It’s 8:30 am on Thursday, Jack wrapped up his morning debrief with his team when his assistant informs him that Diane would like to see him in her office in 30 minutes. What does she want, Jack thought, we’ve not officially crossed paths before?
Early in Jack’s career, he was little wild, crazy, immature, yet he had a natural knack to figure shit out quickly through visualizing and application. The one thing that was not evident was a filter, both verbally and emotionally. If someone didn’t agree with something he said, well, he’d tell them pretty frankly and directly what he thought. It didn’t matter how they felt afterward, it wasn’t a point of concern at the time. If you wanted to challenge his thoughts and opinions, just bring it was his motto. Well, that and “SAVE THE DRAMA FOR YOUR MOMMA”.
There were several key moments when he would get so pissed off at someone that he would say his piece and walk out. These were not mic drop moments, just out of sheer frustration and lack of understanding. Jack was not seeking to understand the situation, rather he was forcing his opinion on the situation and was fairly hell-bent on that opinion too. Situations like this would continue to occur more frequently as he progressed in his career, until one very specific meeting. That meeting included Jack, an Executive Vice President and the EVP’s entire staff in the EVP’s office. Jack sat on one side of the table, the EVP sat directly across from Jack and the EVP’S entire team fanned out to each side.
This was the first time Jack meet this EVP, Diane. She had quite the reputation, or so Jack heard, for being tough on people that were not her employees. The reason we were all together in this room, for this specific meeting, was the EVP’s team was tired of being challenged by both internal and external suppliers on making a quality product. There was one person in the way of them, Jack.
Jack’s role was to ensure suppliers, both internal and external, would produce products that meet performance criteria, the first time, every time. Jack would stop the product from flowing if it was sub-optimal. Did this create issues, you bet. Did it force people and businesses to course correct, absolutely! Did it cost money, uh huh! Were there issues after launch… NOPE! At that was Jack’s point. The company saves more money fixing the issues up front than it would after the product was launched. Well, that didn’t sit well with this specific team, why? They were responsible for everything UP FRONT! They didn’t care what happened on the back end, as they were not involved. The sooner things were launched, the sooner they could take a break.
Back to the meeting, within 5 minutes of meeting the EVP, Jack and Diane had already told each other to fuck off and expressed their extreme dislike for each other. Everyone in the room was silent, as Jack and Diane sat toe to toe smirking at each other. There was slight respect for each other, as neither was going to back down, yet it clearly showed that Jack was not in control of his emotions. At the 5-minute mark, Diane clearly said to Jack, “After this meeting, you will remain in my office”. Jack’s response… “I’LL BE GLAD TO!” Who in their right mind would say that to an executive vice president? Someone with a termination sentence!
The meeting continued for the next 10 minutes as Diane and Jack talked through the logistics of the situation, what needed to be done, by whom and when. Once the meeting concluded, everyone quickly got up and shot out of the office followed by the door slamming shut. Then the explicative started to fly from both of Jack and Diane. Afterward, Jack phoned his boss (Also and EVP), “If this how you executives behave, I want none of this”. What Jack didn’t realize is that he was part of the issues. Needless to say, Jack got the next day off to cool down.
The following Monday, Jack was greeted by his boss and DIANE. They asked if Jack had calmed down and wanted to talk about it. Jack had calmed down, but talk about the situation? Oh HELL NO, Jack was not in the mood. Jack’s boss then said, “It’s clear that you need to work on your emotional intelligence and the perfect person to mentor you on that is DIANE. Jack couldn’t believe it.
Looking back, it was one of the best experiences that truly changed Jack. He’s forever grateful to both EVP’s that had the foresight and belief that this relationship was a good idea. To be effective, one must have a solid understanding of how their emotions and actions affect the people around them. The better a leader relates to and works with others, the more successful he or she will be. The story about Jack and Diane, it’s mostly true. The parts that are not true are the names and genders. If you’d like to know more details regarding the subsequent conversations between Jack and Diane, let’s have a conversation.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is not a topic that leaders initially focus on when launching new projects, new business groups or in growing the business. Interestingly, it’s viewed as good a business concept. However, why do some project, some programs, some business ventures struggle to stay afloat while others thrive? The difference may be due to the soft skills, or the emotional skills, of the leaders who are engaged to lead.
The emotional climate of a workplace either supports or deteriorates performance. Leaders who are emotionally intelligent are adept at maintaining good morale in the workplace. They have good relations with customers and other stakeholders. Ignoring this layer of workforce reality is detrimental. When emotional intelligence is low, it can result in negative consequences to the organization’s bottom line. Think about the lost productivity when teams are fighting each other. I’ve worked with organizations where the lost opportunity has been greater than $100,000, quarterly.
Many of the ways that low emotional intelligence affects a business are obvious. It may be a managers’ time and energy diverted to dealing with emotion-driven conflict among team members. Workplaces with low EQ suffer turnover, as employees with reduced job satisfaction look for greener pastures. What’s worse, unhappy employees remain with the company but with diminished performance. This causes a worse outcome for a company than the cost of recruiting and training their replacement would have been.
Because high anxiety shrinks the space available to our attention, it undermines our very capacity to take in new information, let alone generate fresh ideas.
A company’s potential for innovation and growth are at stake when a low EQ dynamic is in place. The courage to speak up and share ideas evaporates when individuals feel fearful. Collaboration and creativity are sapped when employees experience chronic anxiety. Short term memory suffers, reducing their ability to hold information in working memory and handicapping people’s ability to learn. Over time, the motivation to learn new ideas diminishes. In an age when nearly all jobs require continuous learning to keep current, the implications of this to a business are not good. It can be devastating to an organization, especially one that depends on innovation to pull ahead in the marketplace.
Emotional intelligence plays a key role in how you manage your feelings and respond to others. The traits relating to emotional intelligence must be practiced and developed over the long-term. Once mastered, these skills lead to happy relationships and effective business results.
Are you able to assess an individual’s ability to sense, understand and effectively apply the power of emotional acumen to facilitate high levels of collaboration and productivity? By developing and practicing good emotional skills, you have a better chance of seeing your businesses grow from strength to strength.
With EQ coaching and training, leaders develop the skills and knowledge to better understand each other and their teams. Those skills impact others within the organization and your customers. Knowing how they impact your customers, employees will be able to manage customers’ expectations and meet their needs.
The more that you, as a leader, manage each of the 5 key intrapersonal and interpersonal areas, the higher your emotional intelligence. You may also be wondering; will the EQ coaching and training make a difference for your leaders? At any level, the customized coaching and training will empower individuals to understand their own EQ so they can avoid making a high-risk decision without understanding how their emotions are influencing their choice. They’re empowered to make educated, sound decisions with their head, instead of just their hearts.
As advisors and coaches, we use this assessment tool and others to help team members understand themselves and others so productivity improves, conflict diminishes, and employee engagement soars. I felt so strongly about the impact that EQ had on my career that I became a licensed facilitator in the neuroscience of emotional intelligence. With high-impact and highly effective training programs, we help you bridge the gap between knowing and putting insights into practice in your organization. If you’d like assistance to enhance emotional intelligence for yourself or your team, visit https://stephendoylecoaching.com/emotionalintelligence or contact me directly.
Here’s to your Success!