If you want to motivate others and gain their trust, it is necessary to take a look inwards. By Madhu Fernando
They are less experienced and less qualified than you but move from one position to the other quickly, get promoted and are recognised for their achievements. Everyone seems to like them. They talk well and handle difficult situations well. They don’t make enemies and get along with others really well. Are they practising the so-called “emotional intelligence” skills?
Daniel Goleman’s books on emotional intelligence changed the way we view things at work. When we see people acting with great empathy and understanding we recognise them as emotionally competent. Emotional intelligence is about giving intelligence to emotions, or understanding emotions as we feel them, and controlling them. We see emotionally competent managers become more successful than others. They handle stress better than others, get along with everyone, motivate the team and earn respect. Have these managers been trained to be emotionally competent, or were they born with these skills?
According to Goleman and other recent researchers, there are a few important areas of emotional competence you need to master. They are: emotional self-awareness, self-management, recognising emotions in others, relationship skills and motivating others.
Emotional self-awareness is about knowing your emotions. People who have self-awareness know what they want in their lives, and what they can offer to the world. They know what their competences are and how they feel. We need to understand this in order to understand others.
When you are aware of your feelings, you can manage them. When you know you are stressed, you can rest, go for a short walk or have a glass of water. If you feel it is not helping, you need to take further action to manage the stress – perhaps a mediation or yoga session, or a morning jog, before you start work. It’s about managing self or managing emotions.
If you can understand your emotions and control them, the next thing you should learn is to recognise the emotions of other people. You need to improve your people skills and be empathic, caring and aware of those around you. This is crucial for establishing relationships and making them stronger.
Motivating others is also seen as a key emotional competence, as it involves understanding the emotional needs of others. People can be motivated for various reasons. Only when you understand what motivates them will you have the ability to do the motivating. Through emotional awareness and relationship skills you can motivate the people around you, get them to perform at their best and build morale.
You might argue that you have most of these skills: dealing with people, motivating your team and developing relationships are skills you use every day. But think again. Have there been situations in which you felt “I shouldn’t have said that” or “I shouldn’t have done that”? If you have made no mistakes, you are well equipped with skills that can lead you on with no obstacles. If not, you need to practise these skills until you master them. Be alert to every emotion you feel. Then you will leave no room for mistakes.
Research by Goleman in 1998 showed that “emotionally intelligent” leaders stayed calm in a crisis and were always dependable and conscientious. They took responsibility and solved problems, and moved on positively. They were trustworthy and had mastered the social skills of being empathetic and considerate. They appreciated diversity.
The future calls for leaders like these. You have the opportunity to be one. If you were not born with these skills you can learn and practise them once you know what they are.
When you master these skills and apply them in everyday situations, you will see the difference in no time – a difference in the way you see the world, and in the way the world sees you.
How Not To
How not to insure your income
A 39-year-old Chicago man, Michael Garner (also known as Bonecrusher), gets the award for running the worst insurance scam. Police said Bonecrusher persuaded homeless men desperate to make a buck to allow him to cause compound fractures of their arms or legs, and they would then be taken to staged accident scenes. The victims were instructed in how to make quick settlements with insurance companies after claiming up to $US100,000. The fractured desperados kept only about $US1500 of the spoils.
How not to exercise your dog
The award for the weirdest business idea is “Ruff Yoga” – a yoga class for dogs, or doga as it is now called – aimed at relaxing the canine residents of New York City. The classes start with a short inspirational reading about Fido, followed by some chanting or “OM-ing”. Following a yoga instructor, the owners then take their dogs through traditional poses, starting off by forming the bodies into an inverted V, know as the “downward dog” pose.
Perhaps owners can then take their mutts to the Olde Towne Pet Resort in Fairfax County, Virginia, which charges up to $US230 a day for pooches to use a hydrotherapy pool, state-ofthe- art exercise room, beauty parlor and suites with satellite TV, classical music and original artwork.
How not to go with the flow
The French Government gets the award for the most contrarian approach to technology. In a bid to turn back the tide of English words, it has banned public servants from using the term “e-mail”.
The Culture Ministry has decreed that all government departments, websites, publications and documents must use “courriel” – a shortening of “courrier electronique” (electronic mail) – when referring to internet messages. This was made law in the government gazette on June 20. It puts the administration out of step with the French public, who still use “e-mail”.
How not to enhance your bank balance
David Paul Mudge, formerly of Windsor Gardens, South Australia, has shown the wrong way to give investment advice. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has permanently barred him from acting as a representative of a securities dealer or investment adviser. That is, after he gets out jail.
The Adelaide District Court found that between September 1999 and October 2001, Mudge gave an elderly client eight documents to sign. But he neglected to tell her they authorised him to withdraw money from her investments. The money went to Mudge’s company, Davcal Pty Ltd, or straight to him. Mudge withdrew a total of $197,375.
He was sentenced to 27 months in jail and may be released after a year upon entering into a 15-month good behavior bond.
How not to keep your revenue above water
Second weirdest business idea goes to Vanuatu which claims to have the first underwater post office. Still, it may be a money-spinner – if customers buy waterproof postcards from shops on terra firma then scuba dive three metres down to have their cards embossed with a waterproof stamp promoting the 83-island state’s “marine paradise” status.
How not to be diplomatic
The prize for most outrageous business name and promotional campaign must go to the Auckland brothel that calls itself The White House. Not surprisingly, the business is at the centre of a diplomatic furore. After brothels were legalised in New Zealand, the business, which previously described itself as a massage parlor, put an ad in a newspaper for prostitutes. The business logo was almost identical to the US presidential seal – an American bald eagle with a ribbon in its mouth holding a bunch of arrows and an olive branch. The US embassy lodged a complaint. A spokeswoman said: “We believe that any likeness of a national government symbol in a commercial advertisement is in extremely poor taste.” But the brothel’s general manager could not see what the fuss was about. He said the logo had been in use for two years. “It’s a universally recognised symbol. I don’t think they’ve got exclusive rights to it.”