There has been a lot written about Emotional Intelligence in the last several years. Parallels have been drawn against traditional measures of Intelligence, such as Mensa tests and EI has even been given as a reasonable explanation why some “genius level” people fail to progress in their careers while other less “intelligent” people might do very well.
I won’t try to cover off the whole subject of Emotional Intelligence in this blog, but rather talk about one attribute that is often associated with people who have high EI scores, and that is empathy. As a salesperson, or a manager it is critical to develop this skill as much as possible.
If you can put yourself in the shoes of the person you are dealing with, then you can truly understand their situation and have a much better chance of being able to solve their issues. If it is a client, then an understanding of their “pain” will bring both credibility and an ability to offer a solution. When dealing with an employee, the ability to understand and empathise with their “position” allows you to work towards a solution rather than dictate an answer.
I receive a regular email newsletter from Patricia Katz who promotes the concept of a simpler life. There are often some great ideas and tips, occasionally they are a little “touchy feely” for me. This latest newsletter was “on the line” but had some good observations about this subject along with some ideas for “rejuvenation” when you are the one who has been giving support to others.
Below is an extract from Patricia’s newsletter …
Have you ever held back on sharing news or asking a question until the person you wanted to speak with (boss, spouse, colleague, child) was in a more receptive mood or frame of mind?
If so, you already understand one of the basic tenets of emotional intelligence – the ability to tune in to emotional states (your own and others) and adjust your actions accordingly.
According to Boyatzis and McKee, coauthors of Resonant Leadership, the most effective leaders display their emotional intelligence through a combination of compassion, optimism and hopefulness. They know how to tune in to those around them, communicate and provide support in the most positive ways.
Because these skilled leaders give of themselves constantly, the ongoing challenge is to balance off that constant outflow of support and sacrifice with a set of habits that promote renewal. Sustainable leaders show as much care and compassion to themselves as they do to others. And, of course, in order to do so, they have learned to pay attention to what’s happening on the inside.
Tuning in and becoming more aware of current state is an essential starting point. B & M offer an interesting 4 point check-in exercise in mindfulness to help with that process. Here’s an adaption for you. Try it now.
1. Mind – write down three things that are on your mind.
2. Body – scan your body from head to toe. Mentally circle areas that need attention.
3. Heart – name your current feeling.
4. Spirit – picture someone who inspires you and imagine yourself radiating their energy all day long.
Repeat a couple of times a day for the rest of the week. See if you feel more tuned in.