The blue­print for emo­tional suc­cess

Renowned psy­chol­o­gist and in­ter­na­tional best sell­ing au­thor Daniel Gole­man says, “emo­tional in­tel­li­gence ac­counts for 80 per­cent of ca­reer suc­cess.” Why is it then that many busi­ness lead­ers fail to em­brace their emo­tional in­tel­li­gence or even their em­pat

Business First - - CONTENTS -

Busi­ness First speaks with ac­cel­er­ated be­havioural con­sul­tant and founder of EPS – Eclat Peo­ple So­lu­tions, John LaneSmith about how lead­ers can use emo­tional in­tel­li­gence to get the best out of their peo­ple.

IIf we can in­dulge in one more quote by Daniel Gole­man, he says: “peo­ple’s emo­tions are rarely put into words, far more of­ten they are ex­pressed through other cues. The key to in­tu­it­ing another’s feel­ings is in the abil­ity to read non­ver­bal chan­nels, tone of voice, ges­ture, fa­cial ex­pres­sion and the like.”

That doesn’t come eas­ily, but it is a tru­ism of to­day’s work­place that emo­tional in­tel­li­gence is a vi­tal part of suc­cess­ful lead­er­ship.

En­ter John Lane-Smith, a man who has spent his life­time study­ing lead­ers and man­agers, but found a dis­turb­ing trend: “there are some seem­ingly bril­liant peo­ple, aca­dem­i­cally and tech­ni­cally, who have lit­tle idea about mo­ti­vat­ing or bring­ing the best out of in­di­vid­u­als or teams. In fact, in the worst cases, they can be the key rea­son why good peo­ple choose to leave.”

Lane-Smith has spent the last 30 years analysing be­hav­iour and us­ing the world’s lead­ing pro­fil­ing sys­tems to iden­tify what makes peo­ple tick. He has stud­ied over 13,0000 peo­ple to learn their unique­ness, and seek to make sense of their driv­ers.

Yet, be­fore you can start learn­ing about other peo­ple, you have to dis­cover your own driv­ers.

“It’s of­ten said it’s not un­til you lose, or nearly lose some­thing, you start to ap­pre­ci­ate it” Lane-Smith says.

Thirty-two years ago, Lane-Smith al­most lost his life.

“I was striv­ing to be the best ex­ec­u­tive I could be, but I nearly lost it all fall­ing asleep whilst driv­ing.”

Lane-Smith ca­reered into a power pole in ex­cess of 100km/h, with no airbags. The pole drove the steer­ing wheel into his face and the en­gine com­pacted his thigh into 5cm pieces. The seat belt then col­lapsed his lung.

“A mes­sage de­liv­ered to my home from a po­lice­man was that my de­ceased body had been taken to the lo­cal hos­pi­tal. How­ever, that was not the case as mirac­u­lously the res­cuers, sur­geons and nurses man­aged to save and re­build me.

“The ex­pe­ri­ence was a ma­jor wake up call. It gave me an ur­gency to ap­pre­ci­ate life and make ev­ery sec­ond count.”

Fol­low­ing the ac­ci­dent, Lane-Smith was asked to tell his story and share his new­found in­sights as a key­note speaker at ma­jor con­fer­ences and con­ven­tions around the world.

His book, SOS Se­crets of Suc­cess, pro­mot­ing pos­i­tive change that en­hances per­sonal and busi­ness suc­cess, be­came an in­ter­na­tional best seller. It drew on his nine-day re­cov­ery, de­fy­ing the three to four months that had ini­tially been pre­dicted.

Mean­while, through word of mouth, EPS was build­ing a rep­u­ta­tion as the go-to coun­sel to cre­ate team co­he­sion.

EPS ad­vises busi­nesses on ev­ery­thing from iden­ti­fy­ing the right se­nior pro­fes­sion­als for strate­gic hires, to get­ting the best out of ex­ist­ing ex­ec­u­tive teams.

