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Yvette Kay

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Do You Lead with Emotional Intelligence? (PART TWO)
01 Mar

Do You Lead with Emotional Intelligence? (PART TWO)

Emotional intelligence interpersonal skill 2

Employee’s want their managers to be mindful of their needs and are less accepting of insensitive behaviour and actions. With social awareness of Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, on the increase, leaders must recognise this, respond appropriately and develop this important interpersonal skill.

 

In part one, we introduced the importance of Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, highlighting the need for managers and leaders to become more aware of their own emotions and how to manage these. Now, let’s continue focusing on the range of ‘domains’ identified by Daniel Goleman:

Motivating yourself

Channelling emotions towards a goal or objective helps to keep focused. This mind-set helps you stay motivated, encourages self-discipline and avoids distractions that can get in the way of you achieving your goals. Self-motivated leaders are able to keep positive and focused on where they want to get to, often demonstrating discipline and high standards of achievement.

Re-evaluate – remind yourself of your goals, your achievements, the important things in life for you and what makes you most passionate.

Be optimistic – whilst this may not come naturally, motivated leaders are usually very positive no matter what happens. Look for at least one positive, it may only be small but you will be surprised at how this keeps you focused.

Recognising and understanding other people’s emotions

 

Leaders that employ empathy earn them the respect and loyalty of their teams, which is invaluable. Having the ability to put yourself in someone else’s situation is a must have if you want to manage a successful team or organisation.

Body Language – remember, not all communication is verbal so pay attention to what is not said just as much as you do on what is said.

Really Listen – most of us only retain 25% of what we hear. Eliminate barriers that stop you from listening and learn different techniques to enhance your listening skills.

Acknowledge feelings – don’t ignore other people’s feelings, acknowledge the situation and how they may be feeling, then see what you can do to rectify or improve things.

Managing relationships

This is a true test of leadership and interpersonal effectiveness and in simple terms refers to having great social skills. Those that are able to communicate effectively under any circumstances are often good at managing change and resolving conflict and will set examples with their own behaviour.

Communication skills – don’t think that these can’t be improved. There are lots of techniques and methods that can dramatically improve these skills and help you to become a master of communication.

Praise others – don’t be shy in recognising your team’s efforts and achievements. Be quick with praise and show your team how much they are appreciated.

The Goleman Model of Emotional Intelligence

Over the years it has been shown that leaders with a high EQ are more productive and successful at what they do. However, the good news is that your EQ is not a fixed trait; and whilst it can be challenging to acknowledge your weaknesses, it can be very enlightening to understand your strengths. Luckily our brains are capable of learning new information and skills at any age and time, so take the first step to improve your emotional skills and become a truly successful manager and leader.

 

At Right Trax Training, we can help your people to develop their Emotional Intelligence. Find out more about our interpersonal skills workshops.

Do You Lead with Emotional Intelligence? (PART ONE)
15 Feb

Do You Lead with Emotional Intelligence? (PART ONE)

Emotional intelligence interpersonal skill

With more and more of us becoming aware of the principles of Emotional Intelligence, it is more important than ever for leaders to challenge their own levels to develop this important interpersonal skill.

 

We’ve all worked with that colleague who is brilliant in their specialised subject but who is also socially and emotionally clumsy. Traditionally, IQ (Intelligence Quotient) has been the accepted measure of intelligence, however this narrow view ignores the core elements of measuring our actions and behaviours.

 

“No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”

Theodore Roosevelt

 

Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, was originally developed in the 1970’s and 80’s by encompassing two aspects of intelligence:

 

  • Understanding yourself, your goals, intentions, responses and behaviours
  • Understanding others and their feelings

 

However it wasn’t until the mid-1990’s that it became a significant behavioural model that focused on essential behavioural and character elements, and has progressed to become one of the most important interpersonal skills to develop. Daniel Goleman identified a range of ‘domains’ of Emotional Intelligence:

Knowing your emotions

The key here is self-awareness, which means you know how your emotions and actions impact you and others around you, and as a leader understand your strengths and weaknesses.

Take Time – when you feel a strong emotion, like anger for example, stop and examine why. Reflect on the situation and what actions triggered your feelings. Remember you are in control of your own actions no matter what the situation.

Managing your own emotions

 

Once we know our emotions the next step is to take control and manage them so they are appropriate. This means keeping calm, and implement strategies that help to control our anxiety or anger. Becoming masters of our own emotions encourages us to become more resilient and allows us to recover from setbacks and failures.

