To keep us on track with a new learning year, just a brief recap. The year started off with a “Why are we doing this” discussion, followed by an example of a superb charge nurse team who is “doing it” in blow-away fashion. Last post we discussed a framework of behavioral approach known as Emotional intelligence. This classic approach to organizing personal and professional growth is highly effective. Emotional Intelligence, as a concept, was put on the map via three amazing books by the same author, Daniel Goleman. Emotional Intelligence first was published in 1994. Goleman, working with the Hay Group out of Boston then researched this concept’s viability in the worksite. These findings were published in 1998 as Working with Emotional Intelligence, from which the themes of the last blog post were taken. His final work of this trilogy was Primal Leadership, published in 2002. The last two volumes should be on the must-read list for any leader, regardless of where you are on your career path.
Today, adding to the skill set, the discussion focuses on how you think and process. You take this for granted, most days, rarely to your benefit. Digging in here can reap some incredible change. Let’s look at some common pitfalls.
Our brains are configured for survival and for efficiency. This takes us into a pattern of repeating what has worked and produced security and progress, with a strong emphasis on the security piece. Unless you become intentional regarding putting emotional intelligence and the subsequent leadership skills into place, the brain will not change the filter and you will find yourself rapidly regressing into former behaviors.
Before you tackle anything on the list from our last post regarding emotional intelligence, let’s take a few moments to consider some steps for powerful thinking. The ideas are taken from an outstanding article from the Harvard Business Review’s January-February issue of 2016 (Roberto Verganti, pp. 88-95).
Don’t get discouraged with the process of new learning. Know that the brain will protest, and if it doesn’t, your habits will! So hang in there!
Suppose, for the sake of today’s exercise, that you want to focus on conflict management as the skill that would most benefit you to develop over the next three months. Remember that the point of this is to do things differently. There is a quote something to the effect of “insanity is defined by doing the same thing and expecting different results”.
While conflictual situations puts a pit into most people’s stomach, they don’t really know why. They know it occurs and have developed patterns that address it to the best of their ability. The results are almost always less than favorable.
What I want you to do over the next two weeks is just observe. Take some time to process what you observe. I don’t want you to change anything. You have to have a baseline in order to change any of these Emotional Intelligence behaviors. Right now you have an automatic baseline, but you would be hard-pressed to give any specifics on the cause and effect of your conflict reactions, other than generalities. Few things can be changed without metrics.
As you observe and note patterns, take time to write these observations. This may sound a bit to labor intensive. Don’t fall into that trap. Anything else you do successfully has a paper trail. It establishes your thinking and your subsequent actions. As you start to notice patterns, start to plan out new ways to address these conflict situations.
Knowing yourself as well as you do, where do you give in too easily? Where do you not listen? Etc….
So nothing more today. Observe well over the next two weeks.