So, just what is emotional intelligence? (part 2)

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In the first part of this article (click here), I looked at these key elements that help to assess your Ei:

Measuring the Attitudes elements

Measuring the Feelings elements

Measuring the Personal Management elements

 

In this final part, I shall look at:

Measuring the Relationship Management elements

Developing your Ei

 

The Relationship Management part of Ei assessment is built up from 5 key elements:

Trust – how inclined you are to trust others

Balanced Outlook – how you balance optimism with realism

Emotional Expression and Control – how well you balance expressing and controlling your emotions

Conflict Handling – how well you handle conflict

Interdependence – how well you manage taking yourself and taking others into account

 

In all of these Relationship Management ‘scales’ there are three core components:

The ‘target/ideal’ component where a high level of attainment is desirable

The ‘under/too little’ component where a low ‘score’ is preferable, and

The ‘over/too much’ component where a low ‘score’ is also preferable

So the ‘ideal’ outcome is to have the under/too little and the over/too much measurements with a low ‘score’, and the target/ideal measurement with a high ‘score’.

However, whilst this ‘ideal’ position is readily achievable, especially through developing your Ei, the majority of responses, at least initially, do not demonstrate this ‘ideal’ combination, but notably higher scores in either the ‘under’ and ‘over’ are more common.

Here are the different ‘scales’ measured within each of the 5 Relationship Management elements:

Trust

Under / too little: mistrusting

Target / ideal: carefully trusting

Over / too much: overtrusting

Balanced Outlook

Under / too little: pessimistic

Target / ideal: realistically optimistic

Over / too much: overly optimistic

Emotional Expression and Control

Under / too little: under controlled

Target / ideal: free and in charge

Over / too much: over controlled

Conflict Handling

Under / too little: passive

Target / ideal: assertive

Over / too much: aggressive

Interdependence

Under / too little: dependent

Target / ideal: interdependent

Over / too much: over independent

Remember, all of these elements and their component scales are associated with how you manage your relationships with others, and can be developed and changed to enhance your Ei.

Finally, a brief look at developing your Ei.

You may well have heard of ‘reflective learning’? It’s a process that is proven to help develop many of the ‘soft’ skills and qualities, particularly those that are people-to-people based, including your Ei.

To develop specifically your Ei, try these (N.B.: a professionally qualified coach will be able to help you with all of these):

  • Build a clearer picture of your strengths and development areas.
  • Actively seek feedback from those around you (including your boss and colleagues), and ask people for their views.
  • Walk the talk! Take time to develop your strengths and close important development gaps.
  • Establish clear development goals and identify what achieving success at the next level up looks like. Remember to regularly assess your progress against these goals.
  • Regularly record reflections on your week, both positives and negatives, your emotional responses to these differing situations, and what you choose to take from these experiences. Ensure you build these reflections into useable information to guide your future behaviour.

 

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

To find out more about Ei, Ei profiling, or developing any aspect of Ei and its uses in coaching and mentoring, please get in touch – I’m here to help.

t: 01242-672440

e: click here

 

© Adrian Malpass 2016. All rights reserved.

 

So, just what is Emotional Intelligence? (part 1)

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Whilst there is a great deal of interest in Ei, there is also a great deal of confusion about exactly what it is and what its component parts are.

In much of my work, especially in the fields of coaching and mentoring, I employ the many facets and benefits of Emotional Intelligence (‘Ei’), including utilising powerful Ei profiling tools for individuals and teams in developing leadership and business performance, and in recruiting key personnel.

The good news is that after almost 100 years of research and study, Ei is now well understood to the extent that we know how to measure it (through all of the scales mentioned in this article), change it, and develop it. Ei is continuously developable – you can never have too much of it!

The benefits of developing your Ei are likely to deliver positive impacts in almost every area of your professional and personal lives. Literally!

So, just what is Emotional Intelligence?

In the first part of this article (final part next month) I shall look at the ‘core’ elements of Ei, and their key components, and those of our self management (which is a part of our ‘personal’ or ‘intra-personal’ intelligence).

Here goes…

Firstly, a simple definition of Ei:

“The awareness of how our attitudes and feelings influence our behaviour.”

The first of these, and the most fundamental ‘building block’ of Ei is our attitudes: how we balance our self regard (how well we accept and value ourselves ‘warts and all’), with our regard for others (how well we accept and value others (as distinct from approving of them)), aiming to achieve and develop high levels in both.

Self regard ‘feeds’ into how well you can develop your regard for others.

The attitudes part of Ei supports and helps us develop the ‘feelings’ part of Ei.

