The elephant in the room: Engagement!

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Perhaps one of the most important skills for anyone in business, or any other part of life for that matter, is the ability to genuinely engage with our fellow humans.

For the purposes of this article, I will look at what is required for great engagement from an emotionally intelligent aspect.

The understanding of emotional intelligence (‘Ei’) and its influences continues to develop apace.

There are key, measurable elements of Ei that contribute significantly to our ability to thoroughly engage others, and I have described four of these below.

Firstly, let’s look at awareness – how aware we are of our own feelings telling us what we want, like and need, and how well we balance that with how aware we are of others’ feelings telling them what they want, like and need. Keeping our ‘self awareness’ and ‘awareness of others’ in balance is essential to high levels of engagement, and key to developing our Ei.

Can you tell when you’re ‘having a bad day’? What effects does it have on you in terms of your emotions, your thoughts, and how it influences how you behave?

Now, can you tell others’ emotions, and adapt your thoughts and behaviour accordingly in order to engage them successfully?

The next to look at is your ability to connect (sometimes called ‘personal connectedness’ in Ei journals) – how well you create and build significant connections with others by sharing yourself with them. Really, this is self-explanatory, although the ‘sharing yourself’ is more about letting the listener know you’re a ‘genuine’ human being with interests, habits and foibles, just as they are.

Then there is authenticity (sometimes called ‘invitation to trust’) – how well you invite others to trust you.

If you analyse what builds trust, it is mainly because the other person displays their principles (which they stick to), they are reliable (they do what they say they’re going to do), they’re consistent (in terms of their views and their behaviour), and you get a chance to ‘know’ them (reassuring you that they’re a ‘real’ person, not a robot!).

How well do you demonstrate your principles, your consistency, your reliability and let others get to ‘know’ you?

Your success at engaging others depends on it!

Finally, for this article, is how you build trust with others accurately.

In simple terms, we should build trust in others based on the evidence they present to us. The key is to start from a ‘neutral’ point – neither mistrusting, nor over-trusting, but allowing trust to build based on the evidence.

This ‘carefully trusting’ position allows you to build trust more accurately in others. If you trust them appropriately, your willingness to openly engage with them is higher.

So there you are, four relatively simple elements of Ei, all of which, with practice, will substantially enhance how well you genuinely engage others, and, essentially, how engaged they will feel with you and how much more effective that relationship will be.


(based on the Ei Model developed by JCA Global Limited, and the book “Emotional Intelligence @Work” by Jolyon Maddocks)

To find out more about how I work with business executives, leaders and owners to maximise their potential and success, including using emotional intelligence, and the benefits of professional executive coaching and mentoring, particularly in developing leadership, strategy and growing a business, please contact me:

t: 01242-672440

e: click here

© Adrian Malpass 2015-17. All rights reserved.