Initiating Positive Change by being “Emotionally Intelligent”
One way Willory works on our individual professional development is an internal HR policy to have each employee – new and veterans alike –examine our own communications styles and how they impact the world around us. At the center of this exercise is the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0, reading and reviewing it as a group with a mentor. From all accounts, it’s been a fantastic experience helping us to understand ourselves and our communications. Each organization should consider their own professional development path, but for me, the one that includes Emotional Intelligence taught me:
Provide Constructive and Direct Feedback
If you’re the one providing feedback, make sure you’re aware of the other person’s feelings and considerate of how the feedback will be received. Focus on the recipient’s emotions, thinking through the entire conversation and how the behavior and relationship can improve. Make sure your constructive feedback doesn’t just offer your opinion, but also helpful and realistic suggestions. When providing feedback, be thoughtful and polite yet don’t sugarcoat what you’re saying.
Instead of saying, “You did an awful job on the last benefits report” you could say, “Future benefits reports would improve if we worked together on some revisions.” By saying it nicely not only does this build trust but it allows the opportunity for you to work together to find the proper solution. It becomes a collaboration, not a punishment.
Key to solving a disagreement or misunderstanding is developing a solution. Once both parties have provided their perspectives, it’s important for each to offer a solution, commonly referred to as a “fix it” statement. To work, the statement must be stripped of blame and contain only the repair.
Think about these conversations before they happen and brainstorm how you can offer a solution. Listening to the other person’s needs, addressing your own needs, and letting go of emotional baggage should inform an effective fix-it statement. Don’t be afraid to talk to coworkers and supervisors that you trust for insights on handling these tough conversations.
Have an Open-door Policy
Being accessible is key for any successful HR manager, so like it or not, a closed-door communicates that you, yourself are closed off. An open door helps you be more receptive to staff, listen, and address concerns before it’s too late.
That being said, don’t stretch yourself too thin. Make sure you let employees know when it is appropriate to have these discussions. Maybe open your door every day an hour before lunchtime ─ that way you can have a few extra minutes to address concerns without being horribly tight on time. Whatever your routine is, make sure to have employees aware and let them be comfortable with talking to you and with one another. Putting in a little extra time each day can go a long way.
Is your organization struggling with communications and interpersonal dynamics? it may be emotional intelligence that is the problem or something else entirely. A great way to address these issues head-on is with an HR audit with Willory. We do this by looking at the entire employee life cycle from recruitment to retirement and diving into what specifically needs improvement. Our audit also makes sure that policies and procedures are efficient and compliant and sets the pavement for an organization-wide transformation.