This ‘feelings’ part of Ei is about how aware we are of the physical influence our feelings and intuitions have on us, in balance with how aware we are of the feelings of others and, as with the regard ‘scales’, the higher our levels of both the better.

One important thing to remember is that whilst the regard scales provide the ‘building blocks’ of Ei, these awareness scales are where the ‘core’ or ‘root’ of Ei lies. i.e.: your Ei is developed from here.

The third and final element I will cover here is that of ‘self management’: a combination of ‘scales’ that collectively influence ‘how you are’ or, to put it another way, the relationship wyou have with yourself.

This self management part of Ei is made up of six elements (‘scales’):

Emotional Resilience: how effectively you ‘bounce back’ when things don’t go well for you

Personal Power: to what extent you feel you are in charge and have sole responsibility for what happens in your life

Goal Directedness: the degree to which you align your behaviour to your long-term goals

Flexibility: the degree with which you adapt what you think and how you behave to life’s changing circumstances

Connecting with Others: how well you create and develop meaningful relationships with others

Authenticity: the degree to which you invite others to trust you, through being reliable principled, consistent and ‘known’ (N.B.: this does not mean you have to tell everyone your ‘life story’)

In part 2: the relationship management scale of the Ei model

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

To find out more about Ei, Ei profiling, or developing any aspect of Ei and its uses in coaching and mentoring, please get in touch – I’m here to help.

t: 01242-672440

e: click here

© Adrian Malpass 2016. All rights reserved.

Choosing the best business coach for you

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Let’s face it. Choosing a good coach to work with you and your business is a potential nightmare!

After all, what makes a good coach?

How can you be sure you’re getting a genuine professional?

How can you minimise the risks in choosing one and what should you expect from them?

Whilst none of these have straightforward answers, there are a few things you can do to minimise any potential risks, and dramatically improve how you find and select not only a good coach, but a great one.

To start with,  remember this ‘golden rule’: always, always, always do your research before you choose your coach.

In doing that research here are a few simple steps to focus on:

1) Ask the ‘coach’, “What is “coaching”?”

Can they clearly and simply explain the key differences between coaching, mentoring, counselling, training, teaching and telling?

TIP: make sure you know what “coaching” actually is. If you’re not sure, click here to ask me for a definition.

If the ‘coach’ cannot give a detailed and correct answer to this simple question, move on to your next candidate straightaway.

N.B.: most so-called ‘coaches’ cannot answer this question correctly!

 

2) Are they genuinely professionally qualified in coaching?

It is estimated that over 85% of so-called ‘coaches’ are not professionally qualified in coaching.

Alarming, isn’t it?

So, beware! An unqualified ‘coach’ could do untold damage to your development and the success of your business. It also means they probably do not have professional indemnity insurance for delivering coaching services (I am yet to come across an insurance provider who wouldn’t require a professional coaching qualification).

Sadly, there are a vast number of flaky (to be diplomatic) ‘coaching courses’ out there, almost all of which are well below acceptable professional standards, let alone being robust enough to be genuine qualifications.

Establishing the credibility of any ‘coach’s’ professional qualification can be tricky, but a few simple checks can make a big difference and bring much greater peace of mind to the selection process.

In my view, the best professional coaching qualifications in the UK are obtained from UK universities and management schools. Clarify whether the qualification was classroom-based (good) or distance learning (not so good).

There are also a small number of professional bodies and dedicated coaching qualification providers who deliver good quality qualifications. e.g.: the CIPD (predominantly HR focused, for delivering coaching within an organisational development programme), the International Coaching Federation (a dedicated coaching skills qualification provider who has improved the quality of their programmes considerably in recent years), Eurocoach (again another dedicated coaching skills qualification provider who is gaining in reputation for the quality of coaches they produce), to name but a few.

Note: many ‘coaches’ have completed in-house coaching skills programmes from when they were working within large organisations. Be careful! These are rarely genuine qualifications or aimed at developing coaching skills to a professional standard (of course, there are a few exceptions). These programmes are usually designed for the ‘coach’ to be working within the organisation, rather than being independent. If your preferred ‘coach’ has been trained in this way, establish how they have adapted to being a professional independent coach before going further.

(TIP: if you’re thinking about qualifying as a coach, remember the simple ‘rule’ of coaching qualifications – on the whole, you get what you pay for!).

 

3) Check-out their specific post-qualification coaching experience.

It may sound like a contradiction, but the professional qualification does not ‘make’ the coach in the fully rounded, competent professional sense.

It is their post-qualification experience that really defines a coach’s credibility and expertise as a genuine coach.

When I qualified as a coach back in 2004, I completed around 150 hours of post-qualification coaching with a very wide range of business clients before I felt I had reached a level of professional competency and ‘rounded’ coaching ability required in a professional, independent coach.

