My Emotional Intelligence Could Use Some Work…
A beautiful Yorkshire Summer morning got off to a great start this past Monday. And here’s why…
7.27am, my Mac has just begun to wake up for the day ahead – rather like me. Our 10 month old little girl is now sleeping through the night most nights, and rising from bed at 7am for is a much appreciated gift!
Emails being to download and pop up on my screen. Lots of Spam, an abundance of advertisements I had never and would never subscribe to (Why would I need Viagra? I have a beautiful 10 month old gorgeous girl gently cradled in my left arm). But one email catches my eye, and peaks my attention. An intriguing Subject Line: “Scott, my Emotional Intelligence needs some work”.
My intrigue is immediate, my drowsy brain instantly switches to full-on power. Why would someone I had met and coached more than 8 years previous choose to email me out of the blue and mention that they needed support? Well, it became quite straightforward to understand as I read Richard’s email.
“Scott, good morning
Remember around seven years ago you coached me ahead of my promotion to Finance Director? Even if you don’t, I do. I’m about to be promoted to Group Chief Executive and I have begun to notice that there are some occasions when I should keep quiet and let my colleagues speak, but I don’t. Could we have a chat over the phone and see how you can help me with the transition?”
Some of the message has been removed, but don’t the words above speak volumes about Richard’s predicament, standards and self awareness? Absolutely! During our telephone discussion it became apparent that Richard’s desire to support his direct reports to do the best job possible was being hampered by his inability on some occasions to hear them out, rather than jump in with his answer or solution. And providing answers and solutions when answers weren’t required and solutions had already in many cases been identified by his direct reports, was becoming an unhealthy habit.
We spoke on three occasions, each time for around 60 minutes. Richard began to notice how his impulsiveness was being driven by a desire to ‘lead’, but was becoming intertwined with ‘interfering’, and this was potentially damaging to individual and team morale. Richard decided that giving his direct reports to invite him to ‘ssshhh’ when he interrupted was a positive step in resolving his internal conflict, and enabling colleagues to ‘manage him’. And it worked!
In which situations might you want or need a little makeover with your Emotional Intelligence? And how might your organisation benefit if you did?