Tag Archive for women

Taking Steps for Erasing Racism for Women in the Workplace

This article is not the one originally planned for this newsletter.  With the events that have unfolded over the last month regarding racism in America, I knew the plan needed to be changed.  This article is going to be more personal than most, while still focusing on women in the workplace.  I am a white woman and with that goes white privilege, that is not lost on me.  I was born in 1950, when in my hometown you would see water fountains, bathrooms and pools marked “colored” or “white”.  There were two black kids in my elementary school. That was my foundational environment. Fast forward twenty plus years later, I took a position as a Field and Camp Director with the Girl Scout Council in Southwest Georgia. Initially I met with black and white volunteers in my cities separately, because that was the way it had always been done.  It was my goal to change that, and that was accomplished.  It was also part of my mandate to have black girls and white girls occupy the same tents and cabins, without parents jerking their daughters out of camp.  That was also accomplished.  I have spent the last month asking myself what have I done lately, given it is 40 years later.  Yes, I participated in some diversity and inclusion committees in the 80’s and 90’s and have offered programming at Dress for Success and sponsored seats at my workshops to DFS participants, many of whom are black.  It is with a great deal of regret, shame and sadness that I can say, clearly, I have done nothing dramatic.  This article starts with the premise, too little, too late.

This article is focused on racism for women in the workplace, not systemic racism in America.  This is the focus because women in the workplace is my area of expertise and I do not see myself as qualified to address wider issues.  Let’s take a look at some of the current startling statistics.  We know women average 82 cents to a man’s dollar in wages in the workplace.  For Black women, that number plummets to an average of 62 cents compared to a man’s dollar.  In the 25 states with the largest numbers of Black women working full time, year-round, pay for Black women ranges from 47 to 67 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men in those states.  The disparity is shocking.

In times of turmoil and struggle I have always looked to my heroes for leadership.  As a proud graduate of the University of Tennessee, one of my heroes was legendary basketball coach, Pat Head Summitt.  She was an outspoken voice for Black athletes.  Recently, I read an article about what she did and would do if she were still alive.  Here is a quote from that article:

“As the women’s basketball world marks the four-year anniversary of Summitt’s death from Alzheimer’s disease on Sunday, Summitt’s former players believe her leadership would be valued now more than ever given the current climate of the country.”

You can read the article here.

What could your workplace be doing?  Here is a list of action areas your company could consider:

  • Create a statement of the company stance on racism, as the starting point.
  • Create safe spaces for difficult conversations by an objective facilitator.  It may be necessary to hire an outside consulting firm.
  • Advise managers to be careful about putting employees on the spot in a public setting, when asking how they are.  These types of intimate conversations must be private.
  • Watch out for retaliation toward employees for speaking out about racism at work.  It is hard enough to speak up, negative consequences are unacceptable. 
  • Give employees paid time off to take care of themselves, see a doctor or therapist during these very stressful times.
  • Review performance evaluations for bias and needed language change.
  • Review hiring practices for racial bias.
  • Review every level of the organization for racial equity.
  • Review the composition of the board of directors for racial equity.

When you see an area that is lacking: stand up, speak up, and band together!  The stronger your privilege, the heavier your burden for responsibility.  Do not miss Kay’s Corner for what you can do on a daily basis to combat racism in your workplace.  If you already have ideas of how you want to be part of the solution but are a little uneasy about how to proceed, please call me a (513) 561-4288 or email me  at Kay@highheeledsuccess.com

Taking a Contrarian Stance for Workplace Impact

It’s rather comical that I am writing this article, as I grew up as the poster child for rule following.  My memory goes back to the sixth grade when a group of us walked to a classmate’s house for lunch.  Back in the day, we could walk home for lunch but it was forbidden to go to a classmate’s house without written permission from a parent.  When the group got caught I did not get any punishment because the principal didn’t believe little Kay Jones could have possibly done anything wrong.  I can remember being devastated because I wasn’t getting detention along with the rest of the “outlaws”!  It has taken me a lifetime to be gutsy enough to be different, to be a contrarian, to take a different stance on anything.  A few years ago a colleague told me “I figure I am not being innovative if I have not irritated someone every day!”

