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Corporate IQ & EQ: tip 1

Always listen first before you (re)act unless it is an emergency.

Firstly, human perception is limited and we all see things mostly from our own perspective. Secondly, we do not have perfect information. Even when we look into all perspectives and understand it is worthwhile to be as informed as we can before making a decision, it will still be based on partial knowledge. We listen with a different energy when we appreciate that everyone is contributing to a fuller understanding and is supporting us. Each of us may hold a piece of the puzzle. This in itself, creates a certain trust in the process and a willingness to fully hear, even though the words may seem challenging. Listening is a resource to be better informed and all you have to do is ask open questions and check for understanding (paraphrase).Not only will you get more and better information, but doing so you also are engaging others through which their commitment to contribute will grow. Worldwide a large percentage of employees does not feel engaged at work (Gallup 70 – 85%)because they do not think they have an opportunity or are not allowed to contribute and don’t matter. Listening to what employees have to say creates a turn around through which mutual understanding and collaboration can grow. Listening, paraphrasing and asking open questions contribute to a better performance and increase profit.

Feedback is necessary but criticism usually creates resentment and is unproductive. A simple turn around here could be to change your thinking and words from “Yes, but …..” into “Yes, and what can improve this proposition, even more, is ….”  This is how you inspire and motivate each other.

“Emotions play a vital role in feedback. They convey emphasis and let others know what we value. Emotional experiences stick with people, last longer in their memories, and are easier to recall. Neuroscience research makes clear that emotions are essential to our reasoning process. Strong emotions can pull us off course, but in general, emotions support better decision-making.” (Harvard Business Review: guide to Coaching employees)