All professional coaches will understand the need to continuously and pro-actively review and develop their skills and abilities throughout their careers, learning from every coaching session they deliver. As such, an experienced coach tends to work in specific areas of delivery that reflects their skills and experience (as this will provide greater empathy with the subject matter). In my case, for example, I concentrate on working with business clients around their leadership, business strategy and growth management requirements.

So, look for a genuinely qualified professional coach with a delivery focus in the areas you are seeking to change or develop.

Remember, it is not unusual to enlist the expertise of more than one coach in order to make sure their collective expertise is aligned with all of your requirements.

 

So, that’s it!

Three, hopefully, simple steps to help you find the best coach for you.

Just remember to do your research first.

If you’re unsure about anything here, or if you have any questions about coaching, please get in touch – I’m here to help.

To find out more about how I work with business executives, leaders and owners to maximise their potential and success, 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.

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Business growth: how to overcome slowing growth

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Whether you like it or not, a growing business will, at some point, experience a time when growth slows down significantly, or even stalls completely.

Most business owners – the vast majority in my experience – fail to see this coming (mainly through ineffective planning and analysis) and so, potentially critically, don’t know what to do about it when it does arrive (note I say “when” not “if”).

The result?

Business owners tend to take one of two actions. They either:

Do nothing. Absolutely nothing. Bury their head in the ‘sand’. Assume (usually sub-consciously) that the ‘crisis’ (for that’s what it will quickly become if not dealt with effectively) does not ‘apply’ to them, and that it will soon go away, or rectify itself, and growth will return….as if by magic!

Or

They panic. Rush around like the proverbial headless chickens. Turn everything upside down. Create chaos and unsettle everyone in the business, and end up right back where they started – with growth going nowhere!

Unsurprisingly, the lack of planning and strategic thinking to deal with the situation is potentially disastrous for the business.

So, what do you do when growth slows/stalls?

First, and this is important, do not panic!

Second, as you work through this challenging time, always remember to think strategically – how everything you do ‘fits’ into the ‘big picture’ for your business.

Then, you need a clear plan and process for working through this business risk to truly understand and deal with it. For example…

Step 1: get everyone, especially those with the relevant skills and experience, involved who needs to be involved.

Having a team who can ‘access all areas’ is essential to success, and is vital in getting a complete insight into the causes, effects and solutions for their issue.

Step 2: ensure there is plenty of energy in the team and the process at all times.

Any solution needs to be achieved in a timely manner, no matter how challenging it is.

Step 3: the solutions is reality….not magic!

Take a practical, subjective, ‘here and now’ approach to getting growth going again.

Step 4: give finding a solution your complete focus.

Finding the causes of slowing/stalling growth, and a solution for it has to be your absolute priority.

If it isn’t, by the time you fully understand the causes and have worked out how to move forward, it may well be too late!

Step 5: search, search, and search again.

The only way you will design and implement a genuinely good solution is from fully understanding the causes of this slowing/stalling growth.

So do everything you can to find every cause, no matter how small, no matter how large.

Only then can you be sure of building an effective solution for the whole business.

Remember to search systematically – leave no stone unturned. It is essential you root out and analyse every cause.

Step 6: take responsibility.

Unless you have conclusive proof to the contrary, take full responsibility for the causes of the slowing/stalling growth.

Step 7: remember to have a back-up too.

Just in case the steps above don’t provide the solution(s) you need, remember there is always the ‘plan B’ option – what else can you do for the good of the business that delivers a step forward?

 

Remember, the best leaders take immediate ownership and full responsibility for every challenge, and tackle them all head-on. No excuses.

Make sure you do too.

As always, if you would like to discuss building a successful plan, or how to improve your personal development in the fields of business growth, please get in touch.

To find out how my clients also achieve a 35% year-on-year increase in profits, please get in touch:

T: 01242-672440

E: click here

Business growth: making sure you get from here to there

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What does it take to grow a business and, especially, keep it growing?

What causes so many to stumble just when it seems they’re on the right track?

What makes business growth so difficult, when it doesn’t have to be?

It might surprise you, but the answers to all three questions are the same:

  • Planning
  • Reflective learning
  • Regularly reviewing both

So, let’s take these in order.

Planning

The main observation I have about planning is that business owners, executives and managers all too often fail to get their planning right.

