EQ- Part II
In part two of our emotional intelligence exploration, we’ll cover the next two sections- Social Awareness and Relationship Management. These two competencies focus more on the interpersonal side of things. Even if you’re cool, calm, and collected on a personal level, how well do you actually interact with others?
The empathy aspect of social awareness simply cannot be achieved without first having a high level of emotional self awareness. Without this awareness, you’re left with sympathy. What’s the difference? An article by Psychology Today shows the perfect representation from pity to compassion. Sympathy is caring about one’s suffering while empathy is feeling their suffering.
Do you ever walk into a room and feel the vibe? That’s organizational awareness. You’re able to assess the power structure- who’s in charge, or the general tone. Beyond that, you can adapt to that vibe. If it’s a serious, ominous meeting, you might not take such a playful tone. Conversely, if it’s a fun setting, you’ll take a less serious tone.
I remember back in second grade when I first was introduced to social skills. Each week we were taught a new skill and we practiced those skills, building our little treasure chest of social skills to use throughout our lives. I don’t recall all of them, but I do remember they all started with “Pause, look them in the eye, and do XYZ” (i.e. shake their hand, say hello, say thank you). While basic gestures, these hold true no matter your age. However, I’m going to blame our ever-invasive technology again for the deterioration of such basic skills.
How often do you interact with someone and are asked “Hi, how are you?” and respond instinctively with “I’m fine, thanks” and continue on with whatever you were doing. Or maybe you’re at the grocery store check-out and don’t bother to put your phone away long enough to even have a conversation with your cashier, make eye contact with your flight attendants while boarding a plane, or look up to thank your server while out to dinner?
It’s small changes we can all implement daily that can impact someone’s day- if even for a second.
Seek input, acknowledge the effort of others, and give praise and recognition when warranted. Good leaders listen to understand, not to respond. We’ve all had those people who have left a lasting impression or helped shape who you are- for better or worse. Be someone other people can look up to and learn from. Maybe it’s how you present ideas to a client by stating “this is what I heard you liked and this is the solution I’m proposing”. What you may deem a meaningless interaction may in fact have a huge impact on someone else.
Coach & Mentor
Not all people are meant to be leaders/managers/mentors. That’s ok! These people likely excel in some other area. Or maybe you’re a really present parent who is constantly teaching your kids new things. That’s the best type of coach and mentor!
On the surface, you may think this is simply the ability to manage conflicts in your personal life. It is, but what about work? Are you the type of person who can dish out honest feedback to your team when it isn’t always the most glamorous? Do you dread the thought of firing someone for poor performance? If you cower at the first sign of avoiding conflict, you might lack in this area.
In a culture where freelance is prevalent, it’s easy to NOT be part of a team. However, it’s entirely possible to be on the same team daily, but not possess a teamwork competency. I personally being part of my Zaengle team. Interacting with my crew daily has helped me grow my skill set and knowledge base. I gather feedback (whether directly or passively) from my team that helps me be a stronger team member now and on future projects. In our industry, strong teamwork happens when everyone is gathering feedback to integrate into their own flow, communicating early and often, or putting in the extra hours when Crunch Time hits.
Some days you’re the inspired, other days you’re inspiring. This give and take opens you up for a rich lifetime of learning and relationship building. I love being inspired by those around me and using their experiences as learning opportunities for myself. Where do you look for inspiration? How do you hope to inspire your teams?
Curious how your EQ ranks? Check out this short quiz by the Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2015/06/quiz-y...