The impact of emotion in business
Last week in Leeds we ran a course on how to leverage your Emotional Intelligence, or EI as it is commonly known. There was standing room only - it seems everyone wants to understand exactly what EI is and how they can develop their own high levels of it. Not ones to be left out, we decided to sit in on the session. We loved it.
EI is an ability or skill to perceive, assess, and manage the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. That's the dictionary definition anyway, but if you ask many people what it is they will tell you that in it's simplest form, it's a way of explaining and qualifying what has commonly been termed for years as 'gut feel'.
Call it what you will, EI is having an incredible impact in the world of business, particularly in the areas of leadership and employee development. The Harvard Business Review hailed Emotional Intelligence as "a ground-breaking, paradigm-shattering idea, one of the most influential business ideas of the decade."
Certainly over the course of our own working lives we have witnessed how those with an ability to make great 'gut feel' decisions have been those who have achieved success.
So developing our EI is important. But where you start to see really great results is when you learn to use your Emotional Intelligence alongside your rational intelligence, known as your IQ. Together, your EI and IQ will give you a balanced and rounded view of things.
Six count rule
A key tip we learnt last week was the 'six count' rule. This is something you should apply when you receive information, of a surprising or shocking nature. Counting to six gives you the time to disseminate the information correctly, using both your emotional and rational intelligence.
In a small but fast growing business we are constantly being delivered news, lots of which we don't want to hear. This has been cancelled, that's not happening, there's been a change of plan. It's amazing how you instantly react to such news. Huffing and puffing, expletives flying as you bark your instant response. And all before you've really given yourself the time to fully digest the information. Using the 'six count' rule allows your instantaneous emotional response to be balanced with some rational thought, which takes longer to kick in.
We have decided to adopt this rule at everywoman. In fact we even thought about modifying it and introducing the 'six minute' rule. Well, your reactions do slow the older you get don't they? The only problem with this is that by the time we'd got ourselves together with a balanced response to our first piece of news of the day, there would be two or three more queued up awaiting our attention. Such are the joys of small business.