The first time this paid off in my business was in an article I wrote for the Cincinnati Business Courier on September 13, 2002.  It focused on women forgetting the glass ceiling and instead looking at one’s own internal ceiling. Though later in the article I acknowledged that the glass ceiling was alive and well, that contrarian stance grabbed the attention of the Courier. 

Am I advocating being a pain in the backside just for kicks? Certainly not. What I am advocating is to look at your values and your innovative spirit to use them as a springboard for taking a stance in the workplace that may be contrary to what others are thinking.  This could likely buy you some positive attention in the workplace.  Think about people who have been different or contrarian in your lifetime.  The first that pops up for me is Ralph Nader, political activist noted for his involvement in consumer protection, environmentalism and government reform.  Fast forward from 1965 when Nader first came to prominence to 2019 when climate change activist Greta Thunberg came into wide recognition.  You don’t need to be splashed all over the nightly news to be effective. 

Perhaps you have an idea that is different from others in your workplace and you strongly believe in it and contend that it could be valuable.  Taking that stance might be a bit scary for you or uncomfortable.  You do not have to stand alone.  I currently have a client who is new to her job but has a long history of expertise in her industry.  She knows they need to be doing some things radically different.  Being the new kid on the block, she is unsure if her viewpoint will be accepted.  In our coaching, we discussed using industry standards and revered industry gurus as credibility backups.  For you, it might be a Standard Operating Procedure from another company or industry, a legal precedent, or industry best practices.  You can see that you do not have to stand totally alone.  Your thought or idea doesn’t have to be 100% never tried; it just may be outside of what has been done at your place of work.

Where to start if your innovative juices have gone dry?  Your values will likely hold the key.  There is a step by step guide to getting started in Kay’s Corner this month.  If you already have an idea but are a little queasy about floating it or you just need some guidance on this career step, please call me a 513-561-4288 or email me Kay@highheeledsuccess.com and we can discuss coaching options. 

Assessing Your Professional Identity

Years ago a client asked me, “How will I know when I am SOMEBODY?” It was such a well-phrased and poignant question.  It emanated from a place of pain and struggle for her.  It was clear she was not alone, as many of my clients expressed similar dilemmas.  In fact, it is just part of the human condition.  You want to know that you matter.  If you think about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the theory in psychology proposed by Abraham Maslow about human motivation, that quest is identified as Self-actualization.  If you are unfamiliar with Maslow’s work, check this out: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  It was such a compelling question that I created a workshop entitled “Kick Up Your Self-Esteem:  How Do You Know When You Are Somebody?” ™

My actual answer to my client was, “You won’t know if you are SOMEBODY unless you do two things: 1) Identify success for yourself and 2) Pay rapt attention to your progress.  What does being a professional mean to you?  Your definition of success will likely change over time.  Your goal as you entered the workforce will probably be quite different from your goal now if you have been in the workplace 5, 10, 20 plus years.  This is YOUR goal, not one that your boss or employer identifies for you.  If you are a business owner, it’s not necessarily what your professional association or industry considers successful.  This is all about YOU!  Plus, life is busy, your career is busy and you likely have made strides but they have gotten lost in the busy. 

For decades I have done a process at the beginning of every year to reevaluate the age old question, “Who am I?”  This is a process that I recommend to all of my clients.  This is a pause, a time for self-assessment, for reflection.  I do not have a gambling bone in my body but I’d still bet you will surprise yourself with this endeavor.  What you will be doing is writing, at the beginning of the year, a statement of who you are as a professional.  If you have never done this before it may seem daunting.  Take a deep breathe and relax, you will not be graded.  This is not about right or wrong.  You don’t have to show it to a darned soul.  This is an opportunity for you to acknowledge, celebrate, revise, and revamp.  It’s a great time to look at the gap.  Huh?  What gap?  Take an assessment of who you see yourself to be today and compare it to who you really want to be. 

