All posts by Cheryl Smith Bryan

iceberg

How Does EQ Impact the Bottom Line?

The CEO was fed up. If she got one more complaint about the VP of Operations she was going to fire him.  It was obvious when he was in a bad mood because he yelled at his people and slammed doors.  The team was easily upset and often distracted which affected their productivity. The outbursts from the VP influenced how the team dealt with customers.  Clearly, the ripple effect of the VP’s bad moods negatively impacted the company’s bottom line.

iceberg

Human behavior is like an iceberg.  We see how people behave but we don’t always understand what drives the behavior.  Using Emotional Intelligence is like putting on your scuba gear to check out what is hidden beneath the surface.  Once you know which emotions are influencing your behavior, you can use those emotions more effectively.

What is EQ?

Emotional intelligence (EI), also known as Emotional quotient (EQ) and Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EIQ),[1] is the capability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately. EQ can be used to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goal(s).

In his book Primal Leadership, Daniel Goleman cites research indicating that leaders whose styles had a positive emotional impact on their teams generated measurably better financial results.  Teams with higher engagement have lower turnover, above average productivity, higher customer loyalty and higher profitability.

Ways to Improve

Below are some ways in which you can cultivate and increase your EQ:

  • Self-awareness.
    This is the ability to label, recognize, and understand your own emotions. Self-awareness requires us to tune in to our feelings and not avoid our negative emotions such as anxiety, fear, and sadness. Recognizing our own emotional states and how they affect our thoughts, behaviors, and decisions is the key to cultivating self-awareness.
  • Emotional regulation.
    Emotional regulation has to do with our ability to control strong emotions by not acting on raw feelings in an impulsive or destructive manner. Developing the ability to sit with unpleasant feelings and to give ourselves the time and space to decide how we may alleviate or reduce negative feelings cultivates self-confidence. Emotional regulation also helps us develop the ability to consider various solutions to a particular situation or problem. Not reacting solely to an emotionally charged state results in better decision-making outcomes.
  • Empathy.
    When we empathize with others, we develop deeper, more intimate relationships. Empathy is the ability to recognize how and why people feel the way they do. Empathy allows us to anticipate how our actions and behaviors influence other people as well as our own. Developing empathy skills enhances our experiences, relationships, and general understanding of ourselves, other people and the world around us.
  • Social skills.
    This is a very broad term. In general, having strong social skills means having the ability to communicate in a clear, concise, and courteous manner. In a nutshell, good social skills are the summation of all of the components of EQ: self-awareness, emotional regulation, and empathy.

The Fix

If you want to positively impact your bottom line, find a coach or trusted advisor who can provide assessments and suggestions for improving EQ for yourself or someone on your team.

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Cheryl Smith Bryan, an ICF Certified Coach, and advisor. Cheryl has served as a board member of the Houston Chapter of the International Coach Federation, a committee chair for the Women’s Energy Network and a mentor for at-risk children. She has been quoted in local and national business publications and has made presentations to a number of industry and professional associations. Visit her blog HERE

Improve Your Personal ROI

How is your intentionality? Try this exercise:  close your eyes and count to 20 slowly.  Stay focused on the count and don’t allow your subconscious to do the counting. Sounds easy, right?  Now, do it again and start over every time you are distracted by another thought.  That is much more challenging for most of us.

The Power of Adrenalin

How long can you go without checking your phone?  Studies have shown that we get addicted to the jolt of adrenalin when we hear the text or email message notification.  When I lead team building sessions or facilitate a meeting, the participants agree on whether to turn off or silence their phones.  Some of them get the shakes – like they would if they had to give up coffee for a day.  I find it hard not to check mine every time I stop at a red light, even if I’m enjoying the song on the radio.

40 Percent ROI

We have trained ourselves to expect distractions.  We think we can’t function without them but what do they cost us?  Research indicates that productivity can be reduced by as much as 40 percent when people switch tasks.

Stop whatever else you are doing and think about that.
You could be 40 percent more effective if you focused on one thing for a defined period of time. 
Where else can you get that kind of ROI?

Achieving Your New ROI Goal

We know all this and yet we still do it.  Why?  We have to create a new ROI:  Return on Intention©. What better time to do that than the beginning of a new year?  Here are some suggestions:

  1. Identify one thing you will do differently.  Be as specific as possible and avoid saying what you will not do. Write it down where you will see it often.  It could be, “I will sit through five stop lights without checking my phone.”
  2. Write down when you will start and how often you will do it.  “I will start tomorrow and continue for the next week.”
  3. Describe the benefit you will get from doing this.  “I will be able to enjoy what I’m hearing on the radio.”
  4. Find an accountability partner.  “I will ask my coach to check in with me every Monday by 9:00 AM if I haven’t emailed her about my progress by Sunday at 5:00 PM.”
  5. Recognize potential derailers.  Notice what gets you off track and find a solution.  “I’m likely to forget when I’m in a hurry so I will leave five minutes earlier for my meetings.”
  6. Reward yourself.  “I will add a new song to my favorite playlist when I achieve my goal for the week.”

I invite you to test this approach to improving your ROI and see how it affects your productivity.

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Cheryl Smith Bryan, an ICF Certified Coach, and advisor. Cheryl has served as a board member of the Houston Chapter of the International Coach Federation, a committee chair for the Women’s Energy Network and a mentor for at-risk children. She has been quoted in local and national business publications and has made presentations to a number of industry and professional associations. Visit her blog HERE