Emotional Intelligence Guide
Everything we know about organisations has changed in the last years, these new organisational realities mean that to be successful you do not just need to be intelligent, you need to be Emotionally Intelligent.
It was Aristotle who spoke about a rare ability to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way. The ability to use emotions effectively, is the foundation of high-performing teams and relationships.
The Basics Of Emotional Intelligence Include:
Emotional Intelligence is not a luxury you can dispense with in tough times. It is a basic tool that, deployed with finesse, is key to professional success. - Harvard Business Review
What Is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence [EI] is the dimension of intelligence responsible for your ability to manage yourself and your relationships with others. Included are skills that drive your internal world as well as our response to the external world.
The original theory of Emotional Intelligence was developed by two US psychologists; Peter Salovey and John Mayer defined EI as a learned ability to perceive, understand and express your feelings accurately and to control your emotions so that they work for you, not against you.
No matter whose definition you use, EI is about:
Why Is EI So Popular?
Whilst it was Salovey and Mayer who gave us the original theory of EI and coined the phrase Emotional Intelligence, it was the work of Daniel Goleman in 1996 and 1998 that really put ‘EQ’ on the organisational map. Some of the reasons for this popularity include:
Redefinine what it means to be a success:
The Core Capabilities Of EI
This is the inner intelligence we use to know, understand and motivate ourselves.
This is the outer-intelligence we use to read, sense, understand and manage our relationships with other people.
As the model shows, to become emotionally intelligent you have to develop both your intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence. You do this by focusing on the core capabilities, each one taking you on a step closer towards EI.
Who am I as a manager? Tuning into your senses, getting in touch with your feelings and knowing your goals.
Be aware of your:
Often, some of our inner drives are hidden from our consciousness.
Emotional Intelligence enables you to access this information by helping you to tune into your responses and identify your hot buttons; those core beliefs and values which, if pressed, evoke the flight or flight response, trigger an emotion and propel you into action, for good or bad!
Who Are You?
- Self-talk; I am not good at handling conflict
- Beliefs; about self and others
- Emotions; own and others
- Hot buttons
- Fears and anxieties
- Judgements; a good team member is…
- Driver behaviour
- Rules; I must…I should…I ought…
- Personal style
- Physical presence
- Impact on others
- Energy levels
- Non-verbal behaviour
Let’s look at an example:
You have been asked to carry out a particularly difficult project usually given to more experience colleagues. You feel valued, trusted and excited. You are also a little anxious (your self-talk tells you that you are not good enough). Whilst working hard on the project your emotions swing from elation and joy to fear and frustration.
You achieve the task on time and within budget. You feel relieved and proud. You tell your boss and show your completed work. Your boss gives you no thanks or praise and picks up a minor fault. You then feel angry and decide that you are never again going to put yourself out. You feel exploited (self-talk clicks in to reinforce your belief that you were not good enough).
You think about leaving the company (one of your beliefs is that hard work should be valued and that has been challenged). You begin to feel disappointed and upset. You update your resume and begin to look at the job section.
How To Identify Your Emotional Responses
How can you begin to identify the filters that trigger your emotions, and use this information positively to change events and achieve a more positive outcome?
You can identify your emotional responses by:
Tuning into your senses
This means paying attention to what you see and hear and not what you think you see and hear. Your beliefs, values, drivers and rules act as filters, distorting and deleting what otherwise might be important information. We see what we want to see and discard the rest.
For example, going back to the scenario with your boss, did s/he actually pick up on a minor error or was that just perception?
What information did you use to make this appraisal: how s/he looked or something s/he did or said that you could have misinterpreted?
Alternatively, perhaps some hot button was pushed that triggered? What Goleman calls emotional hijacking – the bypassing of information from our higher thinking brain directly to our (older and less developed) emotional brain whose evolutionary purpose is survival.
All too often our filters get in the way of information that hits our senses. The higher your level of self-awareness, the greater your ability to recognise and distinguish between what is fact and what is the result of a filter.
Feelings drive behaviours
Within psychology there has been a great deal of debate about the exact nature of an emotion. An emotion can be seen to consist of four elements:
It is generally accepted that an emotion is not simply an automatic physical response to a situation, but our interpretation.
