.
Are you surprised or thought to be overwhelmed by people being sensitive to your comments or jokes?
You think there is too much of an exaggeration to work.
From the outset, you are firm in your views and strongly support them.
As you hold yourself to a high level of expectation, you set others above that expectation.
In many team problems, you always blame some.
It can be annoying to you when others expect you to understand them.
If you see the above in yourself, what should you do?
Here are four strategies to solve this:
Get feedback. You can’t solve a problem you don’t know. One of the key elements of emotional intelligence is self-awareness – and self-awareness gives you the ability to identify and behave in the moment as you do. Whether you are participating in a 360 evaluation or just asking a few people who are observing your behavior, this step is essential to increasing your understanding of the pros and cons you are doing. Don’t just look for excuses for your behavior. Because it leads to failure in your purpose. Instead, listen to the feedback, try to understand it and do it. Early on when Carridge heard the views of others, it became defensive. But when he accepted the role of feedback, he changed his mind and decided to change his behavior.
Be aware of the gap between intention and effect. Those with low emotional intelligence often overlook the negative effects of their words and behaviors on others. These people ignore the gap between what they mean and what others understand. Here are some common examples that illustrate this gap:
What you are saying: At the end of the workday, everything must be completely done.
What Others Understand: I have to pay close attention to the results, and even if people get hurt along the way, I will continue to do so.
What you are saying: If I understand it, others will understand.
What others understand: I’m not smart enough.
What you are saying: I do not know what the problem is?
What others understand: I don’t care how you feel.
Regardless of what you mean, think about the semantic burden of words and the effect they have on others and how you want them to be perceived. Carrage Naseb did not pay attention to what he said offended others, but he no longer paid attention to the words he used. Before the beginning of each session, he would talk for a few minutes. You ask yourself these questions: What effect do I want to have on others? How do I get people to understand what I mean by the end of the session? How do I frame my message to get it right?
Don’t stop talking to yourself and others (act like pause button). Having high emotional intelligence means that you can choose your own reaction to situations rather than just a mere reaction. Carrage, for example, used to cut the talk and ideas of others in half. The reason for Carridge’s behavioral response was his lack of control over discussion or fear of wasting time. So, by changing the behavior, he tried to correct this behavior before any reaction such as the stop button. Two important stops to make: 1) When we listen to ourselves 2) When we listen to others.
When we listen to ourselves: When Carrage seemed angry or restless in the discussions, she felt pressure on her chest and jaw. Recognizing these physical symptoms, he knew he had to control himself at this time. As a result, they knew when Carrage knew when to avoid backlash and watch out for the destruction of others.
When we listen to others: Listening means helping others convey their meaning better to us (even if we disagree with them). Interrupting the reaction of others when speaking allows us to give them the opportunity to put forward their ideas before speaking.
Leave yourself to others. Most people tell you to leave them to your empathy, which is one of the elements of emotional intelligence, but you can’t ignore your feeling. You have to look at both aspects, understand both your work plan and the position of the other party. Carridge changed his mind: “These are my concerns and I express my concerns, but I want to hear your concerns as well”.