Some of your highest producing salespeople can be a handful when it comes to leadership and managing emotions. This is especially true when your high producing person is not feeling the love of the sale. The very nature of high performance requires a healthy ego drive which needs to be stoked. It’s a seesaw: each conquest creates a boost of self-esteem and the failure to sell diminishes it. If this goes on too long, emotions can go awry. Frustration, finger pointing, depression or self-doubt are common expressions.
Emotionally Intelligent Leader that you are, it may be up to you to create an emotionally safe environment for the expression AND transmutation of the emotions.
Visiting with one of my superstar clients recently, he shared his secret formula for creating the safe space for his high performers.
Suspend agendas and preconceptions and clear a space in your brain and heart to simply listen.
Create a safe place for emotions to emerge by tapping into your compassion. Without becoming hooked or triggered by the emotional expression, the venting runs out of steam.
When you observe the emotions, you can see the triggers. Acute observation, especially if the venting is repetitive, gives you the knowledge of what triggers your salesperson out of her game.
Establishing a structure for one-on-ones with 80% focus on the person and 20% on the results, builds trust and feeds the recognition machine. (PS – this goes hand in hand with point one, Listening). Create appropriate boundaries that are free from shame.
By remaining neutral and empathetic in all conversations, you create a consistent pattern of behavior and interaction. Emotional balance ensures that you are able to offer feedback, brainstorm and bump your person back to their emotional center without any of your own triggers getting in the way.
Year end is around the corner. With annual quotas and sales goals on the line, it’s never too early to create an emotionally safe environment for your employees. End the year on an emotional high and begin 2015 with great momentum.
photo credit © Kinzie Riehm/Corbis
You – yes, you! You are a spotlight leader. Each person in a position of influence and authority finds themselves in the spotlight. People are overt or covert in their observations but, rest assured, they are looking at you.
So, what’s your job? Keep the spotlight bright with behaviors and attitudes that you want repeated in your organization – those Emotionally Intelligent and Leader-Inspired ongoing behaviors. Be aware of being lulled into a place where you think you’re free from the spotlight, because you are not. That’s what you signed up for when you agreed to lead. People want you to be the best you can be but they are also morbidly curious and titillated when you fall.
As the light shines brightly on you, here are five suggestions that will keep you on top of your game, and also support others to their best efforts:
- Be a maven of inspiration. Believe, believe some more, and then call attention to how the belief shows up in behavior and results. Celebrate.
- Set the course by creating meaning. People want to know where they are going and why. A good leader is open about where we are headed and able to create meaning for the movement. The people grab onto the meaning that’s created and then catch the wave.
- Communicate what success looks like. Don’t assume that others know what you expect. Tell them. Be specific. Let them know the end game and the milestones along the way. Share where you see possible pitfalls. And then let them know what the inspection process looks like so there are no surprises. People want to contribute and win – show them how.
- Learn together. Make mistakes and then learn together. Share your mistake and the learning that ensued. Model how to pick yourself up to start anew. People who are afraid of the consequences of failure will not risk. Without risk, there is no innovation. Make the mistake, learn publicly, course correct and begin again.
- Make decisions about counter-culture revolutionaries quickly. People are watching you to see what you tolerate. If clear direction, course correction, honest feedback and peer pressure does not work, make sure to exit those who are counter-culture. Be human about it – but do it!
Every day you are “client-facing”. Your internal clients are always in front of you. They shine their spotlights of curiosity and evaluation. Are you to be trusted? Are you real? Do you act with integrity? With that in mind, how do you make every interaction authentic, real and connecting?
Photo Credit: marfis75
People LOVE to be recognized. Some prefer public recognition and others prefer a quiet, private handshake. The Emotionally Intelligent Leader will pick up the clues and offer the best recognition to fit the individual.
Today is a day to celebrate success – just because it makes you feel better, too. As with every muscle you are toning, the muscle of appreciation needs a good work out often. Spend the day in appreciation and see what magic you create.
Here are some tips to get you started….
1. You always get more of what you put your attention to
- Negativity loves company and positivity does as well. Spend the day noticing all that is positive. Watch what gets created for you during the day.
2. People don’t care how much you know, they care how much you CARE
- Sometimes it is difficult to care when you are in the small mind of assumptions or opinions. Put aside your notions and connect. Be forewarned that this leap out of your comfort zone can cause addictive good feelings!
3. A well placed personal or public thank you is a well-placed deposit in the emotional bank account
- Why do people withhold appreciation? It takes so little effort to recognize and sincerely thank another for their efforts. Remember, you lose nothing by expressing appreciation.
4. Sincere appreciation, not the purchase of happiness
- Thanks and celebrations don’t have to come replete with gift cards and money. Repetitive and formulaic appreciation creates an expectation that minimizes the recognition offered. Make a sincere thank you a habit and see what you can create.
5. Ring the bell!!
- Encourage your staff to celebrate themselves. The big sale or the completed project completed comes with a bell ring. That way all can celebrate. Create your own version of ring the bell and then whoop it up!
I appreciate YOU. To your leadership success!
I have to admit, that despite the fact that I teach about it, I am not often comfortable offering or receiving feedback.
When delivering it, I wonder if my direct and factual approach will hurt someone’s feelings, or maybe they won’t like me anymore. I also wonder if my feedback is my opinion or assumption when it ought to be based in fact and behavior. I can rehearse and rehearse and then confuse myself with one more rehearsal.