Reinvention is possible!  I dedicate this article to my Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority Big Sister, Kathleen Clarkson Frey.  On February 20, 2020, after a brief stay in Hospice, she transitioned out of this life as we know it.  I watched Kathy reinvent herself as a young woman in an extraordinary way.  What a role model of possibility she was for me.  Can you reconfirm or reinvent yourself?  Yes you can!  Need more help?  Please read Kay’s Corner for some action steps.  If you would like some professional guidance, please call me at 513-561-4288 or email me at Kay@highheeledsuccess.com.  It just so happens, that’s what I do for a living.

Commanding Leadership More Important Than Likability

Most of us want to be liked as we go through our day – it’s more pleasant, even more comfortable.  Being liked in the workplace, however, isn’t the most advantageous quality for your career advancement and can even be a trap for women as they navigate a balance between traditionally masculine and feminine traits or characteristics.

I got the idea to write about this topic after reading the opinion piece, “How Women Escape the Likability Trap,” by Joan C. Williams, a professor of law and director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, published in The New York Times on August 18, 2019.

“There has been a lot of talk recently in the political arena about the likability trap for women:  Women who behave in authoritative ways risk being disliked as insufferable prima donnas, pedantic schoolmarms or witchy women,” writes Williams.

Williams goes on to write about how successful women overcome this form of gender bias.  It was enlightening for me to read her take on this important topic.

In my many years of career coaching and mentoring women to overcome challenges in the workplace, I have found three of the most common traps women can fall into.  We call them likability traps, and these are the most common:

  • Being the office mom is the worst direction you can possibly go.  This is such a common trap for women, because we’re care givers in so many other aspects of our lives.  When you bring this to the office, however, a nurturing demeanor with a willingness to take care of everyone puts you in a subordinate role.  While this is most common for women, it can be a serious dilemma for both men and women.
  • Depending on traditional feminine style is too easy.  Most women find that they rely on using 90% traditional feminine style and 10% more traditionally masculine style to navigate at the office.  When you spend most of the time trying to use traditional female techniques to win people over, you give up the strength and power that should be part of your leadership style.  Unless we have the courage to do something differently, we will continue to maintain a system where we let men take the lead and the system will not change.
  • Avoid gender displays.  Sometimes called anthropologic displays, gender displays include examples such as always wearing pink lipstick or always wearing a skirt to attempt to counterbalance a more commanding leadership style.  This is so dangerous when you fall into this likability trap.  When a woman resorts to gender displays, she continues to propagate viewing a woman as an object, usually without even realizing what she’s doing.  This can be very distressing.

Now that we know what to watch for, what can we do about these likability traps?  First, delete from your vocabulary (and your way of thinking) terms like femininity and masculinity.  Instead think in terms of the appropriate tools to use for the circumstances, such as collaboration or even command.

Collaboration and consensus-building are vital when you’re seeking input from others.  It’s always a good idea to solicit additional ideas from others when you’re trying to brainstorm or bring creativity into your workplace.  These skills – collaboration and consensus-building – are absolutely essential to certain situations.  That is not about being feminine or masculine – that is simply smart!

Take each situation for what it is and ask yourself “What works situationally?”  Go another step and ask, “What gives me the outcome I’m looking for?”  When we want input, creative ideas and buy-in to build consensus, use your smart skills and avoid relying on a gender crutch.

On the other hand, there are many occasions when you need a commanding style.  When someone needs to step up and take the lead, when no one else is stepping up or when time is of the essence, being the team member who can take command and lead a group to a resolution is incredibly valuable.

As you’re assessing the situation, be ready for the times when you can’t go down the collaborative, consensus building road, because you need to make a decision.  If you recognize the opportunity, you will shine!

If you recognize any of these likability traps in your workplace relationships and need help developing a strategy to overcome them, please give me a call at 513-561-4288 or connect with me via email at kay@highheeledsuccess.com.

