Like it or not, emotions are an intrinsic part of our biological make-up,
and every morning they march into the office
with us and influence our behaviour.
– Shari Caudron.
What Shari Caudron says is so true. We all have to understand the emotions we carry with us everywhere. We need to become aware of them. The way we express them brands us in the eyes of everyone looking on.
What do you do with the emotions you have about a poor performance discussion?
A natural reaction for the emotionally unintelligent would be to leave the room and explode to anyone who will listen. You could bad-mouth the manager. You could go on social media and talk about the injustice. You could completely disengage and work to rule for the next 3 weeks. Or you could become completely emotional, crying a lot, taking sick days, becoming quite depressed. All of these responses will do nothing to grow your career or enhance your personal brand, and they will destroy your professional credibility and certainly not encourage your manager to refer you for another job.
So how could you turn this devastating situation around and make it work for you by responding in an emotionally intelligent way?
Emotional intelligence is a career enhancing attribute, a career maker. Equally so, being emotionally unintelligent can be a career breaker. It is for this reason that every leading business school in the world has a course on emotional intelligence. If you can learn to recognise what you are feeling at any given time, can name that feeling for what it is, you can then manage it in a way that will enhance rather than destroy your professional credibility. Once you have learned how to manage your own emotions, you then become very adept at identifying what others are feeling. This means you respond in much more appropriate ways to achieve the response you want from those others. In time you become the highly sought after professional for the way you can manage the people issues in your organisation. You become the CEO of Relationship Management.Read More
Learning how to be resilient and bounce back when things go wrong is one of the most important soft skills for leadership today. If you are a leader today, or aspire to be one, then working on developing resilience will equip you well to manage the change, uncertainty, unpredictability and ambiguity of this new economy in which we are now working and living. Resilience is the psychological inner strength, the mental toughness, we bring to the events and experiences of our life. It is what helps us bounce back from every adversity to move forward again to achieve the goals we have set for our professional and personal life. Resilience is not something that can be learned theoretically in a training course or by following particular strategies meticulously over a few days or a week no matter how committed you are. It can only be learned in practice, by facing setbacks and obstacles and working through them. The old adage – Practice makes perfect – is never more true than in the development of resilience.Read More
Many people would see Anger as a “personal emotion”, not something that may impact on their career or professional development. Managing anger is something they attempt to do very privately. In fact, many of us see all emotions as “personal”. In fact, many of us see all emotions as “personal”. They are inside us, belong to us and most of the time we like to think we are in control of them. The worst thing someone could say to us, as a professional, is that we are “emotional”.
Trouble is that if we are often not aware of our emotions, neither are we aware of how public they are. As Shari Caudron says, they march into the office with us every morning and direct our behaviour for the day.
Managing anger in an emotionally intelligent way is a very important soft skill for leaders and managers.
As I was thinking about how I could improve my organisational skills in this new year, especially how I could better organise my office, I was reminded of the simplicity of how it was all done back in primary school. Every Friday afternoon in Grade Six we had to clean out our school desk. It became somewhat of a ritual and it went on into Grade Seven because we had the same teacher. She had this mantra which still rings in my ears: “Clear the clutter, clear the mind”. Her belief was that the physical clutter around us reflected the clutter in our heads – inability to concentrate, jumbled and incoherent thinking – that prevented us from producing the kind of work she expected of us. It was seen as a priority in those days. One of the few text books we had was called Clear Thinking. We studied it chapter by chapter and its primary purpose was to teach us to keep our mind and our thinking clear and organised. I still hear her words whenever I let things get out of hand and find myself surrounded by clutter.
One very productive exercise I did came from a live stream I watched from Marci Shimoff and Debra Poneman. They were talking about the need to let go of “stuff” that is cluttering our lives. Their message was: If you clear the clutter, you clear the way, make space, for what’s important to enter your life. They gave us this exercise which I finished yesterday.
People are worried about what they eat between Christmas and New Year but they really should be worried about what they eat between New Year and Christmas. an unknown author reminded us. We make so many resolutions about being healthy and eating well in the new year and then watch ourselves break those promises to ourselves. We become overwhelmed at work and eat and drink to , telling ourselves it’s a good way to relieve the stress. It isn’t. If we want to be high energy, high performing professionals we need to put into the engine that is our body the right food and drink that will empower us to do what is important to us and that will fire our success.Read More
Do you feel stuck on the career ladder? Do you feel you are going nowhere fast?
You are ambitious. You want your career to move on and up. You want fulfilment and challenge in your work. You also want to enhance and expand your skills by being given new opportunities and promotions. Yet it is not happening.
So what do you do? Do you go back to university and get some more qualifications? Do you move to another organisation? Do you change careers?
Sometimes none of those are possible and you have to stay where you are, so how do you do that and stay engaged, empowered, productive and grow your career in such an environment? Here are 14 key actions for doing just that and moving your career on and up.
I have had three clients recently who’ve come for some mentoring because they were feeling jaded in their jobs. All were well-regarded by their organisations and as far as I could see all doing a good job. They all felt, however, that they were losing their passion for what they were doing. They weren’t challenged and they could feel themselves beginning to disengage. They felt it was time to move on but had some fear about telling their managers. Yet they also felt that if they stayed, they would become quite resentful and even angry. We talked about how they could exit gracefully and not burn their bridges behind them. I thought I’d put some of the ideas together that I talked about with these 3 clients.Read More
Soft skills are those all important skills that are now essential to your career and leadership development. They are the skills that focus on the development of your personality, attitudes, behaviour and mindsets. When people come to a soft skills workshop, I assume that they want to learn skills to bring about that development. There is, however, a big disconnect here because so many want tips and strategies on how to make people do what they want them to do. Change my situation and the people around me. Give me some tips as to how I can do it, but don’t change me.
It doesn’t work that way. If you want to develop and enhance your soft skills, you need to work on yourself. You need to be absolutely committed to becoming the best version of yourself.
Recognising you are stressed at work is often very difficult until you actually have obvious symptoms. Even then you attribute the symptoms to something else and don’t do anything to change your situation and therefore reduce the stress. So what happens is that it builds up gradually (while you’re trying to push through your life, or go around it!) and you don’t realise you are stressed until it has such a hold on you that you are almost incapable of doing anything about it. This blog will help you identify the symptoms of stress and give you 5 actions you can take to manage it and so lessen its impact and recharge yourself for the future.Read More