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.

How to Empower Your Team
08 Feb

How to Empower Your Team

How to Empower Your Team

Being a manager often means that your achievements depend largely on the achievements of your team. It stands to reason then that the more empowered they are, the bigger the benefits for you, them and the business.

 

What is ‘Empowerment’?

Not to be confused with delegating tasks or responsibilities, ‘empowerment’ involves giving the authority or power to do something, which can lead to people becoming stronger and more confident.

 

Why bother?

Just think back to a time when you have felt empowered – either in your personal or professional life. Motivation is high, ambition is a driving force and morale and mindset are focused. Now multiply this impact within a team, a department, an organisation and empowerment suddenly becomes a huge differentiator.

 

Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over, instead of craving control over what you don’t.

Steve Maraboli

 

What are the Influencing factors?

You may be thinking ‘This all sounds great, but my organisation doesn’t allow me to empower my people!’, and you may be right; to a degree. Sure, the culture may not be perfect and the top-down influence of the leadership team may leave a lot to be desired, but don’t underestimate the individual impact that you can make as a people manager!

 

Identify the blockers and barriers, then work out which you can address and influence yourself. We see a lot of managers espousing the virtues of empowerment, however they refuse to relinquish control for various reasons such as fear of failure – a valid risk – but consider the benefits of a controlled risk, and if things do go wrong, what can be learned for next time?

 

Where to start?

Here are our top 5 tips to get you started!

1. Build Trust (over time)

Developing a sense of empowerment within your team will take time; there is no silver bullet and it won’t happen overnight. Spend time with people and support them both professionally and personally (where appropriate). Ask questions and really listen to what they have to say. Learn what makes each person tick and tune in to how they each communicate and adapt your style accordingly to build relationships with trust as the foundation.

2. Give Them Boundaries

We should all know where the boundaries and parameters are. What do you expect people to get on with, without permission or input from you and where should they check-in? Build up and extend the boundaries gradually and generously.

3. Believe In Them and Provide Challenge

As trust builds and boundaries are established, you must also demonstrate a belief in people and their abilities. This is an excellent time to highlight the importance of coaching and feedback to pinpoint all the strengths that can be leveraged and what can be built on and developed going forward. Create an open and constructive environment for progression and challenge, and encourage people to challenge you back.

4. Invest in People and Their Development

You need to speculate to accumulate! Invest both money and time in formal and informal development. Think about 70:20:10; how can people develop on-the-job, from others and formally? Yes, it may be easier for you to take charge and control in the short-term (“If you want something done right, do it yourself!”), however it doesn’t help you or the team in the long-term. We all know and appreciate this, but often don’t act upon it.

5. Remember the Interpersonal / Soft Skills

Following on from number four, it’s all too easy to focus on the technical training needs of your team and overlook the importance of interpersonal skills. When you’re deciding on where to invest in, consider a rounded approach and provide development in key areas such as communication, presentation skills and resilience (to name but a few!).

Good luck empowering your team!

 

Get in touch to find out how we can help to empower your people and your business. Learn more about our interpersonal skills workshops.

Why We Must Adapt and Change
11 Jan

Why We Must Adapt and Change

management training

‘Adapt or die.’ We hear it time and time again, directed at businesses in danger of extinction, but how often do we look at our own need to change in order to survive?

 

We can all reel off a list of organisations who did indeed ‘die’, as well as some who have brought it back from the brink or who are still clinging on to the edge, for now at least. What we hear less about is our individual and personal need to adapt. Sure, we may make the right noises about changing to become more effective and some of us will do it and enjoy it, but how many of us carry on blithely stuck in our comfortable ruts on autopilot?

screen-shot-2017-01-06-at-11-17-19

 

The lessons from high profile examples of failing to adapt are important because each of these businesses employed many people who individually or collectively failed to do just that. Perhaps one of the most common examples being the video rental company Blockbuster. They successfully made the transition from VHS to DVD but failed to recognise how popular streaming services would be. The result: they got left behind and have long since been out of the race. In fact, Blockbuster was offered the chance to buy Netflix in 2000 for a snip at $50 million, considering the $41 billion it is worth at the time of writing. The reason? It was seen as a “very small niche business.”

 

Some seem to be taking notice and learning from the mistakes of others, with Kodak emerging from bankruptcy in 2013 to look at new technological ideas to survive and Sega, once a dominating gaming and software force to be reckoned with, admitting that they made the wrong decisions for 20 years.

 

dead

This link between organisations needing to adapt and our own need to change makes complete sense. As the demand for new ways of working, creative ideas and management training forces business to adapt to compete and stay ahead, so too must we develop our own skillset to stay not just current, but ahead of the curve.

 

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

Charles Darwin, 1809

 

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to consider: how do you need to change and adapt? Switch off autopilot for a second, lift your head and re-evaluate the big questions that you may not have even asked yourself yet. There’s no doubt that 2016 was a shaky year for many of us, so do yourself a favour and get yourself ready for 2017 and beyond.

 

At Right Trax Training, we are passionate about helping your people to adapt and change. Find out more about the management training that we offer or get in touch to talk about how we can help.

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

Personality Profiling: Do Opposites Really Attract?
03 Nov

Personality Profiling: Do Opposites Really Attract?

At Right Trax Training, we use personality profiling to support our own, often opposing styles…which can be ‘fun’!

 

Personality profiling is something that we feel passionate about. For us, we deliver much in the way of MBTI and Insights Discovery training and workshops. Tools like these can benefit the workplace and relationships immensely, if used in the ‘right‘ way.

