This one exercise will improve your emotional intelligence AND your bottom line…
This One Exercise will Improve your Emotional Intelligence AND your Bottom Line…
Surprisingly, studies show that the biggest factor that influences a company’s bottom-line is the leader’s emotional intelligence (EI). This is their level of self-awareness, empathy and rapport with others.
This makes sense.
A leader’s mood, psychopathic or motivational, can sweep through an office like wildfire affecting productivity and turnover. For instance, according to HBR’s 10 Must Reads On Emotional Intelligence by Various Authors, scientists have found that one person can transmit signals that can alter hormone levels, cardiovascular functions, sleep rhythms and even immune functions inside the body of another.
Another study mentioned in the book shows that when two humans are engaged in a good conversation the physiology of both people match after just 15 minutes.
That’s pretty powerful.
So if a leader, let’s call her Alice, has an aggressive disposition, she will spread this negative feeling to the rest of her company.
However, the cool thing about EI is that it’s learnable.
If you are a leader and want to monitor and improve how you are doing in the EI department, check out the following exercise from The Hidden Driver of Great Performance by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Anne Mckee.
Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Who do you want to be?
Imagine yourself as a highly effective leader. What do you see? For example. Alice wants to see herself as a motivating and confident leader who listens to her employees.
2. Who are you now?
Many people don’t know where their current level of EI resides as we can miss things about ourselves that only others can see. Get anonymous feedback from peers and subordinates to identify your strengths and weaknesses by using online HR tools like TinyPulse.
For example, from feedback, Alice has found that she can be passive aggressive and that her subordinates don’t understand what she wants and are too afraid to ask.
3. How do you get from here to there?
Devise a plan to close the gap from where you are to where you want to be. For example for Alice to close the gap she is going to take an assertive communication course at her local university and volunteer at her local community centre phone line to answer inquiries so that she can learn assertiveness and clear communication skills.
4. How do you make change stick?
You can create new behaviours through mental and physical rehearsal until they are automatic. For example on her commute to work, Alice can visualize talking to her subordinate about a job she would like her to modify (instead of Alice’s usual behaviour which is to accept the job and make passive aggressive comments about it). This exercise will help Alice carry out these behaviours when she meets her subordinate as visualisations can interrupt your pattern of old automatic patterns and change them into new ones.
5. Keep practicing
Continue to receive feedback every few months until you and others are satisfied with shifts in your behaviour.
If you use the tactics above, you will likely feel more happy and connected to people, experience lower employee turnover, and increase the success of your business.