Emotional Intelligence – Driving change & enabling corporate success
Emotional Intelligence, or EQ as it is known, is becoming increasingly recognised as a key tool for successful interim managers. While there are multiple definitions of EQ, along with many opinions regarding how to measure and enhance EQ, a more interesting question to ask is: “What role does EQ play in interim management and how can it optimise the outcome of an interim assignment?”
As an NLP Master Business Practitioner and Executive/Business Coach, Tracey Rawson, Managing Director of Rawson Downey Recruitment has spent time analysing EQ and, through utilising several coaching techniques, has observed how projects and programmes can be successfully transformed just by increasing EQ.
The widely-held view is that most interim assignments appear (on the surface) to be process and outcome driven, however in Tracey’s experience of dealing with interim managers, and clients, it has been established that the success or failure of any assignment is typically driven by management and understanding of people, their actions, reactions, motivations and emotional state; whether referring to key stakeholders, steering committee members, employees, consultants or indeed the interim managers themselves.
Interim managers, through the process of understanding the complex matrix of people and their relationships within an organisation, can help individuals to work as a more cohesive unit, even though these individuals have their own goals and aspirations. By becoming aware of common ground, and common objectives, and ‘a meeting of minds’, it is amazing what can be achieved, delivering successful business change and transformation.
According to the neuroscience of psychologist Daniel Goleman (author of Emotional Intelligence) along with the early pioneers of EQ, Mayer, Gardner and Salovey, the key components of EQ are:
Self-awareness – using your intuition and moral compass to make decisions (some of the decision making parts of the brain are “wired” to the stomach and will release a physical feeling, hence the expression ‘gut instinct’).
Self-management – recognising, understanding, using and managing your emotions; how your emotions affect others and how by cultivating and managing yourself effectively, you can have a positive impact on others i.e. handling destructive emotions and marshalling positive emotions.
Empathy – knowing what someone else is feeling by ‘putting yourself in someone else’s shoes’ and understanding their motivation.
Social Skills – understanding how we communicate and how people are receiving your communication. Going one stage further by understanding how people communicate, reading body language, tonality and inflection of voice.
Everyone has differing styles, approaches and personality traits and by understanding yourself in real depth you can then start to recognise the traits, motivators and emotions in others to an even greater degree.
You may be saying “well that’s all well and good but everyone has a different style” and of course this is true however these skills are all skills that can be learned and applied to great effect by learning and changing behaviours.
Essentially; paying attention, taking time to be present and being mindful are the key points to note.
So how can you pay more attention and continue to improve your EQ? One of the simplest techniques is to focus on your breathing, as this will bring focus and give you time to think, be present and assess what is happening around you, so your next decision will be based on having full awareness.
However, it can prove challenging, detaching your own emotions to allow you to observe yourself in order to learn and grow, this can be overcome through engaging an experienced Business Coach to work closely with you – someone who is both detached and present for you. This can be a winning combination.
Tracey Rawson, Managing Director