Take accountability – admit your mistakes, don’t try to blame others or make excuses. Take responsibility for your actions or behaviours; you’ll find others will respect you much more in the future.

Employ calming techniques – having a high EQ means that you are not reactive and that you control your feeling and thoughts before taking action. Therefore explore different techniques that can help you to do this:

  • Take a breath and count to 10
  • Take a break – go for a walk or grab a drink
  • Write down what you would like to say, then rip it up and throw it away

The Goleman Model of Emotional Intelligence

Part two has now been released, where we focus on the importance of being able to motivate yourself, recognise emotions in others and manage relationships.

 

At Right Trax Training, we can help your people to develop their Emotional Intelligence. Find out more about our interpersonal skills workshops.

Integrity….a Lost Cause or a Desirable Quality?
15 Dec

Integrity….a Lost Cause or a Desirable Quality?

Integrity is the fourth most effective driver of trust, which is amazing when you consider the ethical failures of leadership during this year alone, never mind over the past decade!

 

Integrity is considered an increasingly important attribute for the modern manager and is seen as a must have for senior leaders. Leaders with integrity have more concern about their character than their achievements. After all, reputation is what others think about you whereas character represents who you really are.

 

“Integrity is doing the right thing. Even when no one is watching.”

CS Lewis

 

This year alone, we’ve seen serious abuse of integrity, insider trading, false accounting practices, inappropriate behaviour and tax avoidance to name just a few. Most recently, two pharmaceutical companies received record fines for overcharging the NHS by 2600%.1 This begs the question: if you cannot count on a leader to conduct themselves consistently with high ethical standards and with honesty, how can you trust them?

 

It appears integrity is a potential blind spot for many people and whether this occurs from over-confidence or arrogance, many senior leaders really need to get back to basics and consider what is at the heart of integrity.

 

For many, this can be challenging as integrity has many definitions and can vary between cultures. There is also the issue of having the ability to rationalise behaviours2 as most of us are presented with integrity-based choices every day. However it doesn’t have to be that complicated and for most of us, we can build our integrity by remembering these five simple points3:

 

  1. Consistency – in our words and actions
  2. Morality – expecting high standards of behaviours from ourselves
  3. Trustworthy – taking responsibility for our own feelings and actions
  4. Honesty – speaking the truth
  5. Authenticity – being genuine and sincere

 

A really simple way of testing integrity is to ask yourself: would your actions or behaviours meet the approval of someone that you want to gain the approval of? If not, why would you continue with this behaviour or action if it will cause concern or disapproval?

 

At Right Trax Training, we are passionate about helping your business and your people to develop. Get in touch to find out how we can help.

 

 

1 Pharmaceutical companies receive record fines

2 Why integrity is never easy

3 The irony of integrity

Science or Magic? How to Build Trust Through Openness
17 Aug

Science or Magic? How to Build Trust Through Openness

With openness being one of the top five drivers of trust1, why do so many organisations neglect to develop this essential quality in their leaders and managers? After all, it’s not rocket science…or is it?

 

Openness is considered to be a philosophy or theory that encompasses being accessible and receptive to ideas, opinions and knowledge, whilst being transparent and collaborative in management style and decision-making2. Doesn’t sound too difficult, does it? Yet so many employees feel that openness is not practiced, with issues in the workplace ranging from low confidence, lack of ability or understanding and even the misconception that being open gives the perception of being less authoritative.

 

However, employees become frustrated with this apparent lack of openness and are under no illusions when it comes to organisational challenges and issues; and management appearing closed simply serves to escalate the frustration. Without the transparency or collaboration required for openness, employees will replace these missing elements and fill in the gaps for themselves.

 

There’s just some magic in truth, honesty and openness.

Frank Ocean

 

With this in mind, what can you do to develop your openness?

 

1. Be visible and engaged

Don’t hide behind a hierarchical management structure or bland generalised emails. Get out there with your teams, let them see you and feel your presence and become more personally engaged in them as people. Learn about your people, move away from ‘safe’ banal chit chat and discover them as individuals rather than the tasks or role that they do.

 

2. Be accountable and committed

Never underestimate how important it is to take ownership of your messages and decisions. Employees may not always agree with you, however they will more often than not respect you for owning a message or action. It demonstrates commitment and transparency which helps employees to understand issues and challenges. Most importantly it is a fundamental part in helping people to manage and cope with change.

 

3. Be consistent

Build confidence and trust by ensuring your actions and behaviours are consistent. Employees waste too much time trying to gauge the mood of their manager or which way they will be behave, so take ownership and be consistent.

