And the even more important question, so what? What does it mean to your career and your business? 5 questions to look at and some solutions to use to help you.
You are told to be this or that or something else. You hear how this successful person has something or does some things. Nice articles, but they have all one fundamental mistake. They are based on one or very few people. There a millions successful people, all different in personality and many have different types of success. We should actually first look at the profession you want to succeed in. And only then discuss about what makes on successful in it. You perhaps remember my last weeks blog, where I discussed the article from Dr Minna Lyons. Have you ever heard, that successful person should have psychopathy features, like she addressed in the article?
Have you ever taken a personality assessment? If so, or even your are reading this far, tells you have one fundamental element of emotional intelligence (EI) in place. You have interest in understanding yourself and using your abilities for better results! That is more important than having high EI. There are some studies, and my field work with several dozens of people proves it, that the very high EI can be a negative factor. Back to the 5 questions! These questions are a warning signal, you might be actually distracting your success with your behaviour. Your behaviour may come from your personality or from a lesson learned from some other person. Person who somehow managed to have an impact on you, even it was bad behaviour.
Do you lack patience? There are two different kinds of patience, that you need to have in order to succeed. First type of patience is about your reactions to other peoples behaviour. Do you have the patience to A) listen to what they really have to say and B) do you have the patience to react to their emotional outburst in calm manner? The second type of patience is more about persistence. Do you keep working towards your goal, even things evolve slowly and sometimes you need to make side turns in order to get forward? If you feel, that you could be better, there are two simple things you can do to improve. Firstly, make your goal visible to you through writing it on a paper / note board / screen saver with the estimated time of achievement. Make sure you reed it daily! Secondly, create a 3 questions set to ask yourself in these moments (one example; “what action / attitude truly will take me closer to my goal in this situation”). And review those questions before acting.
Do you make decisions without soliciting different perspectives? Our brain loves to be lazy. The older we get, the more we have “proper solutions”. We have been in a situation a bit like the one at hand right now. Our brain takes the old behaviour, as it is so much faster and easier than stopping to evaluate and create the best possible solution. There are two great approaches to use; A) before making the decision, create 3 scenarios in your mind; 1. carry on as usual, 2. change something a bit, 3. make major shift. Which will truly give you the best results? B) in some situation also asking yourself two questions can help; 1. will this approach truly improve the service I deliver to people and 2. will this approach improve the impact of people’s work?
Do you hide who you are in the workplace? Have you ever wondered why very controversial people, like Steve Jobs, manage to be successful? There is a very simple answer to that one. They were authentic. If we are taking roles, trying to be something else than what we are by nature, we are opening the doors for burn out and failure. Subconsciously other people will feel, that we are not “real” and hence they don’t fully trust us. Study yourself and dare to be yourself, using your true personality in the best possible way. Accept your flaws and mitigate their negative impact.
Do you tend to run away from conflict? You hear all the time, how we should be positive. Being positive is not about avoiding conflicts. Most conflicts have their roots in something else, that is misunderstanding or even more often lack of communication. If you for some reason are running away from conflicts, you should work with someone in order to understand where that behaviour is coming from. As you face a conflict, stop to ask your self and the other person, where are the roots of this conflict. Dare to ask at least 5 times “why is this a problem”, in order to get to the root cause.
Do you tend to brush off other people’s feelings? “the one who lays the first punch wins” is a lesson some people have learned. Or perhaps you have learned that “people are never honest and they deceive you, so don’t trust them”. Thoughts like this will impact your behaviour and often puts one in offense. In order to fix this, you first need to learn if you have this kind of behaviour. As a leader, you need to remember, that the climate within your team are mostly created by you. Ask people how you could improve (do not ask if they feel that you are offensive of brushing off their feeling). Practice using more open questions for getting engagement, innovations and commitment.
Emotional intelligence is a skill, like any other. We have got something in birth, learned something in life and use it in a way. But just like any other skill, we can A) choose to become better and B) choose where our talents and abilities will be at their best. When you are in the best possible position, you will achieve the success you desire. Making it there starts with looking inside, what are you alike when compared to other people?
If you would like to really boost your success and improve your life, I can help you. I have helped hundreds of businesses, thousands of people. Get in touch and lets talk about your situation. Then I can tell you what I see as the best way for you to proceed, either with me or with some other expert. Sure you know, that all the successful people use external advisor. Now is your time to make the move. Do it today.
Your partner in making success happen, Kari I. Mattila, emotional intelligence advisor