BY Nicky Denegri

DATE: 09 FEB 2018

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“Leadership and Management start with a heightened sense of self-awareness; confidence and Versatility (i.e. an ability to flex your approach to the person and/or task that you’re working with, to achieve better outcomes and higher motivation all round).”

This is the first principle of our Teammaker Programme. Self-awareness is a hugely important Emotional Intelligence (EQ) competency. When we say EQ, we mean simply the ability to identify what you’re feeling, why you’re feeling that way and what you’re going to do – and to do the same in your dealings with others. In other words, it’s the cornerstone of good self-regulation.

The excellent bestselling author Eric Barker writes a lot about EQ. In one of his most recent blogs he explains that not only do you need self-awareness, you also need self-regulation – in other words an ability to understand how you’re feeling, coupled with an ability not to act in whatever way you want (because you’re not a toddler).

So it’s about understanding, deciding and in amongst this acknowledging how you feel. The excellent TED talk by Susan David focuses on this. Ignore your feelings at your peril – they simply get redirected and affect you, your behaviours and your outcomes in different ways.

And why does it – EQ – matter? It matters because people who have higher EQ consistently outperform their peers as colleagues; coaches; managers and leaders. So ultimately they make more money for their organisation – and who doesn’t mind about that?

Teammaker is built on seven principles (which we’ll be unveiling over the coming weeks and months). But this first one – understanding and developing EQ through your thinking and behaviour - locks into whichever one(s) of the other six clients want us to deliver, to help their teams perform (even) better.

If you’ve read any of our previous blogs, you may remember us mentioning Social Style and Versatility. This fantastic 360 feedback questionnaire gives us insights – our own and others’ – into the patterns of behaviours that we use most often (our Style) and how well we flex those patterns depending on the situation (our Versatility). The brilliant thing about the questionnaire results is that because it’s about behaviours, we can identify and decide which ones we need to stop, start and continue when we’re working with others.

We’re not saying this is an easy thing to do. It isn’t always. Precisely because people’s awareness isn’t always what it should be, and it can be a real shock to see that how others see them isn’t necessarily what they think. Sometimes people get a pleasant surprise, and others it’s harder to understand and accept.

Adapting your behaviours and being authentic can and do go hand in hand. This is not about pretending to be something or someone you’re not (because people smell that on us). The key to this -Versatility - is not to pretend to be a Style that you’re not; rather, it’s to use Style-appropriate behaviour when the task – and/or person – calls for it. That way you can still be authentically yourself, but an appropriately controlled one, whatever the situation.

So if you’re doing any part of our Teammaker, you’ll be introduced to Social Style and Versatility and use it to develop (further) your self-awareness and explore its benefits in all your roles – professional and personal. It’s tough love, yes, and great outcomes.

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about the author

Nicky Denegri is our Senior Consultant and Executive Coach. If you would like to know more about this subject, drop her an email and we will be in touch.

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