When I can get out of my head and into my heart, I can offer simple, straightforward and sincere feedback. In the present moment. No rehearsal needed. Simply connecting with the other person in the spirit of improvement and neutrally offering my observation of factual behavior. In my head I can sting or hide. In my heart, I am here and nowhere else and ready to offer.
For those of us who may want to avoid feedback from time to time, here are 7 steps that may increase expertise:
- Consider timing – don’t wait too long and don’t jump the gun. Give yourself enough space (especially if your emotions are engaged) to consider the behavior as it relates to expectations and outcomes. However, too much space and the feedback loses its purpose.
- Focus on behavior rather than opinion – laser in on the one (no more than two) behavior that, if modified, could most shift performance.
- Understand your emotions – We are humans and made up of all kinds of overt and covert emotions. Be aware when you are triggered or judgmental. Get curious with yourself so that you can be clear for the other person.
- Get to the point – Don’t dance around the issue. Factual and neutral are the preferred ways of being.
- Impact – make sure that the person you are offering feedback to understands the impact. We often have a blind eye to the ripples our behaviors can cause. Understanding the impact creates a desire to change.
- Make sure the person agrees to an action – clarify the request and the action steps and then handshake on the agreement.
- Laser Focus not Razor Focus – Laser in on the issue and bring a spotlight to the behavior, impact and change. Do not use the razor of judgment, assumptions, and opinions to cut to the point.
These seven steps are a great jumpstart to aligning head and heart. That alignment is a hallmark of Emotionally Intelligent Leadership. With great feedback you create a safe environment for people to learn and course correct and empowerment for achieving goals and good outcomes.
Inspired leaders give sincere feedback in the moment. If you’re wondering why your team is not as connected as you’d like, get my F-R-E-E mini audio workshop “The 5 REAL Reasons Your Team is Not Engaged (and it’s not what you think).” To receive your free copy CLICK HERE.
We are all human and we all have egos. Ego is defined as the opinion that you have about yourself; a part of the mind that senses and adapts to the real world.
The ego has a useful function. It helps us to discern, to understand to set boundaries, and to remember, evaluate, and plan.
Along the way with spiritual and personal development, we have been given a message that the ego must be subdued or diminished or obliterated. Key transformational leaders will avow that they have transcended their ego.
Good for them. I still have one. You still have one. As an Emotionally Intelligent Leader, I must learn to manage my ego in the same way that I manage my emotions:
- Recognize and don’t deny.
- Clean up any ego explosions.
- Find neutral – that purposeful and passionate place of presence that resists ego and emotional hooks or triggers.
When I deny ego, justify my ego outbursts, or stay in drama rather than purpose, I am not aligned in emotional intelligence. I go unconscious and can be hijacked by one of the big functions of the ego – safety.
One of the tricky things about the ego is that it enjoys safety and protection – both of “me” and “itself.” When ego is running the show, we often find ourselves in resistance, protection, masked, and defensive. Boy, that commitment to safety takes a lot of energy.
As I was considering talking about the ego, an acronym popped into my brain: EGO is Easing Genius Out. Ego has push and pull; contrast and comparison, levels and closed doors.
Genius is flow. Genius is open, honoring, emotionally vibrant and unconcerned with the safety and protection of its neighbor, EGO.
When I’m leading an emotionally intelligent life, I find myself in the flow of genius more and more often and ego subterfuge is easier to see. I have choices:
- Flow or resist
- Create or compare
- Curious or critical
I’m getting better about the first choice. I like it better. I’m learning to dance between healthy expressions of ego and living in my genius.
If you liked today’s blog post, you’ll love my F-R-E-E mini-audio workshop “The 5 REAL Reasons Your Team is Not Engaged (and it’s not what you think).” To receive your free copy CLICK HERE.
Today’s business landscape is tricky. Anyone who has been in business for 10 years or more, has been programmed to keep an arm’s distance, have cordial leadership, and provide direction to the team.
We need to update ourselves because it’s not working anymore. Today’s workplace demands transparent, emotionally intelligent leadership. We have to get real, make it personal, and be transparent with our team. And frankly, I don’t think we know how to do this very well.
We know that engagement leads to more discretionary activity by our team. We are doing what we can to create engagement. And we are trying the latest tricks, fads and team building exercises. Maybe we are redoing our cubicles or revamping our team activities.
All of these can be good things.
None of these things replace a deeply connected personal relationship with you, the leader. It is your connection with your team that creates importance and urgency. Knowing that you walk a fine line between keeping certain company information private and being transparent to connect with your team, what can you do? It’s a deceptively simple answer.
Be present, here and now, nowhere else. Your team wants your full attention when you are with them. So put down the cell phone, the iPad, the PowerPoint slides, and get real with your team.
One boss I had picked up the phone to text every time I wanted to talk with her. Or to check if she had been texted. It left me feeling like chopped liver. And I found myself becoming more disengaged to the outcomes that she wanted, unless they served me.
And I’ve watched a few of my clients – incredibly grounded, warm hearted, relationship driven leaders – who do just the opposite. They connect with their teams. They turn off their cell phones. They schedule their calendars full of one-on-one appointments with their team. They are genuinely interested in what makes each individual on the team tick.
And they reap the rewards.
Their teams are loyal, using tons of discretionary effort, feel fully invested with both time and training, and going the extra mile to create the results.
That’s a success story for me.
What is one thing you can do today to create a meaningful and deeper relationship with someone on your team?
OK, do it!
Start creating higher level of team engagement with my complimentary audio workshop! To receive my F-R-E-E mini-audio workshop “The 5 REAL Reasons Your Team is Not Engaged (and it’s not what you think)” CLICK HERE.