Archive for the ‘Other Awareness’ Category
Article Contributed by Guest Author Patrick B. McLaughlin M.A., M.Ed.
Although this is a story about Halloween, we didn’t want to wait until next Halloween to share it. It was written by Patrick McLaughlin, an amazingly empathetic S+EI coach from Quebec, Canada. Enjoy!
Whether one is a parent, a friend, a manager, a police officer or whatever, a well-developed facility in ‘Interpersonal Effectiveness’ goes a long way in creating the possibility of Trust and in Improving Relationships. The individual who demonstrates such Impersonal Effectiveness is not inhibited by the reality that there can be an element of risk in not being aware of the other’s potential reaction. However, there is a powerful safety valve contained in sensitivity and in the ability to ‘read’ what is not being verbalized.
Far removed from the corporate world, here is a Halloween event which, at least in my opinion, reflects the qualities of Empathy and Interpersonal Effectiveness.
The local organic food store displays a multitude of enticing items but, since space is limited, circulation can be challenging at times. I had just picked up my ‘Millet and Soya Bread’ and was making my way in the direction of whatever other required item was on my mental list. My progress was somewhat interrupted by the presence of a mother and her daughter also experiencing some degree of difficulty in circumventing the various barriers. The little girl was rigged out in a party dress and I noticed that something resembling a floral design and sparklers illuminated her face. Not being particularly inhibited by nature, I said to her, ‘I like your face’. Very shyly she looked at me and then turned to her mother for consolation. Now my conversation continued with the mother and I asked if the little girl was shy which the mother confirmed, then addressed her daughter in French. Presuming that the language barrier may have been the primary reason for her discomfort, I also spoke to her ‘en français’ but the hesitency remained. The mother informed me that her little girl was preparing to go ‘trick-or-treat’ing, its being Halloween. ‘Alors tu vas chanter ce soir?’ (So you are going to sing this evening?). She murmured something which I understood to be ‘Yes’. When I asked her what she was going to sing, (Qu’est-ce que tu vas chanter?), silence returned.
The shopping continued and I would presume that the little girl was glad to find herself once more in the reassuring safety of her mother’s caring, delighted that the inquisitive stranger had finally left her in peace.
It was not to be. Our paths crossed again at the checkout counter. The little girl looked at me with some suggestion of comfort. So I started again, all en français. ‘I also will be going trick-or-treating this evening and I will be singing many songs in order to get lots of goodies’, (a figment of my imagination, of course) and I sang her a bit of a song…’Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques, Dormez-vous, Dormez-vous? etc’. Then I pushed gently ahead, asking her what song she was going to sing. Wonder of wonders..she sang her song, clinging to her mother. ‘You have a lovely voice’, I said, ‘and you will surely gather lots of candies and cakes this evening’. ‘Will you share them with your Mummy?’ ‘No.’ ‘Why not’, I asked. Without a moment’s hesitation, she came up with a rather sound justification for keeping all the goodies for herself. ‘My Mummy does not like cakes’.
Not only was this a wonderfully warm encounter, but I noticed that the mother, the gentleman behind the counter and two other ladies who were there to shop and not to hear the two of us rehearsing our singing programme for Halloween had delighted smiles on their faces. The power of empathy had not only successfully inspired this young lady to sing in public but had reached out and touched three strangers and evidently warmed the heart of the mother who must have been delighted to witness her shy little daughter abandoning her reserve in such a delightful manner. The power of empathy created a positive change, even for a moment, in the spirit of all these individuals who beforehand were complete strangers. And, judging by her attitude in the final scene, her Halloween was not ruined.
This impromptu encounter most certainly illustrated the extent to which the expression of empathy can create positive change in a group setting. The little lady who was the focus of my attention was not the only one to manifest that something had touched her in that moment; the evidently delighted response of the others, even though they were merely onlookers, was a testimony to the power of empathy.
Article Contributed by Guest Author Hope Eaton
For years Kyle was dedicated to a career he loved, and was almost happy with his work/life imbalance. That is, until he had a family. Once this happened, it was no longer okay to work 16 hour days. There were other things that were important to Kyle, and he wanted to do everything as perfectly as he did his job. He wanted it all, and why not, everyone else seemed to be doing it.
