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We Are Being Acquired

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Image by Michael Heinemann via Flickr

MEMO

To: Entire Company

From: Executive Leadership Team

Re: We are being acquired

Our company is being acquired at the end of next week. During the transition you will be assigned some additional responsibilities requiring quite a lot of overtime. Two of our immediate directives from the organization acquiring us are:

1) to find ways of speeding up our current processes, preferably cutting production times by 50% (they are currently producing a similar product 60% faster than us)

2) give justification for each position within our firm

Our team can handle this challenge because we have the knowledge, experience, and skill to work out an effective solution and we know we’re good. Together, we need to come up with a creative plan to tackle this added responsibility within the next two weeks. If you have personal plans within the next two to four weeks (including weekends), you may need to cancel them.

Right Now: What’s *Your* Emotional Temperature?

Chances are very good, if you received a memo like that one, you might not be thinking 100% logically. If you were an employee, what would you be feeling? If you were planning a vacation, what would you be feeling? If you were a mid-level manager, what would you be feeling? How would you keep everyone on the team focused?

For managers with a high emotional quotient, five issues immediately come to mind:

  1. Understand what I’m personally feeling and why
  2. Control MY emotions
  3. Understand the emotions of my team
  4. Work my own personal motivation to do my best
  5. Keep the team focused and on track

The Biggest Factor in Emotional Intelligence

Change. Positive or negative, change affects our emotions more than any other factor.

What is Emotional Intelligence? It’s the ability to sense, understand, and effectively apply the power, keenness, and depth of perception of emotions to facilitate high levels of collaboration and productivity. Leaders with a high Emotional Quotient (EQ) are better able to accurately understand and predict how people will react in varying situations and tailor their message so it isn’t lost in translation.

Communication isn’t about talking and listening. The essence of communication is understanding.

Portrait of male chimpanzee in business setting

Portrait of male chimpanzee in business setting

Leaders with a high EQ are cognizant of their physiological responses during any event but especially during an emotional event and use their awareness to control their own behavioral responses. This competency of control results in better decision making which leads directly to superior performance.

Researchers in Emotional Intelligence, tell us that 90% of the difference in performance between average leaders and stellar leaders is attributable to Emotional Intelligence.

Self-Awareness: the core of EQ

Self-awareness from an emotional intelligence standpoint is the ability to recognize and understand your moods, emotions and drives, as well as their effect on others. It’s knowing how your feeling and why, understanding your personal strengths and limits, and having a sense of your self worth and capabilities.

Self-Regulation: for the EQ ninja master

Self-regulation is the ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods and the propensity to suspend judgment and think before acting. Those high in Self-Regulation keep any of their own potentially  disruptive emotions and impulses in check while still maintaining standards of honesty and integrity. These managers take responsibility for personal performance, demonstrate flexibility and handling change and are comfortable with novel ideas, approaches and new information.

Empathy: understanding the other person

Within our EQ framework, empathy is the ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people, essentially sensing others’ feelings and perspectives and taking an active interest in their concerns.  Managers with a high Emotional Quotient sense their employee’s development needs and bolster their abilities. Taking it a step further, these managers anticipate, recognize, and meet the needs of others, cultivating opportunities through different kinds of people. Managers high in the empathy section of EQ can read a group’s emotional currents and power relationships.

Motivation: the EQ factor MOST leave out

Any Emotional Intelligence model that leaves out motivation is essentially … incomplete.

Motivation within our EQ framework is a passion to work for reasons that go beyond money or status, and a propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence. IT’s striving to improve or meet a standard of excellence and aligning with the goals of a group or organization. Those managers high in the motivation component are ready to act on opportunities and will exhibit the persistence necessary in pursuing goals despite obstacles and setbacks.

Social Skills: keeping everyone on track

We define social skills for the emotionally intelligent as a proficiency in managing relationships and building networks while wielding effective tactics for persuasion. It includes listening openly and sending convincing messages and negotiating and dissolving disagreements. Managers high in this component are inspiring and can guide individuals and groups especially through change. They’re adept at nurturing instrumental relationships for building bonds and working with others toward shared goals. These managers create group synergy in pursuing collective goals.

