Does your company lack emotional intelligence? Yes – not surprising you’re looking for a new job

A survey by salary.com has suggested that in America, 23 percent of people look for a new job every single day! What’s equally fascinating is, it’s not the financial rewards or challenging work content that prompts employees to make a move, it’s the soft skills, the ability to get on with other people, the communication, the culture – in other words, the emotional intelligence of the organisation.

This weekend I was fortunate enough to attend a training progamme on Energy Leadership Development developed by iPEC, a programme that I believe can make a profound difference in people’s lives. I will discuss it in greater detail in the future and how I will be integrating it into my coaching programmes. One of the basic premise is that so much of our lives is fed by the notion of ‘what’s wrong?’. From birth, we are trained to ask that question, focusing on what’s wrong with our relationships, what’s wrong with our work, what’s wrong in every aspect of our lives.

If instead we asked, ‘What’s right?’, ‘What’s the opportunity?’ or ‘How can we make this work?’, how different would we feel? How much more creativity would flood into our lives and how much more contented would we be? If we can learn to control our emotions and think positively, in other words have more emotionally intelligence, what difference do you think that would make?

Please let me know what you think.

Focus on results

I had a brain-storming session with a couple of colleagues yesterday to firm up the business plan for our Training company. We listed all of the services that we offer: leadership training; assertiveness training; advanced selling skills; emotional intelligence workshops; executive coaching. After copious cups of mint tea, I sat back and yawned. To be blunt, we could have been listing widget types or electronic components.

Our clients aren’t interested in what we deliver or even how we deliver. They are interested in the results we can bring. We then thought deeply about those results. We can deliver more productive, better functioning teams, increased staff retention, individuals and teams that are more in alignment with their company objectives – and so the list of benefits go on.

The same applies to job hunters. Recruiters aren’t so interested in your job description and what you have done. They want to know the results you have effected. Think of things such as increased profitability; cost reductions; achievements against tangible targets. Give lots of examples of how you have made a difference and that’s what will set you apart from other applicants.

 

Emotional Intelligence, the EQi-2 and Empathy

In a previous blog post I talked about Pete, who has recently been made redundant. Pete needs a new job, fast. He took the EQi-2, which is a leading Emotional Intelligence assessment. It’s a great tool and easy to complete. I emailed Pete a link and taking about 20 minutes, he answered the questions online. I generated the report and then we had an in-depth discussion about the results.

The EQi measures our social and emotional abilities, how well we are able to control our emotions, how we read and interact with other people and how we manage stress. Emotionally intelligent people get on well with others, communicate effectively and have good coping strategies. The EQi is a useful tool because it gives extraordinary insight into how we relate to others, understand ourselves and deal with stress. There’s no good or bad or right or wrong. Although we do know that emotionally intelligent people tend to have a smoother path through life and are generally happier.

Pete’s score in Empathy was lower than average. This didn’t come as much of a surprise to him or me. He had totally missed all the signs that redundancy was calling his name and with hindsight he realized that he has, time and time again, misread other people’s feelings and thoughts. Pete finds it difficult to put himself into other people’s shoes. He is a kind person and his colleagues define him as the ‘nice’ guy. The thing that Pete finds difficult is trying to see things from another person’s perspective. When he was made redundant, his first reaction was, “Why me? They always pick on me!”

Pete and I spent a lot of time discussing and understanding the components of empathy. We looked at how empathy differs from sympathy; how sympathy conveys our feelings about another person’s situations and implies we know how the other person feels. Sympathy suggests pity or sorrow for someone else’s feelings. Empathy means that you can actually share the other person’s feelings. We considered lots of techniques for becoming more empathetic.

One of the key techniques is asking plenty of questions, particularly open-ended questions. This was a technique I hoped Pete would put into practice in a job interview he had coming up. Isn’t that the job of the interviewer, you may well be asking? We’ll cover this in a future blog post.

Free Coaching

We are offering FREE coaching sessions to two individuals!

  • Are you considering changing jobs?
  • Do you want to advance rapidly into a new career?

If so, I am offering free 5 x 1 hour sessions to two people. I will assist you to get clarity on your career desires and goals, work with you to prepare a job search plan and a portfolio of materials to promote the ‘brand of you’! Our sessions will be completely confidential and we will work together to meet your unique goals.

If you are in a middle or senior executive position and looking to change paths (or even become self-employed) and would like free coaching, please email me. Fluent English speakers only, please! You can find more information by clicking here.

Computers spot fake facial expressions: you might be interviewed by a robot!

A study carried out by the Universities of California, Buffalo and Toronto has discovered that a computer system is more accurate at spotting fake facial expressions than people.

Leading recruiters and coaches look out for micro-expressions, the tiny little facial movements we make without realizing what we’re doing. When we’re faking a smile, our eyes tend not to crease and the areas between our eyebrows and eyelids don’t contract. As these movements occur in milliseconds, a computer can pick up on these minutiae. People find it difficult.
Continue reading

10 Redundancy Warning Signs That Suggest Your Job’s in Jeopardy

A couple of weeks ago, Pete, an ex-colleague of mine was told he was being made redundant. I predicted this four months ago, but for Pete it came as a bolt out of the blue. He had been blind to all the little hints and nuances that suggested redundancy was calling his name. Pete had laughed when I had suggested the redundancy warning signs, saying that he’d worked for the company for 15 years and the big boss would always look out for him. Continue reading

The Little-Known Factor That Predicts Career Success

Some years ago I worked for a Search and Selection firm – a business that is now defunct. Despite meeting my husband there and making life-long friends, I was deeply unhappy in my job. I dreaded making cold calls; I loathed the hypocrisy of some of the managers, the chauvinistic bullying of the Managing Director and the cutthroat pressures of having to meet weekly sales targets. My unhappiness meant I rarely met those hefty sales targets and I certainly didn’t achieve career success. I was, most definitely, a round peg in a square hole.

It wasn’t because I didn’t have the right skills or the innate ability to fulfill the job, it was because the role and the company didn’t match any of my values. Continue reading

April Fool: Why your job should be a laughing matter

It’s April Fool’s day. Did you smile this morning when you sat down at your desk? Did you play a little trick on your colleagues or your boss? Do you remember that wonderful story about the spaghetti tree that had the world laughing? If nothing else, the 1st of April should bring a grin to your face.

But how often do you smile at work? How often are you in stitches with laughter? If you’re having to think hard to dredge up a moment of hilarity, the chances are that humour doesn’t feature much in your workplace.

Laughter and humour are essential components of Continue reading