Personal Impact

Written by Grant Heinrich, 14 May 2020

The Challenge

At the heart of personal impact is the concept of emotional intelligence – a research field that has gained rapid traction over the last 25 years. Experts – due to the nature of the fields they represent – are typically blessed with substantial IQ – critical thinking abilities, problem solving, etc. In order to achieve results with others – or even to be positively focused oneself – IQ needs to be complemented by EQ (emotional quotient). This includes such capabilities as Self-Awareness – i.e. the ability to detect one’s own moods and their triggers; Self-Management – i.e. the ability to curtail problematic emotions and bad habits and replace them with more constructive ones; Emotional Reasoning – e.g. the ability to articulate an emotionally-compelling case rather than depend entirely on a rationally-constructed one; Authenticity – e.g. the skill to accurately convey one’s feelings; Awareness of Others – e.g. the ability to accurately read and understand others’ feelings; and Positive Influence – all manner of interpersonal skills such as dealing with conflict, inspiring others, engaging in difficult conversations, building trust, collaborating effectively, etc.

For lack of understanding and developing such fundamental insights and capabilities, many experts fail to achieve the optimal personal impact – perhaps coming across as negative, unfriendly, poor communicators, argumentative/opinionated, unempathic, closed, etc.

The Content

In this pod session, your team member discussed and explored with their fellow podsters:

  • Assessing themselves against the Six Emotional Intelligence Capabilities as outlined above – and identifying which capabilities in particular warrant greater development and building a plan accordingly.

  • Participants also explore the importance of trust building in particular – identifying behaviours which positively build versus erode trust. They conduct some analysis of the degrees of trust in key stakeholder relationships and formulate plans to optimise trust in such relationships going forwards.

  • There is also a general discussion about collaboration including the typical blockers that might inhibit optimal levels of collaboration between them and their stakeholders.

The Punchlines

  • Anyone can develop their emotional intelligence – at any stage in their life. Most people naturally and intuitively acquire emotional intelligence as they age and mature. But there are ways of accelerating its development if desired. People can learn for instance to become more disciplined (self-managing) or more positively disposed, or more empathic or develop their people skills with some awareness and practice.

  • Trust often lies at the heart of personal impact and interpersonal effectiveness. Like emotional intelligence, it needn’t be viewed as something mystical that you either have or don’t have. Participants explore the use of a tool called the Emotional Bank Account which provides a subjective assessment of levels of trust and also often illuminates which “deposits” will tend to build “trust reserves” and “withdrawals” might tend to lead to strained relationships. Even the most strained relationships can be turned around by patient and steady application of the emotional bank account principles

  • Many collaboration issues can be resolved by examining which blockers might naturally be inhibiting free-flowing collaboration. While there may be occasional instances where people intentionally resist collaborating, more often than not there is something in the environment (a misaligned incentive, inconducive reporting lines, a difficulty in finding out who does what, etc.) that simply impedes otherwise collaboratively inclined individuals. Identify and fix the blocker and collaboration naturally starts flowing.