And yet, Kyle began to experience a great deal of frustration because he wanted to spend more time with his wife, his kids and his friends. He wanted to keep up his exercise program, and he also wanted to keep doing the work he loved.
However, when he was at work, he did not feel fully engaged because he was thinking about the T-ball game his son was playing that he was missing; and when he was with his family, he was stressed and frustrated about the presentation he was not getting done. When he was out with friends, he did not fully enjoy their company because he was thinking about the laps he should be swimming.
Kyle finally got to the point where he was not fully enjoying anything. Everything he read about work-life balance, about being more productive and how to squeeze more in his days was not helping him, and his stress levels rose.
This is when he reached out for coaching. We worked together to design his life through the lens of the emotional intelligence competency of realistic optimism rather than the “I can have it all” perfectionism he had been pursuing. Starting with this optimal life exercise from Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD, Kyle:
1. Identified the most important domains in his life. For him these were:
- Professional / career
- Parenting / family
- Romantic / spouse
- Personal health / exercise
- Economic / financial security
2. Created a two-column chart of what each of these domains would look like in a “perfect” world and what they would look like if they were “good enough.”
|Professional||8 hours of solid work per day||3 hours of “real” work per day with no interruptions|
|Parenting||Spend all weekend with the kids as well as all mornings and evenings||Have dinner and/or breakfast with his family 4 times/week|
|Romantic||A date night 3 times per week||A date night 1 night every two weeks|
|Personal Health||2 hours of exercise per day and 30 minutes of meditation 2 times per day||1 hour of exercise a day (with weekends off) and two 10-minute meditations daily|
|Economic||Tuition pre-paid for all 3 children by the time they are 3, $500,000 in savings by 40.||Open a 529 and put away what they can and contribute to 401K up to employer match|
Kyle identified the best possible scenarios for each domain given the realities of his life. He accepted that he, like most of us, cannot have it all and that life is not “perfect.” As a result, he is now fully engaged in each major domain of his life, and he is happier and less stressed. Life is good !
How have you helped your clients work realistic optimism into their lives?
Article Contributed by Guest Author Hope Eaton
Recently I have been coaching a client, Kellie, who did not find meaning or engagement in her work yet could not see a way to change her situation. From the outside, she looked successful as she managed to juggle the demands of her career and raising her 3 children with her partner, but she had the self-awareness to know that this was just the external perception. Kellie was increasingly frustrated that she could not see any new solutions or get a fresh perspective on how to make changes that would allow her to realize her goal of better integrating her work and her personal life.
Because Kellie, like many of us, spent much of her day looking for problems and how to solve them, Kellie’s brain was literally wired to look for the negative. As research in positive psychology illustrates, this focus on problems and the negative undercut her creativity, increased her stress levels, and lowered her motivation and ability to accomplish her goal.
To spark her innovation and creativity competencies so that she could come up with some fresh ideas to accomplish her goal, we utilized the following three techniques from positive psychology.
- Develop a positive habit: Kelly took 5 minutes at the end of the day to make a list of what was positive in her work and personal live. She alternated between reviewing each days events to identify an event or two that was positive in her day and making the exercise more general. This trained her brain to notice and focus on possibilities for growth and seize on opportunities to act on them.
- Develop a gratitude habit: She also took 5 minutes at the beginning of each day to write down 3 things for which she was grateful. Research shows that consistently grateful people are more creative, energetic, emotionally intelligent and less likely to be depressed, anxious or lonely.
- Identify your strengths and use them every day (a great free tool for this is the VIA Survey of Character Strengths which can be found on the Authentic Happiness website after you register). Kellie was not completely surprised by the strengths that she identified; however, she was not using her top 5 very frequently. Knowing your personal character strengths – what is best about you as a human being – is powerful knowledge that can be used to reach your full potential with your work, your family and your relationships.
By using these techniques, Kellie was able to take a look at her strengths and saw that there was a major disconnect between her strengths the work that she was doing. After adopting the positive habit and gratitude habit, and armed with knowledge of her strengths, Kellie approached her employer to change the scope and terms of her employment to ensure that she was able to exercise her top strengths each day and modify her schedule so that she could spend more time with her family, one of her core values. As a result, Kellie is much more happy and is using her enhanced creativity and innovation competency to identify new market opportunities and products at work and to engage with her family in new ways at home.