How well do your current managers handle emotionally charged events?

Call us.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

If you enjoyed in this article, please hit the ‘like’ button and share via your Twitter (@RonHaynesMBA), LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook pages. And don’t be shy! Join in the conversation – Ask questions – Add a comment! And follow my LinkedIn post page for all my articles.

Want to learn more? First check out our website and then contact us (RonH@corter.com) and tell us how we can help you and your company bring out the best in your most important asset – your people.

Certified as a Professional Behavioral, Motivators, and Emotional Intelligence Analyst, Ron Haynes specializes in using the science of TTI’s TriMetrix HD to help companies select and develop their top management talent, create job benchmark solutions, and implement succession planning.

He has recently developed an auditing process to help organizations more accurately calculate true cost of employee turnover. It’s staggeringly higher than you think.

Need a solution to your employee challenges? Contact at ronh@corter.com or at 870-761-7881.

Why ‘Trusting Your Gut’ Doesn’t Work

When you’re interviewing, how much faith do you place in your personal instincts, in trusting your gut? Have you ever been wrong?

“I don’t use employee assessments, Ron. I just interview someone and trust my gut. I’ve rarely been wrong.”

I heard that phrase from a member of a management team who had previously confessed that he had been forced to replace over 130% of his workforce last year due to poor performance, theft, absenteeism, and voluntary turnover. I resisted the temptation to point out his inconsistency. He knew.

Should you trust your gut?When we fall into the trap of trusting our gut or trusting our instincts, what we’re really giving validity to is our unconscious biases toward the comfortable, the similar, or the familiar. Confirmation bias, In Group bias, and Status Quo bias all creep in and affect our decisions when we rely solely on instincts. ‘Trusting our gut’ means we’re relying on past experiences which may or may not be indicative of how the future will play out. Yet our human nature is to constantly make associations predicting the future. Managers should focus instead on measurable metrics not just an instinct, intuition, or ‘feeling.’

Several years ago Capital One’s CEO Richard Fairbank put it this way, “At most companies, people spend 2% of their time recruiting, and 75% [of their time] managing their recruiting mistakes.” Most of those mistakes were probably made on the basis of ‘trusting our gut.’

How much does ‘trusting your gut’ cost you?

An easy way to measure the effects of ‘trusting your gut’ when it comes to hiring new employees is to multiply the times you were wrong by at least $4,800. That’s the minimum turnover cost per employee. Lose 12 employees an you’re looking at over $57,000. Should that turnover be amongst management team members, you can easily multiply that number by a factor of ten.

Some would remind us that every time we lose any employee, good one or bad one, at the time we made the job offer, that employee seemed like a good fit. So what happened? What did you miss? Where did your instincts go wrong? How much did that errant decision cost?

A Complement To ‘Trusting Your Gut’

I don’t think any executive will ever completely forgo his or her instincts and I wouldn’t suggest they do. First of all, it simply won’t happen and second, there’s something to be said for anyone who has enough experience and accomplishments to rise to an upper level in an organization. But unless an executive or hiring manager is batting 1.000 (or at least .750?), there are additions to that experience that can complement the decision making process. The result is a much higher level of accuracy.

How? Perform a validated employee assessment administered by a certified professional who will follow up and decipher the meanings and nuances of the report. Make sure the assessment has been recently validated, that it includes behavioral tendencies, intrinsic motivators, business acumen, core-skills, and the employee’s emotional intelligence quotient.

Companies using these assessment products in addition to a several round interview process that examines experience, education, training, and the interviewer’s ‘gut feeling” regularly result in outstanding hires. We’ve seen retailers catapult themselves into profitability, hospitals win national awards, home-builders slash their turnover, and manufacturing firms that were previously teetering on the edge of closure turn around 180 degrees and begin generating profits.

A small investment in learning how to better pick your candidates now will pay you huge personal and organizational dividends in the future.

Are you willing to take action? Nothing changes until you change it.

 

 

 

Original article by Ron Haynes.

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.