210401 Management Training in the future – Part 2
This is the second and final blog in this series; you may read the first blog here. In this blog I complete my review of a new EDx course Empathy and Emotional Intelligence at Work run by two UC (Berkeley) Professors: Dacher Keltner and Emiliana Simon-Thomas. Their other major claim to fame is that they were the Scientific Consultants to the Pixar film Inside Out.
The course comprises four modules based on the Goleman model: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social-Awareness and Relationship Management. In this blog I review modules 3 & 4.
Module 3 Empathy/Social-Awareness
Keltner’s advisor when a student was Paul Ekman. So he is a big believer in facial expressions (50% accurate) and voice (60%). There is a study by Alan Cowen (UC) that found world-wide there were 16 emotions revealed by facial expressions. The 16 were amusement, anger, awe, concentration, confusion, contempt, contentment, desire, disappointment, doubt, elation, interest, pain, sadness, surprise, and triumph.
I did the Facial Recognition Quiz scoring 14/20 which is the first time ever I have scored better than average. As I have posted in an earlier blog I am not a big believer in Eckman and instead side with Lisa Feldman Barret
On the other hand what did resonate was the argument that voice (60%) was a better indicator of emotional states that facial expressions (50%). I found this article Does Your Voice Reveal More Emotion Than Your Face? pretty convincing. In my own courses I similarly argue that the way and the content of how one talks is a major clue in working out a person’s temperament.
Keltner then discusses body language and gestures. He talks about positive empathy boosters such as illustrators that are dramatic gestures that give energy to our speech and regulators that are gestures that coordinate communication between people. Using engaging body language when talking to someone is important.
On the other hand, Self-adapters which are nervous discharges of neurotic energy such as touching your face, jiggling your leg, biting your lip, pulling on your hair, scratching your head may reduce your credibility and trustworthiness. Finally there are emblems that are things you do with your body that translate directly to words within your language such as the thumbs up.
Keltner then moves on to touch. Pats on the back are very positive in a variety of situations. Teams who use touch as a form of bonding perform better. On the other hand, touching people in the workplace in the current environment may be risky behaviour.
Active listening is a key part of social awareness. Besides turning off or even hiding your mobile another useful tip is to say “It sounds like … (followed by a paraphrase)”.
Module 4 Relationship Management/Social Skills
Keltner begins by making several very interesting points. The first is that despite the rise in the use of technology there’s no substitute for face-to-face communication and collaboration. You get a richer display of cues and learn what people’s commitments and intentions are in a F2F meeting.
Secondly, we are moving across sectors from more vertical command and control approaches to leadership and power to more horizontal collaborative models of power. Not only that workplaces are more diverse and multi-cultural. EQ is needed more and more.
This is then followed by a section on one of my favourite topics: Corporate Psychopaths. There are several terrific papers that are really worth reading: Does It Pay to Be Ruthless? and How Narcissistic Leaders Make Organizations Less Ethical.
Next the module discussed conflict situations. The self-distancing technique recommended in the previous blog was highly recommended. Note one of its great benefits is that it is invisible – the other party does not hear you discussing yourself.
One interesting finding is that more power you have the less effective is a simple apology. People are increasingly cynical about power and you often need to offer some form of compensation when a mistake is made.
Another useful tip (particularly for someone with a lot of the Politician component) was about holding a grudge. “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
And a valuable technique in conflict situations is to go on a walk with the other party. The point of resolving conflict is to repair relationships and reduce negative feelings—which doesn’t happen when we ignore problems or strive to prove others wrong. Instead, active, collaborative approaches that allow everyone to be heard can help ensure that conflicts don’t work against our happiness at work. The act of walking side by side with someone mirrors this process: When we compromise and adjust to each other, we can keep moving forward in sync. I have used this technique and it works.
The course finishes with discussions about emotions are important in resolving conflict, asking for help, psychological safety, compassion, gratitude, relational energy, etc. Probably the best paper is by Mark Brackett: Master your emotions to boost workplace performance and build better relationships where Marc pushes the Mood Meter. I have blogged about the deficiencies of the Mood Meter here. I again reiterate my main mantra: People drive performance, emotions drive people, temperament drives emotions. A knowledge of temperament far more important than labelling and regulating emotions.
One skill my Practical Emotional Intelligence for Salespeople course teaches is how to anticipate and handle objections depending on the strength of the 7MTF components.
A key skill my Practical Emotional Intelligence for Leaders and Managers teaches is how to handle and resolve conflict depending on the strength of the 7MTF components.
I must confess I took the cheap option of doing this course – at my stage in life I do not need another certificate. But I am the first to admit it contains a lot of useful videos and papers.
This blog was first published on LinkedIn on12 April 2021
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