Article contributed by Lisa L. Custardo, CC-SEI, MBA, CPA, CGMA
“Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.” — Sam Walton
Whatever role we find ourselves in, be it coach, leader, manager, director, executive, facilitator, trainer, HR professional…parent, husband, wife, sibling, child – WE ALL tend to thrive when we feel recognized, validated, and noticed. When it’s sincere it’s authentic, and quite a bit expansive. Whether we are on the giving or the receiving end seems to matter not, WE ALL respond well to praise and positive stimuli – mind, body, soul.
Coming from an extensive background in Health and Human Services and non-profit, I can tell you praise and verbal recognition was a regular way of life for us. Now, back then we didn’t know to connect it to any particular area of concentration, let alone Social + Emotional Intelligence, we just did it, and often, because it felt like it was the right thing to do. For many years it seemed to work out quite well, at least it did for me. Then one day, flash forward several years, I noticed something different, or as we like to refer to in the business as I had, “gained a greater degree of competency in Other Awareness and Relationship Management.” Suddenly I realized that perhaps I wasn’t quite as adept at the social aspect of business as I thought I was. Somewhere between the well-chosen words and the sincerity, the message got lost. Every word, it seemed, had become an expectation rather than recognition for a “job well done.” Further, it had created many a dysfunctional relationship, dependent on praise and recognition exclusively from an “outside” source. In direct contrast to our coach approach, ugh! Has this ever happened to anyone? Has anyone found themselves within the context of a relationship that you thought was going well only to find out you may have misread the situation? Better yet, is anyone out there a parent??(smile)
Enter Social + Emotional Intelligence to the rescue; very progressive and ground-breaking material! So much so, I found that in working with the subject matter, the profile, and the extensive feedback for my own personal development, a new magic began to reveal itself to me. I began to see it more as a personal and professional recognition and reward program with extensive intrinsic value, so by definition, originating from self. Now, THAT had not been obvious to me in the beginning. This investment had a very generous return, emotionally, socially, and financially WISE, all the way around.
As a CFO and Executive Director, I can report that the ROI is very lucrative, as a coach I can state that the result has proven to be quite successful, as a person I can tell you I am much more satisfied and fulfilled. I feel confident when I say, “this particular investment is not only WISE, it’s a sure thing, and I recommend that you put all your clients in it.”
When was the last time you felt recognized either for your work or for who you are? How did it make you feel? Who in your network can you recognize and acknowledge, sincerely and genuinely today?
I look forward to any comments.
Thanks Much, Lisa
You can read this entire Blog article in its original format at OnlineUniversties.com
We at The Institute for Social + Emotional Intelligence® have been invited to share this great article from OnlineUniversties.com. They have put together their 10 Best Books on Emotional Intelligence. As you read their article, I invite you to think about the following questions:
What do you think? Are these the best books on emotional intelligence? What other books would you add to this list? And are there any you would remove? When you are looking for a book on emotional intelligence, what is it you are seeking to learn?
I welcome your feedback on the list!
The 10 Best Books on Emotional Intelligence
originally posted Feb 22, 2012
By Staff Writers
While a high IQ can go a long way in helping you to be successful in the world, studies are increasingly demonstrating that your EQ, or emotional intelligence, is of equal (or perhaps even more) importance. Whether it’s sustaining personal relationships, working on a group project in college, talking with your boss, or managing your own employees, emotional intelligence plays a key role in how successful these interactions are or are not, often in ways we’re not even readily aware of. If you’d like to give your EQ a boost, there are plenty of great books out there on the subject that can help teach you the fundamentals of emotional intelligence and help you through activities that will make you and those around you more emotionally healthy in your interactions. We’ve listed 10 of these great books here to help you get started on your emotional education.
Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman:
Curious as to why emotional intelligence might matter more than overall intelligence? Touching on psychology and neuroscience, Dr. Daniel Goleman, an expert on brain and behavioral sciences, explains the crucial skills for success offered by emotional intelligence that can determine your success in relationships and work and may impact your overall health. Even better, Goleman explains that EQ isn’t fixed, and shares ideas on how you can improve your emotional intelligence. Read the rest of this entry »
From ISEI: Please meet Macarena Ybarra Coello de Portugal. She is one of our certified coaches and currently doing social + emotional intelligence work with in the European Union, with the EU Parliament, Commission and Council.
