Back in the 90s I worked as a marketing executive. I loved my job and I liked the people I worked with. It was a small company that was undergoing rapid growth and it was exciting to be a part of it.
However, there was an issue with one manager who was making life extremely difficult for everyone else. And she was getting away with behaving atrociously. Why? To this day I am still not sure, except that it just seemed easier that way. Years later, I was undertaking my six-month diploma to become an executive coach and we were introduced to the topic of Emotional Intelligence. I had a huge epiphany – AH!! That’s what some of us (me included by the way!) were missing. We were all below par, or in some cases completely lacking in certain aspects of Emotional Intelligence.
This included: Self-awareness; of how much the behaviour was impacting on our productivity. Empathy; no-one was empathetic to those suffering at the hands of the manager and no-one used empathy to try and understand why she might be behaving this way. Decisiveness; no-one decided that the behaviour had to be addressed. Instead, we all buried our heads in the sand and hoped it would go away. It didn’t and plenty of people resigned – me included.
So that was the start of my fascination with EI. I read everything I could on the subject, and I am even more convinced now than I was then, that the traits that make us more emotionally intelligent are essential in good leadership. All the leaders I respect and admire have emotional intelligence in abundance. They understand that we must connect with people first and do business second. They understand the impact of their behaviours on themselves and more importantly on others.
And they understand that to be empathetic is not a sign of weakness as so many managers seem to think.
When I discovered the EBW (Emotions and Behaviours at Work) psychometric assessment on Emotional Intelligence, the circle was complete. I had discovered an assessment that was easy to complete and focused on eight main traits of EI. They also have an excellent range of training workshops and leadership tools. That became the next stage of my learning.
I continue to study EI and coaching and I am constantly working on my own self-awareness. The journey is challenging, exciting and fulfilling.
If you would like to introduce Emotional Intelligence into your organisation, or you would just like a chat to find out more about what I do, please give me a call on 0857272135.