Why It’s Time To Double Down On Developing Emotionally Intelligent Behaviors – Episode 087

LFL 87 | Emotionally Intelligent Behaviors

 

The ability to identify and develop emotionally intelligent behaviors is key for personal and organizational success. In this episode, Patrick Veroneau talks about the origins of emotional intelligence and the behaviors that develop emotionally intelligent responses. With anxiety, fear, frustration, and anger rampant during a time of disruption, finding ways to manage these things is key as you enter a new type of normalcy. Get to know these need to have skills you have to develop to help yourself and everyone around you. Tune in as Patrick takes a deep dive into EQ and the ways it can be improved.

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Why It’s Time To Double Down On Developing Emotionally Intelligent Behaviors

In this episode, we’re going to talk about emotional intelligence and the origins behind it and why it works. This will be a series of workshops because what we’ll do is, we’ll break down each one of the behaviors that help to develop emotionally intelligent responses. That is important in the environment that we’re living in. If you didn’t think emotional intelligence was something that was relevant or important, my hope is that your outlook on this has changed because if you live in the world that most of us were living in that it is filled with anxiety, fear, frustration, and anger.

Unless we find ways to manage that either in ourselves or also in our ability to help others, we’re going to be in difficult situations as we start to re-enter with some normalcy. This is not nice to have a skill. It’s a need to have a skill going forward. There’s a lot of research that demonstrates why it’s important. As you know, this is the lead like no other show where I’m not only obsessed with interviewing those whose actions are inspiring others to do great things, but also in uncovering the research that demonstrates that we all have the ability to lead like no other and to rise above our best and it starts with ourselves. Let’s get into it.

Emotional Quotient

As I mentioned, this show will be the first in a series that we’ll explore, take a deep dive into emotional intelligence. What I want to do is to set the stage for why emotional intelligence is important. We’ll explore what is emotional intelligence or EI. Why is it important? Another thing that’s important to look at is, can it be improved? Can I improve my emotional intelligence? We’ll look at some research there as well as what does the research overall tells us about EI? The goal through this series of shows is to help you identify the skills that you can use, whether at home or at work, understand how the skills improve your effectiveness.

When you finish reading this blog, you’ll be able to have some tangible or actionable items that you can walk away with and you can start to develop this muscle yourself. When we first talk about it and say, what is emotional intelligence or emotional quotient? It’s our ability to perceive, understand, and manage both our emotions and the emotions of those around us. What it looks at to me in the work that I’ve been involved with is, there’s a connection between our emotions and how we behave, make decisions, and perform. That’s the simplest way that we can look at this.

If we think about it this way that my emotion if I’m angry, how I behave, the decisions I might make, and how I perform in that situation or if I’m anxious, frustrated, scared, stressed versus if I am in a positive place of feeling confident, happy, whatever that might be. How I am in each of those sections is going to be different? I’m going to perform differently if I’m confident versus if I’m scared. I’m going to make different decisions as well. The important thing here is to know that EI can be developed but it takes work and time, but it’s well worth that. As I said, this is not a nice to have. It’s a need to have. When we first looked at emotional intelligence, the belief is that it was conceptualized in around 1990 by two researchers, one named Peter Salovey and the other was Jack Mayer.

What’s interesting here is in 1998, Harvard Business Review had an article on emotional intelligence and it was the most requested reprint in 40 years which I find fascinating that we have a business journal that the most highly requested article is on emotional intelligence. To me, that speaks volumes about the piece that has been missing organizationally for decades is leaders and individuals understanding the impact and importance of developing emotionally intelligent behaviors. It’s not to say that it’s the panacea, but it certainly is not a soft skill. Developing emotionally intelligent behaviors is the strongest skill. I believe that you can develop or refine because it has many different aspects. Many different areas that benefit an individual in an organization. In 2002, Daniel Goleman had a book that he had written in 1995, that it became the most widely read social science book in the world. What we also find is that emotional intelligence is increasingly being used throughout the armed services. It’s also being added to business schools and medical schools as part of their curriculum. It has a wide-reaching impact. When we think about emotions, they play such a large role in our outward displays in our emotions. They help define our tone of voice that we might use. Are we sarcastic? Are we angry? Our body language, are we folding our arms? Are we tapping our fingers? Things like our facial expressions, smirks, rolling eyes, what are we doing with our body?