From Macarena: I am Spanish and I arrived in Brussels in 1990 to do a specialization in European Law. I worked in the European Parliament as well as in the Department of European Affairs of a Chamber of Lawyers. Two years later, I created my own company, European Development Projects (EDP), a company which trains clients in the development of international proposals and implementing European projects.
More recently, my career has brought me into the world of coaching. I have received my coaching training from Spanish, French and English coaching schools, and received my Professional Certified Coach (PCC) designation from the International Coach Federation (ICF). I am also certified as a Master in Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and most recently I have become certified as an ISEI™ Social and Emotional Intelligence Coach.
I am also accredited as a Coach by the European Commission and therefore on the list of Official Coaches of the European Institutions. Only the 26 coaches on this list are authorized to work with European Institutions.
Working with European Institutions (Council, Parliament and European Commission) is an exciting challenge because of the incredible diversity of cultures, languages, nationalities and religions represented in the EU. For example, when I am doing Group Coaching, there can be 11 people and 9 different nationalities, all with different cultures and communications methods that must be expressed, heard, understood and communicated to all in the two primary languages (French and English). And sometimes these two primary languages are not even used by anyone in the group!
Since I’ve become certified as a Social and Emotional Intelligence (S+EI) Coach by the Institute for Social + Emotional Intelligence™, I am using all the S+EI tools, especially to bring very high-level and very diverse individuals together and create opportunities for teamwork, collaboration and progress. Sometimes the tone, the conversations, indeed the ambiance of the meetings can be difficult and awkward, and in my experience, the language of emotions, being very human and common to all, create a universal language of common understanding and help us move toward common ground. Different cultures communicate differently, and this can serve as the basis of a lot of conflict, and yet I am extraordinarily grateful for the Social + Emotional Intelligence certification which has given me the opportunity to offer customized learning opportunities, unique interventions, and specific workshops in a variety of topics relevant to our work in the EU, including for example, ‘Conflict Management’ and ‘Intentionality’ and ‘Building Bonds’ and many others based on the S+EI competencies. Thank you for hearing my story.
Macarena Ybarra Coello de Portugal
Professional Certified Coach (PCC)
Master Practitioner PNL
Social + Emotional Intelligence Certified Coach
European Development Projects – EDP Coaching Director
Brussels / Belgium
He was seated comfortably, three paragraphs into the lead sports page article when she approached him from behind his favorite chair. “Dad, I really need to talk to you.” She dangled her 10 year old, lanky legs over the edge of the chair as he distractedly muttered, “Uh, huh?” She begins her lengthy diatribe about an event that happened at school and the call he should expect from the teacher and that it wasn’t her fault but she was next to the kids who did it, etc. As she ends her monologue, he mutters, “Uh, huh. Okay. Sounds good.” She swings her feet back over the arm of the chair, onto the floor, and walks away feeling rejected and unimportant, knowing that when the teacher calls, her dad will be hearing it for the first time.
Have you ever done this to your kids? Has it ever happened to you where you knew someone wasn’t really listening? And how many times might you have done this to your employees? Instead of the newspaper, your attention is on your computer screen as you try desperately to keep up on incoming email. Or perhaps you are answering every ping on your smart phone? The only difference between home and work is that your family may be more forgiving than your employees and other work colleagues. Have you considered the cost to your relationships and your team’s productivity when you don’t listen?
Valarie Washington, CEO of Think 6 Results, writes in her article, The High Cost of Poor Listening, “60% of all management problems are related to poor listening,” and that “we misinterpret, misunderstand or change 70% to 90% of what we hear.”
Washington also writes, “There are no shortcuts to becoming a great listener and the price tag for poor listening is high. Listening well can cut down on misunderstandings, miscues, damaged relationships, missed opportunities and disagreements while building strong alliances, increasing knowledge and delivering better results, faster.”