Typically, they usually don’t have enough detail in their plans and, importantly, they frequently don’t plan far enough ahead:

It’s always easier to take something out later on than it is to add something new in

Your plan needs to look at least 3 years, and preferably 5 years ahead

Your plan needs to include everything that happens in your business, and I really do mean everything: including market analysis and trends, business structure, analysis of your competitors, product analysis and development, cashflow, profit and loss, and full financial analysis and forecasting, as well as conventional S.W.O.T. analysis and what you are learning.

Business planning is also like  planning a journey using a map – you need to know exactly where you are now and exactly where you want to get to. The route you take is up to you!

Remember: ONS figures show that over 80% of businesses who plan properly will successfully make it through the next 5 years. Over 80% of those who don’t, won’t!

 

Reflective learning

In psychological terms, reflective learning is recognised as one of the most successful, flexible, yet simplest to implement, forms of personal development in whichever parts of your life you choose to apply it.

It is particularly recognised as the key in developing one’s emotional intelligence, for example.

In fact, it is something that many of us already do without necessarily realising it.

Here’s how it works:

  • Spend a little time each day making notes of that day’s experiences. Some people choose to do this in a journal, or a pocket book, or in a mind map, or record it, or just write a list of key words – basically, do it in a way that makes it memorable, and enjoyable for you
  • Reflect on the key events, however small, making note of what impact they had on you, what went well, what you could/should have done differently, and so on
  • If you can, try to take the emotional attachment (which we all have) out of your reflections and just note down the ‘hard facts’
  • Then regularly, for example once per week, review your notes adding anything else that comes to mind.
  • So, over a period of time you will build a ‘library’ of your own unique learning experiences which you can refer to at any time.

There’s even probably an app for that! J

 

Finally, review and update you plan every month or two, perhaps applying what you have learned  too?

 

As always, if you would like to discuss building a successful plan, or how to improve your personal development in the fields of business growth, please get in touch.

To find out how my clients also achieve a 35% year-on-year increase in profits, please get in touch:

T: 01242-672440

E: click here

Leadership: the direction is up to YOU!

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5 building blocks (part 1)

You will undoubtedly have heard that one of the things a great leader does is to give the whole organisation, and especially the people within it, ‘direction’.

It’s true! A great leader really does do that.

But it’s a highly complex skill that is built up of many key elements – ‘building blocks’, if you will – that all work together to deliver this ‘direction’.

So, here I’ve selected five of those key elements – how well, and how often do you practice each of them?

Focus on where you’re going

This is often an area where leaders, especially relatively inexperienced leaders, can slip up.

Without clearly knowing where you’re going, you cannot expect to know when you get there!

Work on setting a clear goal (or multiple goals), that everyone can clearly identify, with measurable achievements along the way, and, of course, making sure all involved in reaching the goal(s) can easily understand how they will recognise when they get there.

No matter what changes, hurdles, or challenges you experience along the way, keep focused on where you’re going – if you lose sight of it, you’ll drift. A leader who’s drifting won’t be a leader for much longer!

 

Motto: do or delegate!

Yes, it really is as simple as it sounds – everytime something is in front of you, or arrives on your desk, take one simple action first: do (take action yourself), or delegate it to someone else!

Most leaders I meet want to hold on to everything themselves. Consequently, they’re usually snowed-under with things they really don’t need to be concerned with and could be done perfectly well by someone else.

So, start the new habit today (and it really is just a case of changing your habits) – just do, or delegate!

 

Engage everyone

As a leader, you need to be able to ‘take’ people ‘with’ you – you cannot do it on your own!

This does not mean directing or telling those around you they should do this or that (but remember, there is a time and place for such things too). It means engaging everyone you meet, especially everyone you need to be part of the success ‘story’ – don’t just chat to them, get to know them, and especially let them get to know you too.

If you behave like a robot, you’ll get treated (and respected) like one!

 

YOU are the final decision-maker

Leaders have to make decisions. Fact.

Great leaders know that when the ‘chips are down’, the final decision is theirs and theirs alone.

It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it – so develop your decision-making skills, constantly reviewing their success in every respect, and never, ever stop trying to make better decisions.

 

Always take full responsibility

It goes with the job, I’m afraid (for better and worse)!

Ultimately, as a leader, you are in that position because you are expected to take responsibility for yourself and your team.

So, step up and make sure you do it!

 

To find out how my clients achieve a 35% year-on-year increase in profits, please get in touch:

T: 01242-672440

E: click here

Drop your obsession with ‘being in busYness’!

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Have you noticed there’s something of an obsession among ‘business people’ to be seen as constantly, and dare I say chaotically busy?

There seems to be an almost unwritten ‘law’ that telling everyone you meet how excessively busy you are is somehow good for their business.

But what does it actually do for their business? What messages does it send out? Is it really what current and potential customers want to hear?