So much of this work comes down to emo­tional in­tel­li­gence (EI), an abil­ity to recog­nise and be aware of ones emo­tions, and those of the peo­ple around you. By un­der­stand­ing these emo­tional driv­ers, one can guide think­ing and be­hav­ior to best match these to mo­ti­vate and en­gage with other peo­ple more ef­fec­tively. EPS strives to iden­tify these per­sonal driv­ers and pre­dict where peo­ple will be nat­u­rally dis­posed to EI and also know where their gaps lie.

The busi­ness was founded on the back of Lane-Smith’s frus­tra­tion with tra­di­tional man­age­ment prac­tices that lack an aware­ness and sen­si­tiv­ity of peo­ple’s emo­tions in a pro­fes­sional con­text.

“Man­agers who lack emo­tional in­tel­li­gence tend think the only way of achiev­ing progress if their staff are un­der­per­form­ing, is to just bark louder. The dif­fer­ence be­tween be­ing a good man­ager or leader is the abil­ity to gen­er­ate what I of­ten re­fer to as ‘fol­low-abil­ity’.”

Ac­cord­ing to Lane-Smith, ‘fol­low-abil­ity’ is de­vel­oped through learn­ing how to com­mu­ni­cate with em­pa­thy. The most pow­er­ful way of do­ing this is to iden­tify the lan­guage that will cause peo­ple to quickly un­der­stand, want to co­op­er­ate and be in­flu­enced and mo­ti­vated by. This is the unique ad­van­tage EPS achieves for its clients.

EPS was founded to help man­agers find their own emo­tional in­tel­li­gence, so that they can then help their staff be the best em­ploy­ees they can be and fu­ture lead­ers in the process.

The pro­grams em­ployed by EPS “can pre­dict, with cer­tainty, what their driv­ers are go­ing to be, and what their ar­eas of en­hance­ment should be.”

The pro­grams help or­gan­i­sa­tions face their big­gest chal­lenges when it comes to find­ing the best ta­lent to help build on their foun­da­tions.

“A key chal­lenge com­pa­nies face is know­ing how well a per­son is go­ing to gel with the team and whether they will, as a man­ager, en­hance the team’s pro­duc­tiv­ity” Lane-Smith says.

“Se­nior, well qual­i­fied can­di­dates bring ex­pe­ri­ence that can be iden­ti­fied and ver­i­fied. How­ever, how can you find out how they are go­ing to per­form af­ter they start? Who’s go­ing to ac­tu­ally turn up to do the job? How do you know they will be the best fit? And how do you know how to best en­gage with them to re­alise their full po­ten­tial?”

These are the most im­por­tant ques­tions a busi­ness can ask it­self when search­ing for the right can­di­date. EPS takes busi­nesses and their em­ploy­ees and works with them in a way that brings about these an­swers, iden­ti­fy­ing the right lan­guage that will at­tract the best peo­ple.

“It’s not just about find­ing the right peo­ple, it’s know­ing the best on­board­ing tech­niques that will work uniquely for that can­di­date. Most would find it dif­fi­cult to tell the em­ployer specif­i­cally how they would like to be treated. The best peo­ple are peo­ple who are con­fi­dent and aware of their strengths. How­ever, are also aware of their weak­nesses and need for de­vel­op­ment and know the ar­eas where they need to be sup­ported.”

“Ob­vi­ously, ex­pe­ri­ence is im­por­tant, as are qual­i­fi­ca­tions. How­ever, when you can iden­tify the key at­tributes that are needed, the cor­rect word­ing will au­to­mat­i­cally dis­count the ma­jor­ity of can­di­dates that are not driven in the way the com­pany re­quires.”

It is not just new hires that should hit the right emo­tional in­tel­li­gence notes. Just as im­por­tantly, if not more im­por­tantly, se­nior man­age­ment must be in a po­si­tion to de­velop and utilise its own EI.

“A great ar­ti­cle I read the other day in­ter­viewed 40 CEOs and asked what was the one ques­tion they would al­ways ask a can­di­date. Time and time again, it came down to try­ing to find out if they could demon­strate pas­sion. Pas­sion to re­search and show in­ter­est in the com­pany they’re ap­ply­ing to; ul­ti­mately pas­sion to con­trib­ute to the suc­cess of the com­pany. Just pas­sion, gen­er­ally. So, you have to ask your­self, why is that im­por­tant? And it’s of­ten said it’s hard, if not im­pos­si­ble, to en­thuse oth­ers if you, your­self, can­not demon­strate en­thu­si­asm and can­not in­spire oth­ers to greatness, or at least lift from medi­ocrity.