 

4. Listen and encourage feedback

Your people don’t just want you to hear them but to actually listen and take note of their opinions and feedback. It’s a full time job really listening and understanding exactly what is being said, especially if you consider the amount of change and uncertainty that may be taking place in the current climate. Your employee’s feedback will tell you so much more than any report or survey; after all, they are seeing the business from the front line and their observations can be critical to resolving issues early on or recognising when things are or aren’t working.

 

5. Express your opinion

Whilst it is great that you ask your employees for their feedback, don’t be afraid of giving yours as well. As mentioned earlier, they may not agree but by understanding your thinking process and the bigger picture they can start to appreciate situations a lot more. Be confident in your opinions but not overtly authoritative – remember you’re encouraging a participative style of leadership by asking for opinions and feedback of others so strike a healthy balance of assertiveness.

 

Trust is the underpinning value in creating effective working relationships and has a direct impact in increasing employee engagement and satisfaction. Therefore it is critical that leaders and managers are able to demonstrate trust to their employees, customers and shareholders alike. Hopefully we have shown that this isn’t rocket science, however that doesn’t mean it’s easy although still something that must be invested in.

 

At Right Trax Training, we can help you and your people to develop the key drivers of trust. Get in touch to find out more.


1 ILM

2 Openness

TRUST…Reported AWOL From the Workplace
03 Aug

TRUST…Reported AWOL From the Workplace

trust in management training

If trust is the glue of life, then is it fair to say that we are coming ‘unstuck’ within the world of business?

 

“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships”

Stephen Covey

 

Every week there seem to be new issues or events being reported where the decisions and behaviours of an individual or an organisation are shown as being unethical or lacking integrity. With recent stories relating to the poor treatment of employees at Sports Direct1, claims of unauthorised access to their offices from the Labour MP Seema Malhotra2 and inquiries into BHS calling for a restoral of public trust3, it certainly appears that levels of trust and integrity are at an all-time low.

 

With each fresh ethical scandal comes a huge amount of tension and hostility in the workplace, with companies paying the price both financially and reputationally. Therefore it is vital for employers to step up and confront these issues head on by committing to developing the cultural integrity within their organisations.

 

Trust-Definition

A study from Chartered Management Institute has revealed more than one in three managers admit they ‘bent the truth at least once a day’ and almost 30% ‘regularly ditched’ ethics at work4. If trust is about reliability, truth and ability, how do employees equip their managers and leaders to re-focus on principles and not personal gain?

 

The answer is not rocket science…research5 has shown that there are five fundamental skills and qualities that leaders and managers need in order to drive trust:

  1. Openness
  2. Communication
  3. The ability to make decisions
  4. Integrity
  5. Competence

 

“Never trust a man, who when left alone with a tea cosy… Doesn’t try it on.”

Billy Connolly

 

Trust underpins relationships within the workplace and impacts on an employee’s perception of the organisation as well as their manager. By focusing on developing these five drivers of trust, partly through management training, employee engagement will increase which in turn will drive performance.

 

Therefore it is vital that organisations start leading by example and invest in some ‘glue’ to create environments which reward integrity and ethical behaviours – after all, if trust is the foundational principle that holds all relationships, why wouldn’t you?

 

At Right Trax Training, we can help your people to develop the key drivers for trust. Find out more about the management training that we offer or get in touch to talk about how we can help.


 

1 People Management

2 BBC News

3 RetailWeek

4 Daily Mail

5 ILM

Why You MUST Invest in Your People, or Face the Consequences
06 Jul

Why You MUST Invest in Your People, or Face the Consequences

There is more uncertainty within the workplace than ever before. Are your people equipped with the skills and knowledge to successfully take your organisation into the future?

 

Many organisations will be trying to anticipate the future which for many will mean reviewing budgets and expenses until the economic environment becomes more stable. All too often this will have a direct impact on training and development budgets and unfortunately many development events will be reduced or even stopped. This can leave employees feeling disengaged and even more uncertain of their future and just as importantly, may impact on their overall capability.

 

An investment in knowledge, pays the best interest

Benjamin Franklin

 

The focus must remain on investing in your people, however it may mean prioritising differently or looking at alternative solutions. Review the Learning and Development strategy to ensure that it is aligned to the business objectives and it includes a clearly defined plan on developing a talent pipeline that will deliver your organisational goals.

 

Remember that whilst strategies, plans and decisions are being made your employees are still working hard to achieve the goals and objectives of the business. Take this time to show commitment to your teams and support them during this time of change, whether through management training or perhaps a range of relevant interpersonal skills workshops. Provide development opportunities that will give them the knowledge and skills to not only withstand the new world but to be more resilient and able to embrace the potential changes that may lie ahead.