Create a Different Filter for Workplace Interactions

If you’re someone who Is easily put-off, feels you’re being criticized, overwhelmed or picked-on at work, maybe it’s time for you to learn how to not take things so personally in the workplace.  To be blunt, it’s time to grow a thicker skin and grow up!  Put your big girl pants on!

I’ve seen this issue surface with coaching clients many times, and once you realize how to have a thicker skin, the benefits are huge.  When you can be pragmatic and less emotional, you will be seen as more of a professional, as someone who is tougher in the workplace and capable of playing with the big dogs.

A certain toughness will make you less vulnerable to the constant changes that can simply be part of everyday office politics and workplace changes.  For example, if you’re used to doing a project a certain way and parameters change, there’s less stress on you as the individual if you can roll with the changes.

Taking things too personally also takes a toll on your productivity.  For example, you are more creative and productive when you take things less personally.  The reality is, it takes mental and sometimes physical energy just to get through the day when you take things too personally.

And, the risks are too great, when you outwardly display your inability to put your big girl pants on.  When you respond to perceived slights and show that you’ve taken something personally, you’re seen as someone who is defensive at best and worst case, you’re perceived as a whiner.  Unfortunately, you can be seen as someone who is not willing and ready to grow in your professional development.

Bottom line, you live in intense fear and stress, maybe to the point of paranoia, when you take things personally in the workplace.  To help you learn how to deflect these unnecessary and sometimes harmful reactions in the workplace, remember some of these important realizations in your everyday dealings at work:

  • People want what they want and you may be an obstacle to what they want — this is not about you, you may simply be getting in the way
  • Workplace is the business of business and getting a good result — if you’re there to do a job and you’re not performing or producing, you’re obstructing business
  • It’s everywhere — you’re not going to move to a new position, a new job, a new state, a new country and find a place that’s different

When taking things personally, a common first instinct is to get a new job.  You need to manage that response and simply learn to own your behaviors and take things less personally.  I’m here to tell you this isn’t easy — we are who we are, flawed and growing all the time.

For example, I had a coaching client come to me, because she felt persecuted at work.  She reported crying about everything and left in tears every day.  One of the first things she said was, “I’m constantly being criticized by my boss.”  Her issues showed up right away in her interactions with me, making this criticism seem justified.

Unfortunately, she was late for coaching calls and didn’t complete her assessments.  She would agree to everything I suggested, then she didn’t have it done.  These were the exact same things she was hearing from her boss.  She was always late, didn’t get work done, and always had an excuse.  Yes, she would always agree and say, “Yes, I can get that done.”

When we uncovered what was happening, I think it was one of the longest pregnant pauses I’ve ever experienced.  She said, “You’re right, I’m taking things personally because these are personal problems.”  So, if this is you or you have some growing up to do, you’re not a bad person, just put your big girl pants on and move on!

Look at everything from a very pragmatic, business perspective.  Ask yourself, what will it take to do this?  If you’re making errors, do you need to slow down?  Maybe you need more technical skills to sharpen your performance.  Maybe there are areas where you actually need to say, okay fine, take the next step and don’t think about it too much.  Sometimes, it simply is what it is.

If you are struggling to have a more professional focus at work and know you need to take challenges less personally, coaching may be your answer.  Call Kay at 513-561-4288 or email kay@highheeledsuccess.com.

Know Your Value, Improve Your Life

Did you know that April 2 was Equal Pay Day?  We all know April 15 is when our tax returns are due; however, Equal Pay Day marks the 3 plus additional months that a woman needs to work to earn as much as a man earned the previous year.  In other words, she’s working a full year plus three more months just to catch up with what a man earns for doing the same job.  You got it!

While this is maddening, frustrating, and certainly nothing new, let’s talk about the toll this takes on you.  And more importantly, I want to help each individual realize their full work value, as well as what we can do collectively to move the needle toward pay equity.  It has been well-researched that people who make more money have improved health, so think about your own well-being and the health of your relationships.

