Social + Emotional Intelligence = Wise Investment

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

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