Why I Do This Work
At the culmination of a 30-year corporate career, I had an epiphany. It may not knock anyone’s socks off, as it is plainly and painfully obvious to anyone who has spent twenty minutes in a corporate environment, but here it is:
In the pursuit of productivity and profit, corporate leaders don’t pay enough attention to what supports, sustains and nourishes the instruments of that productivity and profit—their employees. They pursue technology and tools that will give them an edge. They focus on the bottom line as if it drives productivity instead of the other way around. They are caught up in an enduring and dangerous lie: if we all just work harder, we’ll get better results.
The last time I bought in to that lie, I was hanging on by the tattered remains of my fingernails, which had been shredded by a five-year stint clawing my way to personal wealth and ego gratification in a job that was simply not suited for anyone with a conscience. Today I can’t imagine why someone with a deeply sensitive constitution would put themselves through that, but at the time, a tidal wave of “shoulds” had welled up, gathering the energy and mass that would eventually grind my face into the sand. From the top of the wave, I believed if I just tried hard enough, I should be able to surf it like Laird Hamilton riding the Pe’ahi (“Jaws”) break.
I lacked the skills. I lacked the passion to get the skills. I realized that hard work is not a substitute for clarity of purpose and pursuit of what’s meaningful to me.
I also realized that there must be others, many others, who feel the same way—whether they are able to articulate it or not. Sometimes it’s just an inkling that something’s amiss, yet they continue to repeat behaviors that haven’t been fruitful or ignore the signs, believing they must simply be doing it wrong. Legacy beliefs no longer serve them, yet they have nothing to replace them with, so they continue to continue. They feel as though they just need to “figure it out.”
These are the people I’m meant to guide.
My mission is to help American corporate culture move toward becoming an environment where emotional intelligence is the governing approach to talent acquisition and development, succession planning, team-building, decision-making, and stress management. I work with companies who believe, as I do, that emotional intelligence skills are the key to personal and professional growth. I work with companies who understand that people whose personal and professional behavior are closely aligned are more fully integrated, more consistently “themselves,” and more reliable in their interactions and performance.
I work with those who are thoughtful about, and committed to, learning as the primary process of success, and self-awareness as the foundation of all learning.
I work with people who share my beliefs that the EQ-i model is a useful tool for supporting a cultural focus on personal and professional growth, and that the conscious awareness gained from mindfulness practice (through meditation or other means) reaps tangible benefits throughout the organization.
I work with individuals who understand the need for a long-term commitment to emotional intelligence training and coaching in order to create an enduring culture where efficiency and profitability exist on a human scale.
I work with anyone for whom managing people is at least as important as managing processes.
The Power and the Glory of Emotional Intelligence
So what does support, sustain and nourish people at work? If you ask Daniel Pink, he’d tell you that autonomy, mastery and sense of purpose are the real and lasting motivators. Talk to Jim Collins, and you’ll learn that having the right people in the right jobs at the right time is a crucial component for everyone’s success. They are right, of course, and the glaringly obvious truth is that lurking just below all the theories and all the conversations about what companies need in order to survive is one foundational concept: emotional intelligence.
Two decades of emotional intelligence research have generated several useful models that provide a framework and vocabulary for talent development, coaching, and fostering sustainable high performance. I have chosen the Bar-On EQ-i model for its breadth and simplicity, and because the assessment test that goes with it reveals powerful truths and gives in-depth analysis in its reporting. My clients find the assessment results to be a robust tool for personal and professional development, and they refer back to it often as they navigate complex circumstances and new emotional territory.
I like to think of emotional intelligence skills as the periodic table of elements for a successful life. Much like the molecules that form the building blocks for all the substances on earth, they are the skills that form the basis for more complex proficiencies and combinations of competencies that propel careers and personal lives forward. All growth stems from these basic abilities.
Want to improve the quality of communication among teams? We got that covered: teach self-awareness, expression, empathy, interpersonal relationship skills, and impulse control. Looking to reduce drama? We can teach people how to balance their emotional expression, impulse control and social responsibility. Focusing on increased organizational trust? Add reality testing to the mix, and throw in a bit of empathy. Recognize the toll that long hours and stress are taking on your teams? Stress tolerance is an EQ skill that is sometimes so highly developed that the underlying causes of the stress go unresolved, so let’s balance stress tolerance with reality testing and flexibility. Want to inspire workers to connect to a higher purpose? Demonstrate self-actualization, social responsibility and optimism skills.
You get the picture.
No matter what challenges your company faces, a foundation in emotional intelligence will allow you to build an organization that is rock-solid, and can accommodate growth in any direction. Other training programs and assessments, like StrengthsFinder or Meyers-Briggs, will be more meaningful and useful after EQ-i training has become part of the organization’s internal language.
Got questions? Contact Amy Steindler at (410) 268-1240 to talk about how emotional intelligence training can make a difference for your company. You can also fill out this form and I’ll get back to you at my earliest convenience.