Whether you’re taking care of your children, your parents or your pets, they are at risk when you’re undervalued and/or not receiving the salary you deserve.  When you’re out of balance with money in a relationship, it almost always causes conflict.  If you deserve to be making more or getting a promotion that you’re not, think of the impact you could have on your own health and the lives of those you love by advocating for yourself.

Think about your future retirement.  If you’re living at a basic level of subsistence without putting money away for retirement, you’ll become dependent on family, the government or charity to provide for life’s basic necessities when you’re no longer able to work.  That’s not how anyone wants to live her life, yet you have to know your value to ask for what you’re worth and plan for the future.

Why do so many women get relegated to less-valuable status?  First research continues to indicate there is rampant bias based on gender and salary, regardless of the field.  Plus, unfortunately, many women are operating out of fear – fear of push back, even fear of rejection.  For a lot of women, they are actually in denial about all the ramifications of not getting paid what they’re worth.  By denying the risks and overall impact of being undervalued, too many women are afraid to ask for what they want, which is a powerless position.

In order to take back the power, you need to do your homework and research the numbers.  By comparing, studying and researching standard salaries for positions in your particular field in your part of the country, you will know your value in your industry, your company, your particular line of work.

To put it all in perspective of where we are today, women generally make 80 cents on each dollar that every man makes.  It has been predicted that it will take 100 years for women to close that gap.  We’re not going to live that long, but our daughters and granddaughters will.  As I see it, this is not only important for you, your well-being and your future, we have to keep taking steps forward as part of the legacy we want to leave behind.

To learn more, visit  https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/04/02/national-equal-pay-day-2019-gender-wage-gap/3298020002/

If you are not getting paid what you are worth and need guidance to get there, let me coach you to that result.  Call Kay at 513-561-4288 or email kay@highheeledsuccess.com.

Shift Your Perspective, Make Yourself the Priority

It’s the middle of February.  The days are getting a bit longer, but not long enough.  Unfortunately, it’s too early for spring fever.  It’s at this time of year, we try even harder to maintain healthy habits and relationships to stay productive and keep from finding ourselves in a slump.

As we think about our self-care, let’s flip the script and make the workplace the first place you think about taking care of you.  Rather than self-care being something that happens outside of work in the evenings and on the weekends, self-care can become a natural part of your workday.

There’s always more that can be done and, even if you’re the CEO, work brings pressure and demands.  I’m here to help you remember that YOU COUNT and sometimes you need to put yourself first.

Setting boundaries at the office will help you avoid doing your colleague’s work.  Even if you have to practice saying the word “no” out loud, then practice and apply the skill at work.  Do not worry about whether you’re being nice or not.  You do not have to be a friend to everyone.

If you say “yes” to everything, the workload adds more stress.  This slippery slope could cause you to take work home at night.  For example, one client is so susceptible to not setting boundaries and taking work home, which then cuts into time with her daughter at home.  Her solution is to have a photo of her daughter right by her computer as a constant reminder.

There’s a clear line between wanting to be valuable and having positive work relationships vs. allowing others to take advantage of your good nature.  Think about where the line is and set parameters for yourself and your relationships with co-workers.

Always remember your own priorities.  If you allow others to derail you with their issues, you will allow someone else’s negative perspective to throw off your own game.  Even worse, if you allow other people’s priorities to take over, you will relinquish your own work goals and priorities.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
– Anne Lamott

As with so many issues and opportunities in life, you need to be your own advocate in the workplace.  If you need to put a post-it on your computer, do it.  Always be asking yourself what you want and need in the workplace.

As an example, conferences, continuing education and leadership training are vital to your growth and advancement on the job.  You don’t get to go, if you don’t ask.  Even if there have been budget cuts, ask and make the case for why you, why now.  Another example, I have a client who has back issues.  She has not yet asked for a better ergonomic chair, because she thinks it will “seem selfish.”

