Biggest issue you see when working with organisations who are trying to build an EQ component into their culture?

One of the main issues I see is that there is a lack of understanding of how Emotional Intelligence can help build the culture. Yes, the organization may agree that they need Emotional Intelligence training, and once they have agreed, I make it really clear as to what the benefits are, what results they will get, and also why emotional intelligence training is a must have when it comes to developing emerging leaders within their organization.

Culture can really affect the bottom line in a business and are leaders aware of this? If they are, then do they know how Emotional Intelligence can help? Emotional Intelligence is not just “fluff and soft skills” the impact of not having an emotionally intelligent workplace can impact engagement, performance, productivity, absenteeism and this all leads to a breakdown in culture, which will ultimately effect the bottom line.

Organizational behaviour is linked to human emotions – which is linked to emotional intelligence. Culture is a word used to describe behaviours, and emotions make up behaviours and employees learn about culture by interacting with other employees. If this is the case, then why are we not focusing on emotional intelligence enough?

Emotions are also linked to Values, you are only going to get upset about something at work, if it breaches a core value that you hold dear. Values are linked to culture – the company culture can only exist once the company has decided on what their core values are.

Emotionally intelligent people will also do a better job at recruiting the right people, and this will clearly impact the culture too. Cultural resonance is more important than competence. It is crucial that the right people, with aligning values are employed to help build a healthy culture.

What do you wish the C-Suite understood about EQ?

It is important to understand that building a highly emotionally intelligent workforce is not just a nice to have, if the budget allows for additional training. It is becoming a must have. If your employees and in particular, the emerging leaders, lack emotional intelligence, then you will have future leaders who do not understand how best to manage their emotions, (in the moment) and then use that understanding to manage themselves and the world around them. Organisations are losing executive talent, because these high IQ individuals may be great at their job technically, but they don’t know how to respond, they react. They don’t know how to practice empathy and they struggle to build trusted and connected relationships. Building Emotional Intelligence is crucial and the foundation / building blocks for the future success.

In addition – if you want to recruit the best talent there is out there, the more and more individuals are being coached on EQ and know what it is. They will want to work for a company that also understands the importance of this.

What is your biggest learning

My biggest learning is about me! When I began looking for a coach and mentor, I realized that I was lacking in a few areas such as resilience, personal power and behavioural self control. I realized that these were key emotional intelligence competencies, and I knew that if I was to become successful running my HR business, I would need to develop these key areas. For me, it was about self awareness, understanding more about myself, so that I could understand others around me better. It was like I had turned a light on in my mind. It was then that I made the decision to become Australia’s expert in EQ and teach others, and I haven’t looked back since, and taken it to the next level by building EQuation.

What is the biggest misunderstanding that you find organisations have when it comes to EQ?

That it is soft skills and other leadership programs that have areas of Emotional Intelligence will be enough. It is not enough to learn “bits” of emotional intelligence. There are four different areas that the model takes you through, and once you understand this, the areas/competencies make more sense.

  • Self-awareness: the ability to understand your feelings and how you react emotionally to the actions of others.
  • Self-management: the ability to choose how you react in highly-emotional situations.
  • Social awareness: the ability to recognize the emotions and body language of others.
  • Relationship management: the ability to communicate with others based on their mental state and emotional needs.

Each of these abilities is important to develop high emotional intelligence levels. If one is missing, then it’s hard for a leader or even an employee to cope with their emotions and work with others.

For example, someone might be able to recognize the emotions and feelings of others, but if they push down their own feeling and try and understand what they feel and why, then change won’t be created.

EQuation has been created for organisations that are serious about EQ and want to create an impact and lasting change on not only the organization, but on its people.

What is the one piece of feedback you seem to get from your clients after working with your programs?

That the skills are not hard to implement or learn, there is no secret here. The difficulty arises in implementing the learnings and bridging the gap between knowing and doing. However, once as they go through the program, and they get coached in between the sessions, implementation occurs, self awareness occurs and before they know it, they are becoming more emotionally intelligent – which means that they understand themselves better and are making better decisions.

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