Applying Emotional Intelligence – Download This Smart-Pill-Skill White Paper

How many smart pills and skills does it take to make an emotionally intelligence leader?

Only a handful…read on…

Emotionally intelligent leaders are indeed more successful than their less emotionally intelligent peers.

So are their companies.

  • At PepsiCo, executives identified as emotionally intelligent generated 10% more productivity and added nearly $4 million in economic value.
  • For Sheraton, an emotional intelligence initiative helped increase the company’s market share by 24%.

I’m sure you’ve heard a little something about emotional intelligence in the past couple of decades, although its roots go back a lot farther than that.

Basically, the quality of emotional intelligence is defined as having the ability to understand, manage and respond effectively to one’s own emotions and the emotions of others.

And one of the greatest benefits of emotional intelligence is that helps leaders create work environments where people at every level are collaborating and aspiring to do their best work.

That is critical in the 21st-century global business world.

In fact, emotional intelligence is the first of a particular set of “smart-pill” skills and behaviors — which Glowan experts call Smart Skills™ — that are utilized by many truly great leaders, managers and project managers. In addition to emotional intelligence, these Smart Skills include:

  • Influencing with integrity
  • Interest-based negotiation
  • Stress and change management
  • Appreciative inquiry
  • High-level communication skills

To learn more, download Glowan’s latest complimentary White Paper titled Applying Emotional Intelligence: Why Successful Leaders Need This Critical Skill.

It’s easy to download, a great read and you can even read it (it’s a PDF document) in the Apple iBooks app for iPads and iPhones. (I’m sure other e-readers accommodate PDFs, but I dig the Apple.)

Emotional Intelligence is smart-pill-skill cool. I recommend taking it daily.


Why play roadside psychologist when we don’t even understand the roadsigns?

Recognize this conversation?

Manager: You’re a really good person and we really like you, but unfortunately you’re just not following directions or completing tasks correctly. Plus, it’s taking you an inordinate amount of time to complete incorrectly no matter how much instruction we give you. Per your last review not much has changed.

Employee: I feel I completed everything correctly. It took longer because your instructions were confusing. It’s not my fault because you couldn’t explain yourself.

Manager: [Takes deep breath] But you didn’t complete everything correctly, and we’ve been over this again and again. I’ve even given you explicit written instructions that everyone else on the team can follow. Except you.

Employee: Well, I agree to disagree.

Manager: [Mouth open] You what?

Employee: I agree to disagree. That’s my prerogative. I’ve been here longer than you and have always had stellar reviews until you came on board.

Manager: But–

Employee: Are we through? I have work to do.

Manager: You can’t agree to disagree.

Employee: [Fuming]

Manager: Listen, just relax and go back to work. We’ll talk more later, okay?

Oh my. There’s a lot going on there. This is a similar conversation to what I had a couple of years ago with an employee. One that was repeated multiple times over the course of his tenure.

If I would’ve known he was a high “D” and I a high “I” in DISC, then I could’ve better adjusted my behavioral communication style and —

High “D”? High “I”? DISC? WTH?

It’s bad enough that as leaders, HR professionals, managers and supervisors we have to play roadside psychologist from time to time to try and decipher an employee’s rationale and irrational behavior, try to help them understand where and why they’re underperforming, try to help them better perform, to lastly delve into complete avoidance behavior giving them passing performance reviews instead of doing what we really should be doing.

Firing them.

But that’s another issue all together. Why play roadside psychologist when we don’t even understand the behavioral roadsigns? Don’t we have enough to do running our teams, departments, boards, businesses and families for goodness sake?

Wouldn’t it be great if we had fairly accessible and reasonably priced behavioral assessments, training and interpreters that would not only help us better understand our employees behavior, but our own as well?

For example, you’ve got:

I know, budgets and time are tight these days; we’re too busy working to keep our heads above water.

But consider the difference between making a small investment to improve you and your organization’s management ability and the bottom line with better communication and behavioral understanding with and of your employees — and shooting from the hip.

I’ll take the former, please.


A little passionate EI goes a long way, while a lot of tyranny doesn’t.

In a previous life, I almost moved to France.

Almost being the operative word.

I worked for another marketing firm in the dot.com heyday and we had a satellite office in southern France where we worked with a division of a Silicon Valley icon.

The client needed another marketing project manager onsite to manage product launches and I became the chosen one. The project was only for six months, but for someone who at the time rarely traveled, it was to be an amazing opportunity.

The owner of our firm — I’ll call him Don — managed the negotiation and logistics of my journey. He was a unnaturally quiet but savvy businessman and all would be tended to by him.

Except that at times he was an unnaturally volatile man full of control-freak issues.

At some point during the trip negotiations, I took it upon myself to ask our client contact in France some questions. Seemingly innocent questions about my stay, my stipend, and other general questions. All done via e-mail.

My cubicle in our office looked out and down the long hallway to the other side of the second floor. Not more than a few hours after my e-mail contact with the client, Don came storming up the mid-building stairwell, face on fire and visually throbbing, and his over six-foot frame came right at me.
At first I didn’t think anything of it; I hadn’t put anything connective thoughts in motion as to why Don was so angry and coming at me.

As soon as he entered my cube space and erupted with one molten expletive after another, it became painfully clear what I had done wrong.

“Nobody negotiates with the client except me!”

And although that wasn’t what I had done, it overshadowed any and all meaningful work I had done to date; it was all taken away. No trip to France. The local sister account gone. Nothing remained except my job and severely bruised spirit.

I was told by a colleague who had witnessed the meltdown that every employee experienced Don’s wrath at some point. It was a rite of passage at our firm.