Top executives listen more than they talk and when they listen, they set aside everything else, including the inner clamor, and listen with their full attention. They know that the only way to really know what’s going on, and to really hear what the other person is trying to say, is to listen fully to what’s being said and what’s not being said but is trying to be conveyed.
Great leaders are great listeners and as a result, their employees are more engaged, more passionate about their work, and far more productive. Is it time for you to sharpen your listening skills? To fully assess your Leadership competencies including your ability to coach and mentor others through genuine listening, contact the Institute for Social + Emotional Intelligence at Hello@The-ISEI.com or go to our website www.The-ISEI.com to learn more.
Ghandi did it. Martin Luther King did it. Oprah does it. Dave Ramsey does it. IT is inspired leadership. These leaders had and have what it takes to inspire others toward a shared vision. They are able to challenge the status quo and articulate a sense of common purpose that inspires others to follow. These leaders generate enthusiasm for clear, compelling visions and have been able to create a sense of belonging to something much larger than themselves.
The same is true of San Joaquin Community Hospital (SJCH) known for launching “Sacred Work.” SJCH leadership was inspired to care for not only the community members, but also the caregivers. The team set out to make sure they were hiring folks with the right values systems in order to create a sustainable culture of caring. SJCH hires based on the value, service to others, and today maintains a committed workforce and leadership team who believe healing the whole person and serving the caregivers as well as the community are key aspects of their mission. As an unexpected benefit, SJCH has inspired a healthcare movement centered around “Sacred Work.”
Research conducted by Zenger & Folkman says, inspirational leadership is directly linked to high employee engagement—the psychological bond between an employee, the work, and the work environment. Leaders who inspire and motivate followers see new behaviors, outcomes, attitudes, and emotions that translate to business outcomes such as higher productivity, more responsible behavior, greater organizational confidence, and initiative. The employees of SJCH are a living testament to the validity of this research.
Are there actions you need to take to enhance your inspirational leadership?
- Create a collaborative vision in alignment with your organization.
- Set stretch goals to challenge your team and provide fulfilling work experience.
- Communicate the vision frequently and enthusiastically.
- Develop your people.
- Be a model team player—put the needs of the team and organization above your own interests.
- Foster fresh ideas and be open to trying them.
To fully assess your current competence in Inspirational Leadership and create a personalized development plan, contact the Institute for Social + Emotional Intelligence at Hello@The-ISEI.com or go to our website www.The-ISEI.com to learn more.
Article contributed by Terry Hildebrandt, PCC
Do you find yourself correcting others frequently? Do you often find yourself surrounded by idiots? Do you keep a distance between yourself and others? If yes, others might perceive you as arrogant. I often coach smart people who have been told they are arrogant and need to be more approachable. Here are some common symptoms of being arrogant.
Symptoms of arrogance:
- Others describe you as cold and detached
- You think that you are always right
- You dismiss others inputs and feelings as inferior
- You frequently critique others work and ideas and correct their thinking
- You believe your ideas are always better than others
Impact of arrogance:
While being right might feel great, it can undermine interpersonal relationships and damage trust. In reality, no one is always right or has all the information. By not valuing the input of others, you may miss out on valuable insights, solutions to problems, and potential opportunities. No one wants to work with a know-it-all. Over time, you may find yourself with no one to listen to your great ideas!
Causes of arrogance:
- Lack of self-esteem or confidence
Research suggests that many people who are arrogant actually have low self-esteem. By putting others down, they feel better about themselves. This misguided strategy might work temporarily but over the long run, it leads to people avoiding you and inability to influence.
- Being overconfident
While a healthy amount of self-confidence is critical for you to sell your ideas and to get things done, it is easy to overdo it and come across as arrogant. The key is to focus on what you can do for others rather than on yourself and how great your ideas are.
- Intellectual agility with low interpersonal agility
You might have been the top student in your class and be the thought leader in your field, but the real question is : Do others like you? Smart people often overvalue intellect and book smarts at the expense of social and emotional intelligence. Research has found that people want to work with those they like. A winning combination is to be both smart and likeable.
What you can do to overcome arrogance:
- Listen, ask questions, and collaborate
Being curious about what others think and feel will cause them to feel valued and build trust. Even when you think you have the “right answer” remain open to others solutions. You might be surprised what you will learn!