The problem with not speaking up for yourself is that you could be reducing your own productivity.  The last thing you need or want is for something so simple to keep you from being a good or even a great member of the work team.  There’s no skirting around this one – you have to be your own self advocate at work.

If you’re having trouble being the best you can be at work, you could be neglecting some of these basic self-care principles.  Please give me a call at 513-561-4288 or connect with me via email at kay@highheeledsuccess.com, so we can empower you to achieve your goals.

Obama vs. Sandburg: Embracing Both Perspectives

Following a recent interview with Michelle Obama regarding her new memoir, “Becoming,” there was a news cycle firestorm regarding her comments on the ‘Lean In’ movement that began when Sheryl Sandberg authored the book with the same title.

What struck me most about the controversy was the intense backlash surrounding who is right and who is wrong – Sheryl Sandberg or Michelle Obama.

Unfortunately, this is a reflection of the all or nothing thinking that typically permeates the human condition, yet is exacerbated by our polarization around every issue these days.  As politics becomes more polarized, we see the same intense approach to taking sides in every segment of our society.

Rather than thinking in terms of Either/Or, we need to move toward embracing the concept of Both/And.  For example, a very well known quote from Alcoholics Anonymous summarizes Both/And thinking beautifully:  Take what you need and leave the rest.”

Obama is recognizing the reality of the struggle.  Sometimes, it’s just not feasible to lean in.  There may be personal or family health issues, divorce or concerns with the kids – all are possible among the myriad of life crises that we endure.  On top of the additional stress these life issues manifest, it’s critical to reduce our own personal self-shaming during these periods.  It’s okay to say to yourself, “Right now, it’s just not realistic or feasible to be all-in for a promotion at work.”

Let me be clear, this does not mean that during the other times, when your personal life is chugging along smoothly, that we embrace some of the concepts that Sandburg addresses in her book, “Lean In.”  Once again, polarity causes us to think in terms of Either/Or, such as changes need to be made at a policy level OR we need to take personal responsibility and change our own actions.

“The most common way people give up their power is by believing they don’t have any.”

–Alice Walker

One of my favorite quotes by Alice Walker is very appropriate when talking about personal responsibility.  In other words, if we don’t assess our own behavior, possibly we have abdicated control of our own life.

The Lean In movement doesn’t promote that we can always have it all.  The reality is that we can’t have it all at the same time.  The myth of being a superwoman is not just unrealistic, it’s ridiculous.  Often, we can’t have it all; however, rather than shaming yourself, learn to recognize when now is not the time and don’t use bad timing as an excuse to tell yourself “I can’t.”

In other words, let’s figure out what you can do, when you can do it and have a plan.

Please give me a call at 513-561-4288 or connect with me via email at kay@highheeledsuccess.com, so we can empower you to achieve your goals.

 

Risk-Taking 101: Find Balance

 “You can’t be successful in business without taking risks.  It’s really that simple.” 

–Adena Friedman, President and CEO of Nasdaq

Taking risks is necessary in business; however, you don’t want to be the one who jumps into anything or the one who lags behind and misses an opportunity.  Hopefully, after thinking this through with me, you’ll be able to find your sweet spot – being both confident and completely aware as you make a risky decision.  If you have any questions, after reading this, I’m always here to coach and support you!

First of all, there are three types of risk-takers:  jumpers, ruminators and sweet spot riskers.  Jumpers don’t exercise due diligence.  Jumpers are unrealistic about the circumstances, their resources and possibly time management.  Jumpers might be unrealistic about the potential revenue, haven’t thought about how time consuming something is and generally have blinders on.

For example, I had a client who was starting a business.  She chose to spend an excessive amount of money for website, rent office space hired an expensive staff member.  She has been working overtime just to cover her expenses and has not been able to turn a profit.

Ruminators tend to go over and over information, stalling and failing to make a decision.  Ruminators are driven by fear.  The numbers make sense, yet they do more research and more research.

Sweet spot riskers – that’s where you want to land by finding balance between facilitating the necessary due diligence and moving forward because the facts present themselves.  You have what you need to make a clear, reasoned and thoughtful decision.