Improving Emotional Intelligence

How do we control those things? How do we read those things in other people? That’s part of this perception of understanding where other people are. You might be thinking, “Why is it important to improve emotional intelligence?” There were numerous studies in a number of different areas. A couple of that I’ll mention, one is work. That’s been looked at in terms of improved workgroup effectiveness. Its ability to reduce stress, burnout. We see this a lot in healthcare that it can be beneficial there. Increased job satisfaction and employee engagement. There’s a lot of research. One article that I was reading, that was a study that looked at those that had higher levels of emotional intelligent behaviors tended to rate themselves their jobs as being more satisfied in the roles that they were in. It also has a benefit in terms of increased customer satisfaction and increases sales revenue.

Developing emotionally intelligent behaviors is the strongest skill you can develop or refine. Click To Tweet

My background was in biotech sales for about fifteen years. As I look back on my success in that area and the connections that I made, I believe that it was a direct result of my ability to develop emotional intelligent behaviors. Reading and understanding the situations that I was in helped me not to mislead or take advantage of people but understand the connection there and what was important. Lastly, we know with EI, we’ve seen it in terms of reduced litigation. There’s some research that I will often cite and it was called the Apology Project. This was something that was done within hospital settings where they had an initiative and they followed it where they had hospitals that would proactively, if a mistake was made with a patient, would approach them taking responsibility for what happened.

What they found though was that in those instances where that happened that litigation costs were reduced. It doesn’t say that they were eliminated but they were reduced. That speaks to emotionally intelligent behaviors in terms of empathy. How would I want to be treated? I want somebody to take responsibility if they made a mistake. If they’re doing that, I’m less likely to want to find ways for retribution on that or damages, not to say that there don’t need to be in many cases but if I feel like somebody is taking responsibility for their actions, I’m more forgiving toward that person. The reason being is because we all make mistakes. We’re humans. Can we improve this in terms of EI? I would compare this to a muscle that’s all we’re doing is developing a muscle.

SET Goals

When I do this work within the organizations, I will often talk about setting goals. Many might’ve heard of smart goals. I don’t tend to use smart goals. I find there’s an easier process to use, which I call to set goals. Specific, emotional, and time-bound. When we talk about developing a new set of behaviors, that’s what we’re doing. Specifically, what do I want to do here? Emotionally is, why do I want this? Why is it important for me to develop these skills? Time-bound, when am I going to complete a course by or when am I going to do this by? With time-bound, it could be, how often am I going to practice during the week? Maybe it’s three days a week. I’m going to take a close look at what I’m doing and evaluating this. It’s important to do that.

A couple of other things that are important as we talk about improving EI is one, this is about incremental change. Small changes make big differences long-term and that’s what we have to look at. Too often, we get caught up and we need immediate change. “I need to see results immediately.” That’s not the way this generally works but in the long run, you will see benefits if you do this incrementally a little bit at a time. For us to be able to do this, we’ll talk about it further in one of the actual episodes is around intentional vulnerability. To be effective as a leader and in developing emotional intelligent behaviors, you need to become intentionally vulnerable.

What I mean by that is, we need to be in a place where we can say, “I’m wrong. I don’t have the answer. Maybe I’m struggling. I’m sorry.” Those are things that when we demonstrate and we’re able to say those things as leaders, especially, as long as I’m not doing this every single day, that doesn’t build confidence in the other person or trust. I want to know if there’s somebody that I am following that they have this ability in them to be able to admit when they’re wrong or they’re sorry because if they’re able to do that if they have that capacity, I’m going to trust that person more. I’m more open to following where they want to go because I know that they’re not going to be full of fluff and not be transparent. They’re able to do that. It’s important.

Engaged Versus Disengaged Organizations

When we talk about emotionally intelligent in a workplace setting, one of the things that I will often reference is work done around employee disengagement. There’s a couple of surveys that I’ve referenced quite often. One, a Gallup Data Survey. I will often show one that is dated based on quarters from the year 2010. I will jokingly say that somebody that’s looking at my slides might be thinking, “Patrick, you might want to update your slides.” What I’m doing is demonstrating to them that in a decade, the numbers around engagement versus disengagement within an organization have barely changed at all. You find that about 2/3 of an organization, employees are disengaged. Of those, in some of the work done by Gallup, they would suggest that 15% to 19% of those individuals are actively disengaged which is more damaging because that’s a contagion where not only am I unhappy here but I’m going to let everybody else know how unhappy I am.

