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Paula Marshall's Blog

The musings of a female CEO, trying to change the way business is done.

When you understand what EQ is, it becomes and exciting and dynamic dimension of Organizational Behavior and communication. EQ, at its basest form, is empathy. Being able to feel what others are feeling, relate to it, and help them work through it to become more productive, and to form important work relationships.

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We can't forget what's under the surface.

We can't forget what's under the surface.

 

 

The textbook definition of EQ (or Emotional Intelligence Quotient) defines it as the ability, capacity, skill or  a self-perceived ability to identify, assess, and manage the emotions of one’s self, of others, and of groups.

Sounds boring. But, when you understand what it is, it becomes and exciting and dynamic dimension of Organizational Behavior and communication. EQ, at its basest form, is empathy. Being able to feel what others are feeling, relate to it, and help them work through it to become more productive, and to form important work relationships. Many people want to work on their EQ in order to improve their personal relationships, and their well-being. However, we employ it in a way that can help all of the above. 

When there’s a lack of communication in the workplace, we begin to assume that everyone’s actions are founded in bad intentions. That, since everyone is out for themselves and those bonuses (see: Restructuring CEO Compensation),  that the workplace must be every man for himself. We must sacrifice everyone else to get ahead. If you have an organization of 100 people, and each is going out for their best interest, the direction of the company is split in 100 different ways, and mistrust is bred again and again.

In order to enact Deming’s principals, we must retrain our brains. We must retrain them to “assume positive intent” throughout all of our workplace interactions. At Bama, we train all employees in an extensive 3 day course of EQ. Dusty Staub, CEO of Staub Leadership, and author of “The 7 Acts of Courage” and “The Heart of Leadership,” has structured our EQ training to include ways to understand and be compassionate towards your fellow worker and teammate, instead of suspect and mistrust them.

Some of the most important parts of the EQ training are:

 

  • Seek to Understand; Instead of assuming that a colleague’s actions are intended to negatively affect you, seek to understand why they have performed these actions. Perhaps something is going on with them at home, or maybe they feel overworked. Things are not always as they appear.
  • Courageous Conversations; sometimes when there’s an issue, we prefer to be non-confrontational. This causes the issue to bubble under the surface, and causes us to act passive aggressively toward someone. In our EQ training we teach employees to confront the problem head on in a respectful, docile way–they should be seeking to understand.
  • Trust; We have to listen to and value our colleagues, trust what they say and that they are doing what’s best for the organization, just as we want to be trusted of the same.

Many large companies are employing some of the same techniques, such as McDonald’s “Three Legged Stool” Philosophy, or Google’s new mission to bring mindfulness to its employees. This video is a lesson in Mindful Meditation from Jon Kabat-Zinn, to Google University.

EQ is the most comprehensive way to train employees to respect each other, and to have the same goal in mind: advancing your organization.

 

And just for fun, take this quiz to determine your Emotional Intelligence!

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