Most importantly, are these people just busy being busy, or are they actually busy being productive? There is a huge difference!

I’ve made a study of over 100 micro businesses over the last 2 years, and here are the conclusions.

Unsurprisingly, the people who are busy being productive are very much in the minority – typically just 1 in 10 at best.

The remainder are, quite literally, busying themselves with what they consider is ‘being busy’, yet have very little output to show for their efforts.

In many of these cases, they have a firm belief that filling their time with what they consider to be “essential” or “important” tasks is good for their businesses, sends out a positive message, and as a result they are “too busy” to do other things (which would improve their productivity).

But what are the causes of this obsession with busyness?

Well, from the businesses I have looked at, it’s fundamentally about being disorganised – poor diary/time management, not prioritising the necessary tasks, not thinking clearly about being productive instead of just being busy, and consistently not understanding the full requirements of each task (including what they would deliver, how long they would take to complete, what the whole task requires, and so on).

So, how can you improve your productivity and free-up more of your time in the process?

Try these 3 steps:

  1. Make a list of your essential tasks first. Then note down everything you need to complete each task (and I do mean everything): whose help/input you will need, what materials and other resources you need, deadlines, etc, then work out how long it will take to complete fully.
  2. Prioritise these tasks – simply compare each task with all the others, and decide which task in each comparison is most important. The number of ‘wins’ from each comparison that each task gets, gives you your prioritised list – the more ‘wins’, the higher the priority.
  3. Give yourself feedback on how successfully you increase your productivity – do you estimate enough time, do you remember everything that each task requires, how is it benefiting your customers and your business, and so on?

To find out more about how I work with business executives, leaders and owners to maximise their potential and success, 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.

Business alphabet: Q is for…Quality!

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From my monthly Building Better Businesses newsletter (subscribe here):

What does the term ‘quality’ actually mean to you?

It’s an interesting question, isn’t it?

Some of you might say you associate quality with high levels of workmanship, or customer service, or how well that new gadget work, perhaps?

However, when you’re a customer, what really does it mean?

Well, to me, it means giving customers exactly what they want. Not endless choices. Not what I think they want. Just exactly what they want.

Ask yourself, and your colleagues if they associate quality with getting exactly what they want as a customer. What answer do you usually get? Yes!

So, even though the components of quality can comprise a a vast number of elements, the ‘quality’ itself is associated with giving the customer exactly what they want.
Take Rolls-Royce cars, for example – the finest craftsmanship, engineering integrity, attention to detail, delivered on time, every time. Yes, these cars are rather pricey, but their customers expect nothing but the very best, so that’s what a ‘Royce’ sets out to deliver without question.
So, ask your customers what they want, exactly, and give it to them. Before you know it, they will be using the word ‘quality’ when they describe you and what you do – the best marketing you could wish for!

 

Business alphabet: P is for…Priorities!

P letter

I come across many people in the business world with long lists of things they need to do. yet they often complain they never get enough of the important things done. Well, if this sounds like you then this simple solution may work for you, that takes just a few minutes each day:

The aim is simply to prioritise your list so that the most important tasks are put in their order of needing to be done.

Step 1: Decide one simple ‘yes or no’ criteria that you will use to decide which task is more important than another

Step 2: You now need to compare each task with all of the other tasks in pairs and simply decide which of that pair is most important. here how…
Number you list of tasks

Take tasks 1 and 2 and decide which is most important (according to the criteria you selected in Step 1), and put a tick again which one ‘wins’

Then take tasks 1 and 3 and do the same, then 1 and 4, 1 and 5, and so on until you get to the bottom of your list

You have now compared task 1 with all of the others

So start with tasks 2 and 3, 2 and 4, and so on (no need to compare tasks 2 and 1 as that was already carried out above)

Then 3 and 4, 3 and 5 and so on

Carry this through the whole list

The list can simply be prioritised by looking at how many ticks a task has – the more ticks, the higher the priority!

Business alphabet: O is for…Opportunity!

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What do you understand, in a business context, by ‘opportunity’?

More chances to sell, or make more profit? How about a chance to build better relationships with your customers, or suppliers? What about do all those jobs your accountant has been asking you to do?

An opportunity can present itself in many, many ways. The key is to ‘see’ the opportunity when it’s there.

So here’s a simple tip: which is as effective in looking for opportunities to improve your customner service as it is in keeping yourself motivated – whenever you think you have completed one task (any task), simple ask yourself, “What else can I do?”.

Simple!

Because it’s an ‘open’ question, the voice in your head will want to avoid giving a one word answer.

Catch up with a new Business Alphabet entry every month in my Building Better Businesses newsletter. Subscribe here.