LFL 87 | Emotionally Intelligent Behaviors

Emotionally Intelligent Behaviors: There’s a connection between your emotions and how you behave, make decisions, and perform.

 

When we look in terms of some of the work done by Gallup, what’s the impact of this? You’ve got some employees that are disengaged. When they’ve teased out this information and looked at the top 25th percentile versus the bottom 25th percentile, they’ve seen large gaps in terms of things like absenteeism, turnover rates, theft within organizations, safety incidences, patient safety incidences. A lot of the work that I am involved with from time-to-time is in health care. Most would agree with that. There’s data around that. Some of the manufacturing groups that I work with when we look at quality defects, we can see that based on Gallup’s work that there was a huge difference in terms of engaged versus disengaged organizations as it related to quality defects and what their products work.

What’s interesting is that this data is all based on what is called the Q12. There were twelve survey questions that Gallup asks employees. What’s interesting about these questions is out of the twelve, eleven of them are directly or can be directly related to the manager or the person that person reports to. I’ll quickly go through them. One is, do you know what is expected of you at work? Next is, do you have the materials and equipment you need to do your work right? In the last year, have you had the opportunity at work to learn and grow? At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day? In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise for doing good work? Does your supervisor or someone at work seem to care about you as a person?

Is there someone at work who encourages your development? At work, do your opinions seem to count? Does the mission, purpose of your company make you feel your job is important? Are your associates, fellow employees committed to doing quality work? Do you have a best friend at work? Lastly, in the last six months, has someone at work talk to you about your progress? Out of all twelve of those, the only one that is not about or can relate to the manager or that person that I report to is, are your associates, fellow employees committed to doing quality work? I would argue that even that one, it’s simply a contagion that they may or may not report to somebody that creates that feeling in them. It’s an indirect response to that one.

What’s important here is that we know through much of the research that says, “The number one reason that somebody leaves an organization is because of who they report to directly.” There’s much influence that the person has. If I’m in the position of leadership here or hold the authority based on my title, I have a huge responsibility to whether there’s engagement or disengagement from the standpoint of the environment that is created for that to happen. I bring that up specifically to say that you could have people that say, “I can’t create or make somebody happy or I’m happy. That’s their decision.” I would agree that you can have people that I could do everything for them and they choose to not want to be happy. I don’t control that but what I do, as a leader, need to provide is the environment where engagement can take hold.

That’s what these questions address. When we look at some of the research, I’m going to mention a few here that are important as we go through is one, I will reference often is called the contagious leader. It is the impact of the leader’s mood on the mood of the group members. This was a study that was done. It was looking at investigating how are leader’s mood affects the mood of the individual group members, the effect on the group as a whole, and then three group processes were also looked at coordination, effort expenditure, and task strategy. There were 189 participants in this study. The groups were blinded, so they didn’t know what was going on. The leaders were induced into either a positive or a negative mood. What they found was at the end of this, when they looked back in terms of the leaders, there was a mood contagion that was experienced. It followed a positive mood contagion created a positive mood environment. A negative mood created a negative mood environment.

This was in the Journal of Applied Psychology, where this was published back in 2005. This is important to talk about how important our role is in creating a contagious, positive environment. That comes through our ability to develop strong emotionally intelligent behaviors. The next one looked at the relationship between emotional intelligence on job performance. This was a large meta-analysis that identified about 1,100 different citations that were relevant to emotional intelligence as well as the five-factor model of personalities which is often referenced as well as around cognitive abilities in job performance. They ended up using 43 studies and analyzing those. What they found was in regards to emotional intelligence, all three streams of emotional intelligence, they looked at correlated with job performance. The present data that they looked at, all strongly supported the predictive ability of emotional intelligence in terms of job performance and it was above and beyond what they were able to predict whether it was using the five-factor model of personality or an individual’s cognitive ability.

