At Cake we have a monthly session called Cake Academy, during this, Ian Brookes presents to members of the team various areas of soft skills. A couple of months back we looked into Emotional Intelligence [EQ], delving into just how important this skill is in the workplace.
Cake Solutions prides itself on its development process, and due to constant inspection and adaptation of this process, our projects run seamlessly. This level of control can be hard to achieve but with the right people and mindsets we have proved this possible.
Ian handed out a book for everyone following our Academy session, this was ‘HBR’s 10 MUST READs on Emotional Intelligence’. I have been reading this and have found some of the articles fascinating and so relatable to companies I have worked for in the past and now at Cake.
The 5 key areas this book covers are as follows; Self-awareness, Self-regulation, Motivation, Empathy and Social Skill. Let me run through these and give you an overview.
- Self-Awareness - The ability to recognise and understand your moods, emotions and drives as well as their effect on others.
- Self-Regulation - The ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods. The propensity to suspend judgement - to think before acting.
- Motivation - A passion for work for reasons that go beyond money or status.
- Empathy - The ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people. Skill in treating people according to their emotional reactions.
- Social Skill - Proficiency in managing relationships and building networks. An ability to find common ground and build rapport.
A saying I know all too well and is mentioned in the book, is that ‘The fish rots from the head down’. People who lack self-awareness will follow suit from above, so if low levels of EQ begin at the top, their bad habits will begin to sink down throughout the organisation. A ruthless boss will create a toxic environment filled with negativity.
I have worked in environments before where, due to poor management, staff members are constantly on edge and unable to work at their best. Senior managers that are unable to self regulate can go either of two ways, completely blowing up and going all guns blazing at members of staff when hearing bad news, or, storming round the office then sitting in a corner silently skulking, thus creating a terrible atmosphere in the office while being completely oblivious to members of staff they are affecting.
Social Skills are the ability to interact and communicate with others, this ties many of the above areas together. Interactions are both verbal and nonverbal. Social skills are essential in forming and maintaining any type of relationship, whether that be personal or in a working environment. These skills help people develop trust in one another, respectfulness and understanding.
Emotional Intelligence is such an important aspect of leadership, when people lack in EQ they can destroy an environment, trust and fairness and massively decrease productivity. We must remember that business is tough, it can be stressful but when things don’t go as well as planned, we must take a step back and look for mitigating factors, as well as inwardly analysing before getting frustrated and creating a blame game. Working together and knowing how to effectively, can only boost your own and your team's productivity and morale.
I hope you found this useful, get in touch and let me know your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to yourstory.com for this image.