10 Aug Unlocking true leadership potential through Emotional Intelligence: Part One
In a corporate landscape that continues to be driven by outcomes and results, it’s time to shift focus. Now more than ever, the need for individuals and organisations to invest in and understand the emotional factors that contribute to performance, rather than performance alone, is critical. Put simply, our emotions are central to our health, happiness and performance at work.
The central lever to understanding emotional factors is to develop sound Emotional Intelligence (EI) practices. With that in mind, over the coming weeks, the team at The WRAP Group will embark a three-part blog series that provides valuable insight into best practice approaches to EI and support you to develop a super-hero set of EI skills.
In Part One, we’ll take a look at what best-selling author of Emotional Intelligence (1995), Daniel Goleman, has labelled the ‘keystone’ of EI – self awareness.
Self awareness – the keystone of Emotional Intelligence
At its core, EI is the skill to understand your emotions and how they influence your thoughts and behaviours. This includes our beliefs, values, thoughts, feelings, strengths, weaknesses, motivators and triggers. It also extends to being aware of the impact you have on the emotions, thoughts and behaviours of others.
Self awareness is associated with a range of positive individual and organisational outcomes including decision making effectiveness, relationship building, collaboration, empathy, motivation and drive, ethical behaviour, confidence and creativity. Further, for those organisations with a strong culture of self-awareness at the leadership levels, research shows a distinct correlation to an engaged workforce with increased job satisfaction.
In a recent large-scale study of 5,000 participants (Eurich, 2018), results revealed that whilst most people believed they were self aware, only 10-15% were evaluated as in fact being self aware. This discrepancy was explained by the authors to be a failure of the participants to exhibit what was described as the two types of self awareness – internal and external. Internal self awareness is knowing yourself clearly across the factors described above (e.g. values, strengths, beliefs, motivators) and external self awareness is understanding how others view us across these same factors – only with both are we able to experience true self awareness.
The overriding conclusion of this study was that self awareness was a “truly rare quality.” While this may indeed by the case, here at The WRAP Group we want to empower more people to experience self awareness and it is our mission to improve the health, happiness and success of each individual, team, organisation and community we interact with. One way we do this is through the DISCflex assessment.
Building self awareness through the DISCflex assessment
The DISCflex assessment offers organisations and individuals the opportunity to measure personality and behavioural preferences in a particular moment in time. It reports on our behavioural patterns according to the DISC factors – or what we like to call Super Powers – Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance.
Whilst there are many DISC assessments on the market, what makes DISCflex unique is that unlike others which only provide a self-assessment (i.e. you complete the items on how you see yourself and therefore learn about yourself through the self-view only), DISCflex instead adopts a 360 degree approach to enable more meaningful insights (i.e. you complete it on yourself and others complete it on you – this may include your line manager, colleagues, direct reports etc.). In relation to self awareness this is even more important when we consider the themes of internal and external self awareness as described earlier in this blog.
Completing the DISCflex assessment provides the ideal platform to take the first step in your EI journey. It offers actionable insights about how you prefer to operate across a range of contexts including comfort with change, delegation, managing up, speaking up and presenting. It also provides understanding about the types of processes you may implement to influence, make decisions and lead teams.
That concludes Part One of our three-part series on EI. Stay tuned for the next topic which will discuss empathy and its importance in leadership and business contexts. Before we leave you, below we have included one of our favourite quotes from the ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, which encapsulates the themes discussed in this blog…
“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.”
Reference: Eurich, T. (2018) What self-awareness really is (and how to cultivate it) Harvard Business Review.