Posts tagged planning

New Year, New Goals, New You … Starts with One

The countdown to 2013 brings a time for reflection and looking ahead to new beginnings. This time for reflection should not only include personal goals … dropping those holiday pounds, planning more time to spend with friends and family or finally ditching any bad habits. Let’s make a resolution for ourselves and our organizations. Is there a science or an art to achieving our goals? Is there something beyond wishful thinking and optimism that will increase our chances that our wondrous best self will flourish in 2013?

Yes. No. Sort of. Not exactly. Apparently. Possibly.

Stephen Covey, one of the godfathers of goal setting would suggest starting small; with only one goal in fact. Starting small and committing (really committing) to one thing to accomplish throughout the year will build confidence and strength to do more. It’s what he calls “baby steps.” Start small, keep at it, and stay consistent until you’re ready pick up the pace.

Keeping on this goal requires time and effort on a weekly basis. Every week establish where you are currently and where you’d like to be at the end of the week. Starting small and constantly working on your goal throughout the year will develop strength, confidence and capabilities to discipline yourself to achieve other goals.

Covey also suggests that you enlist the help of someone close to you. It’s important to have some support, encouragement and a system of accountability. You might even invite this person to set a small goal that you can encourage them on. Work together and create synergy to help each other.

Best wishes on your own personal journey in 2013. You have the potential for greatness in you! Go for it! Start small. Make a promise and keep it.

Increasing Emotional Intelligence Just Makes ‘Cents’

Daniel Goleman first brought Emotional Intelligence from the academic ivory tower into the world of business with his 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. In a more recent book, he draws on over two hundred studies, done in various countries, and finds that emotional competence accounts for two-thirds to four-fifths of the difference between top performers and average employees. Screening prospective employees for certain positions makes good common sense. Sales people need to be optimistic. They must be able to delay gratification, control their emotions and have empathy with others. For example, when L’Oreal used emotional intelligence as a selection criterion for hiring sales representatives, they found that emotionally intelligent people outsold their colleagues by $91,370  a year, on the average. Emotional Intelligence is important in building teams and networks within a firm. It is vital for leaders at all levels, including executives. Retail store managers who were best able to manage stress had higher net profits and more sales per square foot, per employee and per inventory dollar.

A large beverage company screened executives for Emotional Intelligence. Before it began screening, half its executives left within two years, usually because they did not perform well. Executives selected for Emotional Intelligence stayed longer, earned higher performance bonuses and outperformed targets set for them by 15% to 20%.

Clearly, a business can improve its bottom line by screening appropriately for Emotional Intelligence. But that is only a fraction of what businesses need. When Emotional Intelligence makes such a difference, can an organization afford to stop with screening alone? Can businesses increase profits by offering training to increase the emotional competence of existing staff? Emotional competencies can be learned. With a good training program in Emotional Intelligence, an organization can maximize the potential of the employees it already has, from the top to the bottom of the organizational chart.

Like any type of intelligence, Emotional Intelligence includes both an inherent and a learned component. Pupils learn at school the skills they need to score well on traditional IQ tests. Training programs, such as our session Emotional Intelligence: The Pathway of Personal Success, teach adults the skills needed to become more emotionally competent. With the right training in emotional intelligence, businesses gain more emotionally competent staff members who function more efficiently, cooperate more productively and remain with the company longer.

A good training program in Emotional Intelligence includes work on integrity, awareness, responsibility, self-mastery, clarity, definition, action and self-valuing. Integrity is the ability to act on principle rather than on emotion. It includes the ability to delay gratification and to harness emotion in service of the principles that infuse our lives. Our principles determine how we perceive events and people; how we judge success or failure; whether we are optimistic and cheerful or pessimistic and joyless. At work and in life, we face key moments that are challenging, distressing, even painful. Good training in Emotional Intelligence helps your staff understand that the reality of the key moment cannot change, but that the interior response to it is a personal choice. They can focus on the task at hand, and make the choices that are most productive without wasting time blaming, resenting or complaining. Training can help your staff members take responsibility for their choices. They will know their life goals and have a clear vision of the path they will follow, making them more productive and capable of advancing. As your employees become aware of their own emotions and learn to control them in service of their life goals, your workplace will become not only more pleasant, but more productive. You will be able to promote from within more often, cutting training costs.

“Your teams will function more efficiently and productively when leaders choose to listen with empathy and team players take responsibility for their choices,” explains Susan Riddering, vice president of NorthStar360. “Training in Emotional Intelligence increases managerial skills, team building and employee competence at all levels – and that inevitably improves the bottom line.”