When you have an opportunity that requires risk and are trying to follow a process that will help you find the correct level of risk, think QCAT as the acronym to find your sweet spot.

Q for Quick – be quick but not hasty and set a timeline for decision making

C for Committed – be committed, but not rigid, and if new data presents itself that suggests a change of direction, be ready to change

A for Analytical – be analytical, but do not over analyze and use data to push through fear

T for Thoughtful – be thoughtful, but not obsessive

Personally, I tend to be more of a ruminator.  When I first started my own business; however, I was a “jumper.”  So I’ve experienced the extremes and have used these exact same techniques over the years to find my own sweet spot for risk-taking.

If you would like to walk through these steps with someone who has been there and are eager to make a greater impact in your career, it would be my honor to be part of that process with you.  Please give me a call at 513-561-4288 or connect with me via email at kay@highheeledsuccess.com, so we can empower you to achieve that goal.

Emotional Intelligence is a Critical Factor for Success

Self-Awareness, Emotions, Empathy at Work

While you might not think much about the topic of emotional intelligence, it’s an issue that comes up frequently during my individual client sessions.  Putting your best foot forward as an emotionally intelligent boss and co-worker is a need in the workplace, a need for anyone who manages people.

By definition, emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of your feelings, being in control of them and able to express them.  For example, if you’re going to succeed with challenging employees, the administrator needs to set the tone.  The administrator needs to serve as the model for what you want others to emulate.

Historically, the foundation of emotional intelligence was laid when Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., wrote his 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence (Bantam Books), which helped to explain the differences between traditional IQ (intelligence quotient) and EI.  The book was on The New York Times bestseller list for a year-and-a-half and is available around the world in 40 languages.

The next major resource to come along was the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0, written by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, Ph.D., which provides case studies, tools and techniques to improve your emotional intelligence.  In fact, Dr. Greaves is co-founder and CEO of TalentSmart, Inc., and the website talentsmart.com is a great resource to learn more.

Now, emotional intelligence is very much part of the fabric and conversation in any workplace.  If you work in a large company, you could probably talk to the human resources department to find out if you have taken or could take a formalized EI assessment.  When assessing EI, you’ll be looking at overall social awareness, relationship management and your ability to empathize with others.

If you find an area is lacking in yourself or your employees, there are strategies for improvement and some people can benefit from identifying an EI mentor – someone who seems to get along and understand others.  A mentor can be responsible for queuing you if you talk too long or if you misread communication.

For example, if an employee has negative reactions to someone else’s behavior and there is emotional fallout due to low self-awareness, this situation needs to be managed.  Or if you find employees want to leave a department because they don’t want to work with her, or headaches and stomach problems are being caused by a difficult co-worker, these situations need to be managed too.

5 Components of Emotional Intelligence

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation or emotional control
  • Motivators
  • Empathy
  • Social skills

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When it comes to social and relationship skills, we’re not just talking about charm.  As human beings interact with each other, we need to be able to interpret voice, facial expressions and body language.

Certain careers, such as information technology, engineering and research, require a high IQ; however, without emotional intelligence, success can hit a certain ceiling.  Both qualities are needed to be successful.  From Abraham Lincoln to Temple Grandin and Bill Gates, there have been many recognizable people who have lacked relationship skills.

Whether you decide to take a self-assessment or talk to a colleague for mentorship, it’s critical to identify where you have strengths or where you might need some emotional intelligence work to do.  A perfect opportunity to dig in on this topic is during your next job review.  Is there a tool or can your boss provide some guidance in this area?  A performance review is a gift to both the employee and the employer, so be smart and take advantage to help you put your best foot forward!

If you are eager to make a greater impact in your career, it would be my honor to be part of that process with you.  Please give me a call at 513-561-4288 or connect with me via email at kay@highheeledsuccess.com, so we can empower you to achieve that goal.

©Copyright 2018.  Kay Fittes.  All Rights Reserved.