Hello <<First Name>>,
Can your “Take Charge” style be turning people off?
--Introducing the Five Dimensions of Emotional Intelligence--
During a recent performance review, Brian was warned by his manager that his ‘take charge’ style was creating problems in the teams he worked with. Brian usually came in with lots of ideas and if no one else spoke up, he pushed his agenda forward and proceeded to organize the team.
Team members were resentful that he didn’t seem to respect their opinions and often rolled over others in his relentless pursuit of his own ideas.
When he heard this, Brian was surprised. “Everyone has a chance to say something, and no one does. So I figure they want someone to take charge and so I do.”
This is a good time to introduce the Five Dimensions of Emotional Intelligence. For some of you, just being more cognizant of the importance of self-awareness and other-awareness, as described in the previous newsletter, is enough to prompt you to think twice about reflecting and responding. However habits of behavior are hard to change without specific actions to take. This is the value of looking at Five Dimensions of EQ and the specific behaviors attributed to each. It gives us a place to practice.
Getting back to our story…From an EQ perspective, Brian is overusing Assertiveness in the Self-Expression Dimension to the point of aggressive behavior. He is unskilled at reading the lukewarm reaction from the team towards his take charge style. The teams usually did what he wanted but felt no commitment to the idea since their opinion was never included. Morale suffered. Brian’s stress level increased as he felt he had to manage all the details since he was the only one pushing it forward. He had alienated much of his team and ended up working twice as hard to get anything done.
Two complementary EQ behaviors that can help Brian learn to moderate his hyper-assertiveness are Empathy and Flexibility.
Before he would allow himself to move to a decision, Brian now asked each team member individually and collectively for their ideas on the problem at hand. If nothing was offered, he suggested they reconvene later that day after everyone had time to develop their thoughts. He practiced Empathy by trying to understand how each person had arrived at their suggestion. Using Flexibility he improved his tolerance for considering alternative ways of solving the problem.
Brian was still a take charge kind of guy, however he re-gained the trust and respect of his teams because he was now willing to include everyone in the problem solving. They felt respected and committed to whatever decision was made.
In our next issue of CHOICES—The Self-Perception Dimension.
To your best potential,
If exploring EQ is something you'd like to find out more about, please contact VAULT Associates. We can provide EQ introduction sessions, individual leadership coaching, and group development workshops. Certified facilitator in the EQ-I 2.0 Emotional Intelligence Assessment.
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