“The mo­ti­va­tion to de­velop and suc­ceed varies vastly from one per­son to the next. Some peo­ple con­tin­u­ally ask them­selves, ‘What am I do­ing here, what am I try­ing to achieve?’ And oth­ers seem to drift through life seem­ingly asleep, let­ting life hap­pen to them. The

greater amount of peo­ple look for recog­ni­tion that they are at least on track, that their in­put and ideas are ap­pre­ci­ated, and that they’re work­ing on the right pri­or­i­ties. The more en­light­ened peo­ple want to know that their ef­forts are mak­ing a dif­fer­ence.”

EPS fo­cuses on lead­ers and ed­u­cates them on pre­cisely how to cre­ate crit­i­cal con­ver­sa­tion with their em­ploy­ees to help them un­der­stand how they are mak­ing a dif­fer­ence.

A key ben­e­fit that well in­formed, crit­i­cal con­ver­sa­tions can achieve, is the an­swer to the co­nun­drum ‘if only I could get Ja­cob to be more mo­ti­vated’, ‘if only Sam would get on with Lucy’.”

“There are many in­tel­li­gences, how­ever, EI would have to be one of the most pow­er­ful. Can you imag­ine tam­ing a hur­ri­cane, di­rect­ing a tsunami, con­trol­ling a vol­cano?

“Emo­tional In­tel­li­gence is the most uniquely mis­un­der­stood, mul­ti­fac­eted pow­er­house of the hu­man sys­tem. Just like a rag­ing, out of con­trol bush fire that can be started by a smoul­der­ing cig­a­rette butt, emo­tions can be gen­er­ated from a mere smell, a fa­cial ex­pres­sion, a mis­un­der­stood tonal­ity. It sparks an emo­tive mem­ory, or ex­quis­ite joy or deep de­spair, and can bring the emo­tion to life in the now.”

Get­ting emo­tional in­tel­li­gence right is the chal­lenge. It can save time, build higher pro­duc­tiv­ity and gen­er­ate co­he­sive teams that har­ness hu­man en­deav­our, cre­ativ­ity and in­no­va­tion.

“Gone are the days of piece­work where some­thing has been made time and time again. It’s not any more about build­ing a skill and work­ing on it for the rest of your life. It’s now all about what I call ‘in­tel­li­gence farm­ing’: iden­ti­fy­ing and har­ness­ing the unique­ness of em­ploy­ees, and mak­ing them pas­sion­ate about suc­ceed­ing in their busi­ness. When peo­ple are work­ing for their pas­sion, they be­come ex­tremely pro­duc­tive. What­ever they’re good at, not just what’s in their job de­scrip­tion, not just to make money, but us­ing group in­tel­li­gence to achieve a shared goal.

“When an ex­ec­u­tive is able to har­ness their own in­tel­li­gence and other peo­ple’s true po­ten­tial, it’s like su­per charg­ing their en­deav­ours. And the more se­nior the ex­ec­u­tive, the more pow­er­ful the in­flu­ence.”

Lane-Smith says or­gan­i­sa­tions gain value right across the board, from the lower lev­els of the or­gan­i­sa­tion all the way up to CEO, by un­der­stand­ing how to suc­cess­fully com­mu­ni­cate and en­gage with each other in a unique way.

Ergo, suc­cess­ful or­gan­i­sa­tions are those that know in which ca­pac­ity some­one will be nat­u­rally mo­ti­vated to work, how long an in­di­vid­ual will be happy in a role be­fore they need to change or how to po­si­tion a work type to play to team mem­ber’s strengths.

It all comes back to emo­tional in­tel­li­gence and the abil­ity to recog­nise signs for change by help­ing peo­ple un­der­stand their own unique strengths and abil­i­ties.

John Lane-Smith

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