Small changes make big differences long term. Click To Tweet

This was in the Journal of Organizational Behavior back in May 2010. That is important to look at this to say, this was a large meta-analysis. What they found was that EI was able to predict job performance. Above and beyond, what some of the other tools that we might think of or areas that we might look at we’re being evaluated. More than personality, more than somebody’s cognitive ability. Next is a piece of research that looked at emotional intelligence and empathy. This was a study that was done with the fMRI where patients were monitored through Magnetic Resonance Imaging. There were seventeen participants. They were shown images of patients that were in pain. They were asked to imagine that they, themselves, were in pain. Not that they were observing a patient in pain but they were the ones experiencing the pain.

What they found was that higher responses to images were seeing when they were using imagination than when they viewed patients in pain. That part of the person’s brain that experiences pain was more active when they imagined it as opposed to looking at somebody else. What that demonstrates to us is our ability for empathy, it’s regulated by perspective-taking. The important part here is where does this play out in terms of, how we interact with other people that when we’re able to imagine what it’s like to be where they are? One, we start to feel what they’re feeling and we need to keep that in a positive way but it allows us to develop a connection level of trust with somebody where I can truly try and see where somebody else is. I would think back to some of my kids when they were going through those teenage years. I have two that are going through it is that, it’s easy for me to judge them or to hold them accountable to certain things but not take the time to wonder, what was it like when I was fifteen?

How was I behaving when I was fifteen? Is what I’m asking of them or expecting them to do, is it reasonable? Quite honestly, I was far worse at times in terms of some of my behaviors. That doesn’t mean that everybody gets to do whatever they want. We still need to talk about clear expectations but there is, I need to be able to go to that place. If I want to be able to have open communication and build trust then I need to be able to remember what it was like to be a fifteen-year-old boy. The next is around increasing emotional intelligence. Is it possible? This was a piece of research that was published in Personality Individual Differences back in 2009. What they did was they had 37 participants. Nineteen were in a training group, eighteen we’re in a control group. They train them in the theoretical models of emotional intelligence and how to employ certain skills in their daily lives.

There were four sessions, 2.5 hours over four weeks and they looked at four different areas, understanding, identifying, expressing, and managing emotions. What they found was the training group, but not the control group, scored significantly higher on trait emotional intelligence after the training. More importantly, they found the results were durable after six months. Five months after they finished this, those that went through the training, they found that the impact that it had on their emotional intelligence was durable. I would suggest that after four weeks, those participants were seeing some benefits, they were seeing some results from what they were doing, so what they did was they realized that, “This is working. Let’s keep it going.” That’s why that’s important. Not that they didn’t do anything for the next five months but it was durable because they saw results early on.

That’s the benefit that we have. We get small incremental benefits that we build off of those. That’s where emotional intelligence can be. They can become valuable to us. The model that we’ll look to going forward, there are seven skills that we’ll dissect. One is around emotional self-awareness. We’ll start out with that one. There’ll be some exercises in there that we’ll talk about how do you develop this? We’ll talk about emotional expression. We’ll talk about the awareness of others. How do you start to develop that? Emotional reasoning or buy-in. How do you gain agreement through our emotionally intelligent behaviors? How do we manage our emotions? Self-management, how do we manage others will be another module. Lastly, we’ll be around emotional self-control. We can see that we’re in an environment that all of those things are valuable.

Each one of those built upon the other one becomes a powerful model for us to manage ourselves as well as to manage those around us. That, to me, is when we talk about reimagining what leadership looks like. It’s about inspiring, empowering, and compelling others to follow our lead. This is foundational for that to happen. With that said, I would encourage you to stick around for each one of these upcoming show because I promise you the activities and the ability to uncover why each of these is beneficial will be valuable to you whether it’s at work, home, or in the community, wherever you are, developing this set of behaviors or this set of skills will improve any and every aspect of your life. That I will say, unquestionably.

LFL 87 | Emotionally Intelligent Behaviors

Emotionally Intelligent Behaviors: Empathy is regulated by perspective-taking.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this intro into emotional intelligence that you’ve seen where there’s quite a bit of research and evidence that backs up why this is important and how many different aspects of our lives can be impacted by our ability to develop these seven behaviors that we’ll talk about going forward. If you know somebody you believe might have an interest in reading these as well, I would ask that you forward this on to them. It would mean the world to me if you would leave a rating or a comment on this or any other episode that has been published. Until the next time we get together, I hope you’re able to do two things. One is lead like no other and the other is to rise above your best. Peace.

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