- Share credit and build others up
We all depend on the help and support of others to get things done. Freely and frequently recognize the contributions of others. Building others up and sharing credit will cause others to want to work with you again.
- Don’t correct others unless they give you permission
Be very careful when offering critique and correction. Ask yourself if it really matters if someone has made a small mistake in grammar, facts, or reasoning; and only give feedback if it really matters and you have permission to do so.
- Seek feedback
Even when we think we are brilliant, funny, or clever, we might be off-putting to others. Ask those that you trust to give you honest feedback about your style.
With a little attention and perseverance, you can change that perception of arrogance to one of humility and openness.
Article contributed by Virg Setzer, MSOP
In my last discussion regarding the Nine Essentials of Career Success I discussed the critical nature of “ownership” and the importance of “intentionality” in regard to career success. Today my focus is on another of the Nine Essentials, “Mindset”.
What is Mindset?
You answer may range from: “A person’s opinion”, “How someone views things”, “Your Attitude”, “How a person is wired”, or “Your beliefs”. The dictionary defines Mindset as: “The established set of attitudes held by someone”.
Regardless of how you define it, the view you have or adopt for yourself over time has a significant impact on your life – your job – your career. Your “mindset” or “attitude” impacts how your think and everything you do. You develop a mindset – a philosophy of life. It is present in your self-talk and it guides your thinking as you approach any situation – it impacts your decisions.
Although mindset is not so simple to describe, I do think people generally have tendencies in one of two primary mindset categories: The Limiting or Fixed Mindset or The Possibilities or Learning Mindset.
- The Limiting or Fixed Mindset consists of thinking and attitudes that include:
- A “Why I can’t” approach
- Avoiding Challenges
- Blaming others or events
- An “I deserve it” or entitlement view
- Being Defensive
- Ignoring or avoiding feedback
- Having “the answers”
- Proving your are right
- Being threatened by the success of others
- Limited learning from experience and mistakes
- The Possibilities or Learning Mindset on the other hand is very much the opposite of these elements:
- A “how I can” approach
- Proactively seeking and finding new opportunities
- A challenging and “stretch my capabilities” view
- An “I earn my opportunities” mentality
- Taking risks
- Seeking out critical feedback
- Learning from setbacks and from the success of others
So What Does Your Mindset Have To Do With Career Success?
The answer: “everything”. Yes, taking ownership and being intentional is important, but your mindset – how you view yourself and your future is vital. Mindset is really the foundation for your career success. Your mindset – how you view yourself and the world will guide you over time in every decision your make about your career. Your mindset also greatly affects how you are showing up to others – your attitude – how others perceive you.
The good news, I believe is that Mindset can be changed. As we look at mindset a little deeper we find that there are several social and emotional intelligence competencies that have a profound impact on our mindset and in turn on our career results. Although we could probably make a case that all 26 social and emotional intelligence competencies affect our mindset in someway, I believe there are a few that are particularly important and powerful – the following nine greatly impact your mindset:
- Self-Awareness – Recognizing one’s emotions and their effects
- Accurate Self-Assessment – Knowing one’s strengths and limits
- Personal Power – A strong sense of one’s self-worth, capabilities and self confidence
- Bias for Action – Readiness to act on opportunities
- Achievement Drive – Striving to meet a standard of excellence
- Realistic Optimism – Expecting success; seeing setbacks as manageable; persisting in achieving goals despite obstacles
- Resilience – Perseverance and diligence in the face of setbacks
- Personal Agility – Readily, willingly, rapidly and effectively anticipating and adapting to change
- Intentionality – Thinking and acting “on purpose” and deliberately
Build Your Foundation – Then Build Your Career
I encourage you to consider my comments regarding “mindset”. Ask yourself the question: What really is my Mindset? Do I have a “Fixed or Possibilities” Mindset? Work to gain an understanding and appreciation of the nine social and emotional intelligence competencies I have outlined above. Make a commitment to increase your level of competence in these nine.
Over the next several blog postings I will address the other seven essentials for career success and although each of them are very important, developing and building your Mindset is your “foundation for success.”
In my next blog I will address the career essential: Expertise.
I look forward to your comments.