Getting in touch with your feelings
Although your feelings are internal, they are often accompanied by outward (often physical) manifestations. By paying attention to these external signals, you can begin to understand what these feelings mean for you, moment by moment.
Certain feelings drive particular behaviours
By retracing the link between a physical response, your interpretation and the feeling, you can begin to identify your emotional responses in any given situation.
Knowing your goals
Our goals are what spur us into action.
These might be short-term or longer-term. As with your feelings, your desires or intentions are not always obvious to others. The value of becoming aware of your goals is that you can use this information to help you develop the strategies necessary to get what you really, really want.
3 Things To Keep In Mind
Believe your behaviour
When we are enthusiastic about something, it is because we want to do it. If you are delaying getting starting or avoiding a task, ask yourself if this is something you really want to be doing. Listen to the answer and observe your behaviour. This might reveal your true intentions.
For example, agreeing to stand-in for a team member might give the impression that you are dependable and supportive, but at what costs to your own needs?
Trust your feelings
When you feel happy, satisfied or content in a certain situation, it is likely that you are in alignment with your inner- and outer-self, you are doing what you want to be doing (= being congruent). But, if you have agreed to undertake something and you feel resentment, it could well be that your original intention is in conflict with some underlying goal. For example, in the scenario with your team member, you may have agreed to help out, but begin to feel angry at more demands. In this case, your real intention was to say no and focus on what you really wanted to do.
Be honest with yourself
Are you harbouring any hidden agendas?
For example, securing a much sought after promotion may not be what you really want – but is simply an opportunity to impress your colleagues and friends. Finding out who you are, where you have come from and why you are here, can provide the map for finding your path with a heart. Your journey that harnesses your passion and energies and yields that feel-good factor. Remember, if we do not know where we are going, we may end up somewhere else!
Managing your emotions effectively involves controlling those unproductive behaviours that really do not get you anywhere. You might feel great at winning a shouting match with a difficult colleague or customer, but this is a short-term gain. You may have lost a potential major client and done nothing to build effective relationships. In addition, raising your adrenalin levels will do nothing for your health!
Key EI capability
By understanding the link between your interpretation of an event and your responses to it, you can choose an alternative way to feel. This is a key EI capability.
Remember, your beliefs, values, drivers and the rules you live by – create your map of reality. If we can begin to recognise the way in which we delete, distort and discount important information, and make decisions on the basis of little real evidence (simply your own perceptions) we can begin to see how much of our emotional life is influenced by our map of the world. Change the map and you change how you see, hear, feel and behave in the world.
You can change your interpretation of what you see and you can change your responses to it. When you find yourself becoming anxious or angry, or become worried about undertaking some task adopt this technique.
Ask yourself the following questions:
As human beings we are goal-oriented, and being self-motivated means pursuing our goals with commitment, passion, energy and persistence.
In order to achieve high levels of motivation, overcome setbacks and perform at our best, we need to be able to manage our own internal states, harness our emotions and channel them in a direction that enables us to achieve our objectives.
Being self-motivated calls for four essential actions:
Adopt positive self-talk
Build an effective support network
Visualise an inspirational mentor
Create a conducive environment
For some time we have been aware of the different functions of the left brain (logic, reason, maths, reading, language and analysis) and the right brain (recognition, rhythm, visual imagery, creativity, synthesis, dreams, symbols and emotions). Developing your EI means accessing all of the resources you have available.
A central idea is that the brain when it creates an image (whether real or imaginary) gives rise to emotional states that will evoke behaviour. Changing the way you think will change the way you feel and, therefore, change the way you behave.
Relationship management is key to your interpersonal intelligence as you use to read, sense and understand, and manage your relationships with others.
Relationships are vital for personal growth and development. Over the last decade of organisational restructuring, relationships between employer and employed have irrevocably changed.
Where once the psychological contract was based on such expectations as a job for life, this is now characterised by transactional relationships (gigs/projects), which are transitory. Flatter organisational structures and the need to manage our own careers mean that developing an effective internal and external network of relationships is vital.
What does relationship management mean?
Relationship Management means being effective at managing relationships and building effective networks.
