Monthly Archives: December 2015

Are You Emotionally Intelligent?

 At a MeetUp that I attended last night in the town that I have lived in for 18 years, a young woman in the group said not once, not twice,  but FOUR times in her 5 minute intro/elevator pitch to our group how much she wanted to leave our town as soon as possible.


For quite a few of us in attendance we have lived in our town for 20+ years.  How little emotional intelligence this young woman demonstrated by insulting the town we all lived and/or worked in is problematic of many people. Which got me to thinking: “Do people really realize/care what impact their behavior has on the people around them?”
What have to ask ourselves just what is “Emotional Intelligence (EQ)?
EQ is the ability to recognize and regulate emotions in ourselves and others through four (4) elements:
1. Self Awareness: do we have a proper grasp on how we are feeling?
2. Self-Management: Do we know how to control our feelings and behaviors esp. in times when we are placed in extreme pressure/duress?
3. Social Awareness: are we aware of the people around us and how they are feeling? Do we genuinely care about the people around us?
4. Relationship Management: do we understand how to form, grow, nurture and maintain productive, constructive working relationships?


Emotional intelligence (EQ) entails obtaining information to gain self-awareness ands revolves around a person’s ability to:
–Perceive emotions in themselves and others,  understand the meaning of these emotions, and be able to regulate/control one’s emotions.  Emotional intelligence is critically important because there is an extremely strong correlation between a high level of EQ and career success.
An excellent resource for a primer on EQ is the “Six Seconds EQ Model” which entails a 3-step process to acquiring emotional intelligence:
1. Know Yourself gives you the “what” – when you Know Yourself, you know your strengths and challenges, you know what you are doing, what you want, and what to change.
2. Choose Yourself provides the “how” – it shows you how to take action, how to influence yourself and others, how to “operationalize” these concepts.
3. Give Yourself delivers the “why” – when you Give Yourself you are clear and full of energy so you stay focused why to respond a certain way, why to move in a new direction, and why others should come on board.
EQ matters because it affects every aspect of your personal and professional lives including:

  • Your performance at work.
  • Your physical health.
  • Your mental health.
  • Your relationships.

Here’s how you can achieve emotional regulation/control over your life, feelings, and relationships:

  • Identify and modify the emotions you feel.
  • Surface Acting: putting on a face to play a role even /especially when you do not actually feel that way.
  • Venting: open displays of emotion may serve a purpose but should be used with extreme caution.
  • Research shows that people in good moods make better decisions, are more creative, and help in motivation.
  • Emotional states affect employee levels of customer service.
  • Increasing use of “happiness” coaches in organizations.

What do you think?
Here’s to your continued professional and career success as we head into the holiday season.
– Ethan

The Future of Work…COLLABORATION

The future of work is sharing.  We are now in the era of workplace collaboration and collaborative communities, the Open Source Movement.
The days of hoarding information, developing proprietary intellectual capital that is selfishly held under organizational “lock and key” is so…20th Century.  In today’s era of Big Data, mobile processing, cloud computing and virtual work teams, organizations that embrace collaboration gain lasting competitive advantage.
Successful organizations understand that in order to maintain their competitive advantage, they have no choice but to collaborate their way to lasting success.
Steve Jobs Inspired Collaboration at Pixar

Steve Jobs famously redesigned the offices at Pixar, which originally housed computer scientists in one building, animators in a second building, and executives and editors in a third.  Jobs recognized that separating these groups, each with its own culture and approach to problem-solving, discouraged them from sharing ideas and solutions. (

Perhaps the animators could introduce a fresh perspective when the computer scientists became stuck; and maybe the executives would learn more about the nuts and bolts of the business if they occasionally met an animator in the office kitchen, or a computer scientist at the water cooler. Jobs ultimately succeeded in creating a single cavernous office that housed the entire Pixar team, and John Lasseter, Pixar’s chief creative officer, declared that he’d “never seen a building that promoted collaboration and creativity as well as this one.”
These days, even business competitors are forced to work together…”co-opetition” between such traditional adversaries as Google, Microsoft, Apple…is the new normal.   Samsung and Sony’s successful collaboration in 2006 to jointly produce LCD screens.  (Co-opetition: If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.)   These firms have found a way to work with one another in certain industries, evolving technologies and new product ideas, and yet still compete in other areas.   Organizations that truly understand the power of sharing and collaboration encourage their people to share.
Consider Linux.


The computer operating system Linux powers 98% of the world’s supercomputers, most of the servers that keep the Internet humming, and tens of millions of Android mobile phones and gadgets.  As an open-source system, Linux relies on the collaboration of programmers from around the world.  (Chad Caydo “Lessons From Linux: How to Foster Collaboration at Meetings and Conferences.”)



Google encourages its people to collaborate within and across teams by aligning Objectives & Key Results as developed by John Doerr.  If OKRs are done well when they are (1) connected to top line company goals (2) shared openly- so anyone can see anyone’s goals and why it matters to the company and (3) cross-functionally aligned so dependencies across teams are clear from the get go as part of planning process.   (How does Google foster collaboration among teams with non-overlapping OKRs)

Wikipedia has achieved such wide scale success as a platform driven by mass user content contributions where people freely share their own intellectual capital.
In the 20th Century, organizations that controlled the platforms to disseminate information (the media) controlled the message and the very nature of conversation.  Today’s sharing organizations facilitate the free flow of information to enable the sharing of ideas by enabling individuals talk to the world via the Internet and social media.
We can now collaborate online, work productively in virtual teams with members all over the world, and disseminate radical, even revolutionary ideas that spark movements to change the world like the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street.
Organizations that dominate their respective industries are the ones that most effectively leverage their people’s talents and unleash their employees’ full, untapped potential.  They do this by developing learning organizations where they coach and train their people to use creativity and innovation in project-driven teams.  They foster friendly competitions within their organizations and within their industry through professional associations.
How does your organization foster workplace sharing and collaboration to create a learning organization?
Here’s to your continued success in 2016.