 

You don’t build a business, you build people and the people build the business

Zig Ziglar

 

Before you strike a line through the training plan, stop and think of the long-term cost and ask the question: can we really afford not to invest in our people’s development?

 

At Right Trax Training, we can help to make your training an investment rather than a cost. Find out more about the management training and interpersonal skills workshops that we offer or get in touch to talk about how we can help.

 

Are YOU Taking Control of YOUR Learning and Development?
04 May

Are YOU Taking Control of YOUR Learning and Development?

employee training and development

It is very easy to expect organisations and managers to provide everything for employee training and development needs, but do we do enough to take control for ourselves?

 

A recent survey by Penna Consultancy shows the disparity between managers’ and employees’ opinions about how they feel they are supported in their career.

 

“91% of managers agree that they support employees with opportunities, definitely or sometimes, despite 29% of employees saying that they don’t.“1

 

This means that one out of every three employees don’t feel supported – not a great place to be. Realistically though, regardless of where your support comes from, who should be owning your learning and development and providing suitable opportunities…you or your manager?

 

How many of these statements do you recognise?

  • I’m waiting to have my review with my manager.
  • There are no training courses I can sign up to at my company.
  • The sign-off process for training is really complicated.
  • There is no budget for development or training courses.
  • I don’t have the time to focus on my development.
  • I don’t know what I can / should do.

 

We can easily pass the buck to someone else; it’s much more difficult to face the truth and take control for yourself. So, what can we do to break these bad habits? How can we start to take back the control?

 

Try these three simple steps:

 

  1. Take some time for self-reflection:
  • Ask yourself what opportunities did you take advantage of and have you created any for yourself? Try completing a SWOT analysis – this is a process of self-analysis and personal reflection of your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to personally evaluate your development needs. Download our SWOT template to get started!

 

  1. Identify your goals and aspirations:
  • Consider the goals that are important to you and think about what skills, knowledge and experiences you will need to get there. Find some help on this here in one of our recent blogs.

 

  1. Create your own personal development plan
  • We don’t mean a PDP that you only pay lip service to! Pull everything together to create your own tailored plan. Keep it simple using a straightforward format that can be easily referred to and updated.

 

So the next time you think you haven’t had any development or support from your manager, remember it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. After all “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” Zig Ziglar

 

At Right Trax Training, we are passionate about helping you to take control! Find out more about our employee training and development and get in touch to discuss how we can help.


1 http://www.penna.com/news-and-opinion/news-details/2016/03/23/mind-the-perception-gap

How Is Stress Affecting You?
27 Apr

How Is Stress Affecting You?

It’s now the leading cause of workplace sickness and affects one in five of us1. When will organisations realise that they or their people can no longer afford to ignore stress?

 

In 2014/2015, stress accounted for 35% of all work related ill-health cases with 9.9million working days lost2 and with less than three out of five organisations taking a proactive approach to identify and reduce stress in the workplace3. This is clearly an important issue for organisations to address, when we further consider that a recent CIPD 2015 Absence Management report states:

 

Workload remains the most common cause of stress, followed by non-work relationships, family, management style and relationships at work’3.

 

What constitutes ‘stress’ and what does it do to us?

Essentially, stress is a physical response by the body when it feels under attack or threatened. In these situations, we experience the ‘fight or flight’ response, where a combination of hormones and chemicals are released to prepare the body for action. This in turn causes a number of different reactions, from heart-pounding to clammy hands; all of which is the body’s way of protecting us.

 

When does stress become unhelpful and damaging?

It doesn’t matter if we’re stressed at being stuck in traffic or facing a life-threatening situation, the body will react exactly in the same way. Therefore, if you are frequently experiencing ‘fight or flight’ in your daily life it will start to impact upon your physical, emotional and mental health.

 

What are the impacts of stress for organisations?

 

  • High employee absence / presenteeism rates.
  • Workloads and resources stretched too thinly.
  • Increased accidents and mistakes.
  • Increased workplace conflict and grievances.
  • Damage to brand and reputation.
  • Damage to goodwill, motivation and engagement.
  • Increased liability for personal injury.
  • …and the list goes on!

 

How can you recognise the signs of stress?