Defining a relationship:
The coming together of two or more people for their mutual benefit.
What Makes An Effective Relationship?
This means meeting each other’s needs: You support – I support.
If you repeatedly ask team members for help, advice or information, but do not find time to respond to their enquiries, eventually they will withhold their know-how and support.
Think how devastation this could be at an organisational level!
Often it is only in repeated interactions that we can begin to identify the real needs of an individual. Check out your perceptions.
Actively listen by paying attention to both verbal and non-verbal cues to identify what is really being said/or not said.
Step into their shoes and tune into their language to access their map of reality.
Directly ask what an individual’s needs are. Remember, to assume is to make an ASS out of U & ME!
Relating over time
Build up a picture of the other person. See them in different situations and different contexts in order to gather clues about who the person is, their beliefs, values and hot buttons. This will help you to relate better.
Establishing rapport involves trust and comfort, both of which need to be nurtured. Learn from each interaction and use this new knowledge to ensure subsequent interactions are positive and productive.
Directly ask what an individual’s needs are. Remember, to assume is to make an ASS out of U & ME!
Engage in exchange
To build an effective relationship, exchange factual information, thoughts, feelings and ideas. It is an interactive process: what you disclose has an impact on the other person, which affects how your respond. Remember, the ways people treat us are reflections of the ways we treat ourselves. Relationships are not made outside, they are made inside.
Build exceptional relationships with team members:
Appreciate their individual skills, knowledge and capabilities
Make time to get to know them and actively listen to what they have to say
If you have a disagreement with someone, look for an early solution
Spend some social time as well as work time with them
Give positive feedback for a job well done
Seek their advice and opinions whenever you can
Support them through the tough times
Recognise individual uniqueness, be flexible in your style and approach, understand their map of reality
Use common courtesies and friendly greeting
Working With Others
Most people who work – have to work with other people.
No matter how enjoyable a job is, it can become stressful and unfulfilling or downright miserable if human relationships break down!
The first thing to realise and accept is that you cannot change other people. All you can do is to change yourself.
When someone says or does something to annoy you, the annoyance is not in the thing being done, but in your response to the thing that is being done. Things and actions are not in themselves annoying: the annoying lies within ourselves, in the response. If you keep on doing what you have always done, you will keep on getting what you have always got!
Managers will need to change their whole approach to managing and instead of relying on systems and control procedures, need to get to know and trust their people as individuals. - Harvard Business Review
Assessing & Developing Your Emotional Intelligence
What can I do to raise my EI?
Developing An Emotionally Intelligent Organisation
Each day in the workplace, an employee’s Emotional Intelligence is put to the test. Most often, how an employee reacts to situations will build goodwill and co-operation with customers and co-workers or will further drive wedges into tenuous relationships. When an employee can master appropriate internal emotional reactions to situations and also master an external response, the employee is working with a high level of EI.
Too often, feelings of self-doubt, frustration or anger will take over and control a person’s outward expression in a particular situation. How many times have you heard a person say,
I just could not help it, I was just so frustrated I had to react the way I did?
As an employer, it’s important that you recognise that those reactions can also paralyse the work that gets done. Underlying tensions and emotions make their way to every meeting and every encounter in the workplace.
Yes, #NewToHR knows, you have probably been taught that emotion does not belong in the workplace.
But the reality is that it is inescapable. Emotion is present in the workplace – everyday, everywhere.
Therefore, as you have improved your business by way of applying intellectual resources, now is the time to recognise that you can also make dramatic improvements that will help you reach your business goals by improving the Emotional Intelligence of your workforce. Unlike IQ, which tends to remain fixed throughout a person’s lifetime, Emotional Intelligence can be improved over time!
Recognise Your Map
People act from their map as opposed to reality. Different maps of the same reality are of equal value [ = ], depending on context.
Recognise your map and you open up infinite possibilities of seeing the world in new ways!
Other articles that you may like to look at:
- Emotional intelligence at work
- Why Today’s Leaders need to be Emotionally Intelligent
- Unlock Your Emotional Genius
- The Socially Savvy
The information provided in this guide is intended for illustrative purposes only and should not be construed as advice for the application to any specific factual or legal circumstance.
© New To HR