Ouch.

Not really the way to instill passionate productivity and longevity in your team. I mean, I get that employees don’t have to be happy all the time, and according to Vineet Nayar’s Employees First, Customers Second program from HCL Technologies, work isn’t about happy or comfortable or being satisfied or engaged.

EFCS is not about making employees happy or comfortable. I don’t even really care if employees are happy. I don’t think that employee “satisfaction” is something a company should strive for. Satisfaction is a passive state, isn’t it? Satisfaction doesn’t produce change or improvement or innovation or much of anything.

As for employee “engagement,” that isn’t much better than satisfaction. I would hope that everybody, no matter what their job is, would be alert and paying some attention to what they do, would be engaged.

It’s all about passion.

We want people to be burning up with desire to pursue their interests. Fascinated by their assignments. Jumping out of their skins with excitement about what’s next. Eagerly pursuing better solutions and new initiatives.

My trip to France being ripped away didn’t entice me to eagerly pursue better solutions and new initiatives. In fact, I almost quit.

Fortunately I didn’t, because for everything that my years at that firm wasn’t, it was when my professional trial-by-fire experience grew exponentially and I’m so very grateful for that. Don’s misplaced passion motivated me to learn and be better (and I did eventually have the opportunity to go to both France and Spain).

No pain no gain, right?

No pain no passion no picnics, right?

Vineet writes:

Life is work, and work is life, and both are a struggle. It’s doing meaningful work and being valued for it–not picnics–that makes it all worthwhile.

Leaders like Don should take note and develop some emotional intelligence and instill more passion in their employees, because for all the savvy business decisions that are made over time, valuing your employees’ meaningful work instead of focusing on devaluing them and their mistakes always plays better to your customers and the bottom line.

A little passionate EI goes a long way, while a lot of tyranny doesn’t.


Lead small. Think big. And be of self-aware endurance.

Some of you may be wondering what I’m doing here, and where and what exactly here is. No worries. We’ll get to all that soon enough.

In the meantime I want to talk about leading small.

Yesterday I ran the Wharf to Wharf, a local 10K race first started in 1973. There are now 15,000 people who run this race every year. Imagine being elbow to elbow for much of the first 2-3 miles and even through the end of the race. The act of running the race became a metaphor for me of what leaders and managers go through every day of their leading and managing lives. Yes, as the kids say, that’s how my mind rolls.

Here’s what went through my racing mind and thumping heart:

  • You have to be self-aware of where you are in physical space in relation to those around you. In this case, some runners are walking, some cutting in front of you from left to right, some stop without warning in front of you, some are pushing strollers, etc. That means you have to be smaller in your immediate space while exerting significant control and energy of that space and influencing those around you; you’ve got to be aware of everything around you (see Dan McCarthy’s Blind Spot post). You’ve also got to know who’s in the lead (high performers) and who’s falling behind (low-performers) and where you are in relation. Think about the last time you had an extremely ineffective and raucous business meeting. Did you come in reactive, big and nasty with guns drawn and start knocking people down? Or did you come in, assess the situation, and incrementally and effectively regain control because you were self-aware and in control of you?
  • You have to be self-aware of where you are in your emotional space in relation to those around you. In other words, you have to be focused solely in each and every the moment of the race, being small in focal servitude, otherwise distraction can be costly. Just as I stated above about your physical space, being self-aware of your emotional state and those around you is critical to leading yourself and others (think emotional intelligence). How many times have you over-reacted or under-reacted emotionally to a situation at work or at home? Knowing and living emotional self-awareness facilitates better communication and team-building within your organization and beyond. It doesn’t mean just being a nice guy or gal all the time, or a tyrant all the time, but it doesn’t hurt being nice when appropriate, just as it doesn’t hurt being tough when appropriate either.
  • You have to keep the 360° focal strength at 100%. And that’s hard to do when you’re running a race, or running a project, or running a business. Stamina is about being economical with your focal strength and decision making — when to cut left, cut right, slow down or speed up — i.e., what to do, what to delegate and what to dump — and is key to long-term physical and mental awareness and effective leadership. But we all get tired and that takes a toll on our own performance. I’m not a long-distance runner, but I do run 4-5 miles three days a week, and although I train for longer races like the Wharf to Wharf, by the time I hit mile 4 yesterday, I found myself slowing down and bumping into a few other runners and had to dig deep into my focal strength reserves. Strong leaders and managers must lead economically with controlled bursts of energy in order to create self-aware endurance and longevity.
  • You don’t gain long-term strength advantage if you’re not thinking big as well. When you’ve mastered your physical and emotional leadership states and keep the 360° focal strength at 100%, you can then rise above reactivity and fatigue to make strategic business decisions for your organization and better manage your entire workforce again and again and again. You do want to grow the business and make a positive impact on the world, right? I wanted to finish the race intact and on time, and I did, only to begin training for the next one, and the one after that, and the one after that…

A recent Human Resource Executive article titled What Predicts Executive Success? sums it all up nicely with this paraphrased excerpt:

Conventional thinking holds that a CEO with a hard-charging, take-no-prisoners style will more often positively impact an organization’s bottom line than a “nice guy” would, but there’s been little hard evidence to support such a theory.

However, according to a recent research study from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations that examined the assessments of 72 senior executives from 31 companies:

Self-awareness is the prerequisite for critical leadership behaviors such as earning buy-in, communicating key concepts and building high-performance teams.

So there you have it: Lead small. Think big. And be of self-aware endurance.

I’ll see you all again real soon. Be better and brighter.

“You can make the most of the distance; first you need endurance, first you’ve got to last.” ~Neil Peart