 

Here’s an overview of how we differ:

CHRISYVETTE
Conscious preferenceIntroverted ThinkingExtroverted Feeling
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®ISTJENFP
MBTI Personality Types®
Insights Discovery® conscious colour order
We’ve gained great value from completing various personality profiles, which have helped us to understand that we are very different in our styles, approaches and preferences. This in turn has allowed us to develop the areas we may need to ‘turn up’ or focus on and leverage what comes really naturally to us.

 

Perhaps the biggest benefit however, is using the information to show us where each other is stronger (yes: and weaker), so that we can bounce off each other – which works great whether we’re deep in the detail of a proposal or facilitating events at fast pace!

 

All too often, we hear that opposites clash, and that we will lock horns with anyone very different to us. Of course, that may be true sometimes, but truly understanding our own preferences allows us to adapt and connect much more effectively with those around us, so that we easily complement and synergise with those who are opposite to us.

CHRISYVETTE
Tendency to…Focus on detail and pragmatismFocus on the intuitive and possibilities
Aim for perfectionKnow when good is good enough
Might say…“Have you proofread this?”“I gave it a quick scan!”
“But how is it going to work?”“We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”
Key strengthAnalytical and systematicInteractive and inspirational approach
Key weaknessImpatient with others he sees as having lower standardsCan over-react to relatively small issues
When communicating, do…Respect his values and principlesBe alive and entertaining
When communicating, do not…Dismiss his thoughts or ideas as negativeAssume that her sunny disposition means that she agrees with everything you say
Can easily leverage…Critical analysisGenerating quick ideas
Consciously focuses on turning up…Energy for training delivery and facilitationAttention to detail

Get in touch to find out more about the MBTI and Insights Discovery training and workshops that we offer and how they can help your people and your business!

Leadership Lessons from Sports Direct
14 Sep

Leadership Lessons from Sports Direct

We are discovering more and more about failings at the major sports retailer. With such a huge example being made, it’s our responsibility to learn from it.

 

It seemed that things couldn’t get much worse for Sports Direct, having recently been embroiled in controversy surrounding huge issues like minimum wage, zero hour contracts, and shareholder revolt. Then, founder Mike Ashley pulls out a wad of £50 notes during a HQ tour and ‘open day’, surrounded by (we assume), many of his aforementioned minimum wage and / or zero hour contract employees.

 


Video credit: 5 News

 

No matter the size of your organisation, lessons can be learned from the leadership example set by Sports Direct or comparative examples such as BHS and Sir Philip Green.

 

  1. Keep it real

Ashley stated to MPs during a recent Business Select Committee that he wasn’t aware of much that was going on. So, essentially he failed to spot signs that would have surely indicated what was really going on. Was he unaware or did he turn a blind eye?

 

What can we learn: Whether unaware or not, as a leader the buck stops with him and the Board, and ignorance is no excuse for failings, no matter how big or small they are.

 

  1. Focus on engagement

Much has been commented on about the Sports Direct six strikes policy, which bred a culture of fear and job insecurity for staff making minor misdemeanors. This is just one example of how antiquated HR policies set at the top filter down to influence the feel and performance of an organisation.

 

What can we learn: Putting effort into developing a positive organisational culture, reducing staff turnover and increasing employee engagement must be viewed as a priority as well as being great for the bottom line of any business.

 

  1. Inspire through leadership

Sports Direct has taken a forceful and contentious path to growing the brand, largely through dominant and neglectful leadership. This leads us to bigger questions about the organisational strategy, goals and values of Sports Direct which were clearly aligned to pounds and pence rather than other positive outcomes, which in turn has informed their culture and approach to lacklustre employee care and engagement.

 

What can we learn: With an aligned approach, the same outcome that is more sustainable could well have been achieved through an influential, inclusive and nurturing approach to leadership (albeit perhaps over a longer timeline).

 

An example like Sports Direct teaches us that there is always much that we can learn about the leadership influence in our own organisations and the subsequent impact on culture, engagement and overall success.

 

At Right Trax Training, we can help your managers to promote a positive culture with high employee engagement through their leadership ability. Get in touch to find out more.

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

Keeping Insights Discovery® Alive!
18 May

Keeping Insights Discovery® Alive!

insights discovery training

We meet so many people who (thankfully) leave our Insights Discovery training events having had a fantastic learning experience, yet they then get sucked back into the manic day-to-day of working life.

 

Sound familiar?

 

As we work with many of you to deliver Insights Discovery® training, we think / feel (geddit?!) that this is a great place to give a few pointers on how to keep Insights alive for you and your team.

 

The following links contain simple instructions to a few activities you can carry out with your team to make sure that learning from the Insights Discovery® profile continues long after the learning event.

 

Communicating with Impact

A great follow-up activity to any Insights Discovery® event. Ever wondered how you could better tune in for even more effective communication with your team? Or how to tell those around you exactly how you’d prefer them to communicate with you? Well now’s your chance to find out! Get in touch if you’d like us to send you the PowerPoint version of the template so that you can make your own communication matrix for the team.

 

Talking About Insights

Lots of teams ask us “How can we keep the focus on Insights once the initial buzz dies down?”…and the answer is often to simply keep talking about it! In this activity, you’ll find 10 talking points to use during your team time; either all at once (although that might take a while), or you could pick out a couple to put on each agenda across a few team meetings.

 

Your Value to the Team

This is one of our ultimate favourites, because it gives each and every team the opportunity to do something that they seldom do: offer each other positive and constructive feedback! Find out what your team sees as your biggest value…chances are, you’ll be surprised.

 

Dig in and have fun keeping Insights alive! You can keep up-to-date on new activities and materials that are added from our resources page.

 

Get in touch if you would like to discuss the activities in more detail, or if you would like some ideas on other ways to keep Insights alive. Find out more about the Insights Discovery training that we offer.

FREE WEBINAR
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