I was speaking with an interesting man, the other day. Our conversation naturally turned to Social and Emotional Intelligence (or maybe I unconsciously steered it that way.) He posed a question that I thought perhaps more people would want to know the answer to.
He said he works with someone in his organization who is known for having low emotional intelligence. He described this person, in his words, not mine, as being unempathetic to others or what they were going through, not being able to control his emotions or even care about those around him. Although he was very good at his job technically his office had a high turnover, and morale at best was lukewarm with certain managers but overall abysmal. He personally stayed because he loved the work. So he was asking, "How do I deal with someone who lacks EI (emotional intelligence)?"
It's important to remember that culture starts from the top down, so if a leader exhibits certain qualities he will most likely be around people who...
Social and Emotional Intelligence has been my focus for as long as I can remember. Academically I got good grades, but when it came to dealing with the social side of at school I found it so much more interesting, challenging and rewarding. I loved making friends, navigating the cliches and tribes and dealing with the ups and downs of relationships.
Fast forward to my career in professional and leadership development today, and whether it was helping introverted engineers develop soft skills, helping shy entrepreneurs network, or coaching C-Level executives to communicate with heart and passion, it was all tied back to these 26 skills that dramatically change your life once you conscientiously begin to work on them.
I live, eat, and breathe Social and Emotional Intelligence(SEI) and although it has been around academically since the early 1990’s (actually references to it much earlier than that and really since the dawn of man), it is still kind of a mystery to the average...
I was talking to a friend on the phone and he was complaining about a coveted award he recently received. And although I was not jealous I just felt sick about it. Why and how could an award that is nationally recognized be seen as a pain, and so negative? And why did my friend see it as a negative thing?
We can say and even feel grateful for promotions, raises, awards and talk about them. More importantly is how we decide to talk about them, and the words and energy we put behind them.
Many people might think it is bragging and go the opposite way and go “Oh I got a raise” :( in a sarcastic and yes I did it a frowny face way. But that can be insensitive to the person who wanted the raise, award or praise.
Gratitude comes out in our body language, words choice, the decisions we make, and the tone of our words.
It’s ok to feel happy about something you worked hard on and for.
And it is exciting to celebrate with your friends so to highlight your awards here are some...
“When was the last time you actually said to someone’s face, I don’t want to be friends with you anymore”? I overheard this while sitting in a local coffee shop working. It was two friends in their early 40’s talking about friendship.
She posed a good question.
In fact, I wondered when was the last time I said that? Technology makes it easy to “unfriend”, “block”, “unfollow” those whom you deem unworthy of friendship, and while it is easy, it isn’t forcing us to have those difficult conversations about our feelings and why we feel that way and talking about it and truly feeling it.
So to my surprise, I just saw a new app that is supposed to foster higher levels of employee engagement. This app by its description, “. . . helps you in discovering your strengths and areas for improvement by receiving honest feedback from your employees and your friends in a private manner.”
In theory great idea, it runs...
Recently I was working with a difficult client. The senior manager had invited me to present expressly because he had a very difficult team. Now there are tough crowds... and there are TOUGH crowds.
I was the second presenter of the week. Before meeting with them, I sent out a questionnaire so I could really understand their needs and mindset before coaching them. The last inquiry on the questionnaires said "Q: What else should the presenter know before the meeting?" Someone wrote, "A: This is a tough crowd. You won't get any participation. Good Luck!!"
Talk about a setup!
On the day of my workshop, I mingled with the team and nearly everyone said the same thing, ‘Boy, good luck getting us to participate!’.
One person said to me, "If the guy [who presented] before you comes back next year, I am not coming." Apparently, the gentleman who was hired to inspire action in this team ahead of me got no participation and talked “at” this team for four (4) hours...
From moment to moment, I am always observing and evaluating how people relate to each other. I’m asking myself things like, “What did they do really well?" and "What made them connect?" or "What didn't work" and "What could they have done better?”
Over the last ten years, I have lived in numerous cities around the world and have seen a huge decline in what the U.S. was always known for . . . Customer Service. I had been living in Europe, Asia, and Australia where the customer service isn’t always great and, depending on where you go, you may wait for more than twenty minutes just to see your waitress at a local restaurant.
So when we decided to move back to The States, I was extremely excited to return to World Class Customer Service. No more bad attitudes and long waits. The land of where people would greet you with a smile as they usher you to your seat. But when I moved back and visited some of my favorite restaurants again, my American Dream was...
Recently, I had the pleasure of working with a group of eighty managers and senior leadership. I was in a room full of “tough guys”, men who were physically and mentally hardened by the long hours, long-distance commutes, and hard labor. Like nails, diamonds, and honors calculus, these guys were tough.
Typically “tough guys” aren't all about smiling for no reason. Usually, being flamboyant in energy and passionate in enthusiasm do not serve them as they weather difficult circumstances that require endurance and mental fortitude. These guys had a quiet strength, a calm energy, and a love for what they do for a living. Like many people pursuing the coveted “American Dream”, these guys had a healthy interest in creating and pursuing opportunities.
These tough guys had straight faces, folded arms and were relaxed back in their chairs. However, as we progressed and they started talking with each other and sharing experiences, advice, and knowledge, the...
Several months ago, I was speaking with a client about success habits within the leadership of her company. I was beyond shocked when she told me that most of the C-suite in her office take beta blockers right before they speak, to control their nerves. I thought to myself, 'WOW, there must be a better way to work with your nerves before you speak in front of your team, investors, clients, or anyone!' In fact, I’m certain there is a much better way. Here’s why.
According to the Mayo Clinic "Beta blockers, also known as beta-adrenergic blocking agents, are medications that reduce your blood pressure. Beta blockers work by blocking the effects of the hormone epinephrine, also known as adrenaline. When you take beta blockers, your heart beats more slowly and with less force, thereby reducing blood pressure. Beta blockers also help blood vessels open up to improve blood flow."
When someone takes a beta blocker, s/he is counteracting the natural gift we were given by nature....
I had a position in sales for my very first job, early in my career, and did lots of cold calling for a small family business. As with most things in life, jobs notwithstanding, it's all new and exciting and everything is wonderful on Day 1. If you have ever had a long-term relationship, a job for more than the probation period, or lived with someone, you know this is #truth.
As the routine sets in, people's true colors are revealed and things seem to change drastically, sometimes overnight. Excitedly jumping out of bed with pep in my step to go to work, quickly turned into peeling myself out of bed and begrudgingly dragging myself into an office that I dreaded.
Strangely, the leadership of my company always seemed happy and optimistic. They had smiles for miles and were always laughing and joking. If this was their experience and they didn't get “a case of the Mondays”, why was there such high turnover and low morale in their teams? They would hire one person one week,...
Over the course of a couple years, I sat down with 300+ individuals, from students to CEOs, to talk to them about their goals.
During these interviews, we talked about their perceived issues, why they felt the way they did, their obstacles, and why their goals were important. These interviews wholeheartedly confirmed something I had known my whole life; no matter where we are in life, or how good or bad we think we have it, we all face challenges.
Those who sat down with me were the brave few that were actually ready (or almost ready) to do something about it.
We talked about the feeling of not being heard, what it would feel like to really have people listen to you and how that would change the environment they work or live in.
With each subsequent question, my goal was to dig deeper and get to the fundamental why? Why was it important to be heard? Why was it important to be confident speaking in front of x? I asked 'why' 5 times, and with each of those why's they had to dig...
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