emotional intelligence at work has a very simple rationale. Using this foundation, we have refined and concentrated our beliefs down to three. These combine with the following concepts which, in conjunction with three characteristics of our approach, make emotional intelligence at work different.
If you boiled all of emotional intelligence at work’s attitudes, principles, ideas and approaches down to a single concept, a single word, that word would be:
Much psychology over the past hundred years has focussed on the individual, not on the relationship between individuals. However, it is relationships that break down in marriage —and in business. A customer’s perception of a business is usually largely based on how the business’s staff are with the customer. An employee’s progress is, at least in apart, determined by his or her relationship with their manager, and the manager’s perception of them.
So, the emotional intelligence at work approach to business emphasises business relationships rather than the business person because that is the way to get to the heart of what’s going on. This equally true in an group of people who get together to pursue some common cause, whether in the public sector, the third sector and, indeed, in religion, sport and politics.
And business relationships are, typically, more complex than individuals, so failing to address them is going to leave out some essential components of what makes organisations tick. A relationship does include the people at each end but it also adds a transactional dynamic between which is fluid and rich in content.
In a business of ten people, there are 45 one-to-one relationships between the people in the business. Each member of staff has a relationship with ‘the board” and each board member has a relationship with “the staff”. That’s another ten. Even if there are only three departments in the business (say, sales and marketing, service delivery and admin) each person has a relationship with their department and also the other two. That’s another 30.
We’ve got to 85 relationships before we’ve even started to think about the outside world of clients, suppliers, possibly shareholders, other stakeholders and everyone from the local authority to HMRC and the bank.
> The stages of a business relationship
If you boiled it all down to two words, the second word would be
In our world, leadership is a way of being in a relationship. It’s characterised by making the other person more important than you, by adopting the motto of Sandhurst, Serve to lead. It is about partnership, interdependence (not codependence) and working together for a greater good (the business). Because we decouple this approach to leadership with that part of leadership which is telling people what to do, it enables us to suggest that everyone in the team can practise leadership. And this will bring maximum energy and power to the group.
> Leadership overview
If you boiled all of emotional intelligence at work into three words, the third word would be
The organisation does not exist in which there is too much communication. Plenty of noise and shouting, maybe. But proper communication….
Yet it is through communication that leadership is expressed, that it is used to achieve good in the business. Good communication achieves more, more effectively and more efficiently. Bad communication not only achieves less, less effectively and less efficiently, it is an excellent means of fomenting arguments, division, and the power struggle which people at work use to avoid going into leadership.
So attention to the nature and quality of communication in an organisation is essential.
> Twelve principles of effective communication