There are four potential symptoms to look out for:

Cognitive

Emotional

  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgment
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Constant worrying
  • Moodiness
  • Irritability or short temper
  • Agitation, inability to relax
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Sense of loneliness and isolation
  • Depression or general unhappiness

Physical

Behavioural

  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Nausea, dizziness
  • Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Frequent colds

 

  • Eating more or less
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Isolating yourself from others
  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

The symptoms are not extraordinarily difficult to recognise, however prevention is better than cure. From the research and evidence being presented, it’s clear that many organisations need to be much more proactive to create a healthy environment where their employees can be effective and productive.

 

At Right Trax Training, we are passionate about helping organisations to develop their people to be better at what they do. Get in touch today to find out how we can help.


1http://www.stress.org.uk

2http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress/index.htm

3https://www.cipd.co.uk/binaries/absence-management_2015.pdf

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: How Do You Use Yours?
06 Apr

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: How Do You Use Yours?

mbti training workshops

INTJ? ESFP? Can you recall your MBTI ‘Type’ and are you really getting the most value out of your profile? We’d guess: probably not.

 

Companies spend vast amounts of money on personality profiles to invest in their employees as part of team development events, individual coaching support, training or workshops.  When we receive a personality profile such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®), so many of us are astounded at how accurate it appears to be. We are wowed by the insight it provides us with, particularly in how we relate and communicate with others personally and professionally. Yet what do we actually then do with this valuable information?

 

MBTI® is a typical example of a popular tool that is under utilised or mis-used within organisations. In our experience, we see the impact of this when many people are unable to recall their Type or what it means for them in terms of everyday life. MBTI® has several layers which, when explored, uncover a whole new depth to it’s meaning.

 

The four letters at first seem like a complex code that needs to be solved. Whilst it is important to get to grips with the preferences such as I, E, S, N, etc., the real power lies in understanding how the preferences within your Type interact with each other.  Unfortunately, too many fail to explore this part of MBTI®, missing out on this vital development be it due to lack of desire, time or opportunity.  Discovering the dynamics of MBTI® should be challenging yet fun, not to mention extremely thought provoking.

 

At Right Trax Training we are experienced in exploring the dynamics of the MBTI® and are delighted to work with teams and individuals to really get under the skin of it…and we are passionate about making this an enjoyable and inspiring experience for all.

 

Get in touch to find out how to get the most from your MBTI training and workshops.

How to Have Goals That Make the Most of Your Development!
16 Sep

How to Have Goals That Make the Most of Your Development!

How many times have you left a training course or workshop armed with best intentions to put your goal setting into place? And how many of these manage to escape your dusty drawer to see the light of day?

Many organisations are committed to investing time and money into their employees, which of course is very positive, however where the development often fails is in ensuring that learning is applied in everyday situations.

At the end of most courses or workshops the Trainer will ask you to complete an action plan or a commitment…sound familiar? Yet how often do you go back to these and implement them? Most of us have very good intentions although we often get back to the office with an overflowing inbox and deadlines to meet, meaning our best placed intentions simply fly out of the window.

Help is at hand

Let’s talk about goals…and yes we’ll remind ourselves of SMART objective setting while we’re at it! Setting goals is much more than just saying you want something to happen. How can you expect to achieve anything unless you clearly define your goal?

Here are some pointers to check your goals, objectives and action plans against:

 

SMART Things to Consider
Specific
  • Clearly define your goal in terms of what you want to achieve
  • Define precisely where you want to end up at
Measurable
  • Will changes be measured numerically or by behaviour
  • If unable to measure, how will you know when you’ve gotten there?
Achievable
  • It may sound silly, but make sure you can realistically achieve the goal!
  • Set goals that “raise the bar” within reasonable limits and that can be achieved with the resources available to you
Relevant
  • You need to believe that it is a worthwhile goal for where you are now
  • Goals should be relevant to the direction you want your life and career to take
Timebound
  • Your goals must have a deadline; no timeframe means that the end may never be achieved
  • Think about what you can do now, in the next six weeks, six months and so on

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Without goals we often lack focus and direction. Goal setting not only allows you to take more control of your life’s direction; it also provides you a benchmark for determining whether you are achieving what you want to.

5 Golden Rules of Goal Setting

  1. Set goals that motivate you
  2. Set goals in writing
  3. Make an action plan
  4. Review it regularly
  5. Check your progress and adapt your actions accordingly

So remember, the next time you attend a training course or a workshop and you’ve been asked to set objectives or write an action plan, really challenge yourself to create something that’s worthwhile and helps you to achieve your goals.

At Right Trax Training, we specialise in developing your business through your key asset; your people. Get in touch to find out how we can help your people to get the most from their development!

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