How to “Read the Room”: The Four Building Blocks of Emotional Intelligence and Why They Matter

leadership Mar 01, 2021

Emotional intelligence, often called EI or EQ, is a hot topic in business circles. its applications are constantly being refined. And it’s more than a popular trend — it’s a major predictor of success. It’s also responsible for other critical skills, such as managing one’s time, communicating effectively, and offering stellar customer service.

According to an in-depth study performed by TalentSmart, 90% of top performers are also high in emotional intelligence. And get this: People with high emotional intelligence make an average of $29,000 more per year vs. those with low emotional intelligence. 

In fact, A 40-year study of PhDs at UC Berkeley found that EQ was 400% more powerful than IQ when predicting who would have success in their field. 400% is a big number! 

The challenge is that it’s a somewhat slippery concept to understand. When I’ve brought it up in conversations, every person has agreed with its importance — while...

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Trust and Top Teams: Why Trust Matters and Three Ways to Build It

teams Feb 18, 2021

If you want to build a great team, it has to start with a foundation of trust. However, trust is also one of the toughest elements of a team to predict.

Take William. William’s business was at a critical point. He needed his team to come through in a big way and pull together to win a new client. Secretly, he wondered if they’d even show up. Did they believe in him – and in the organization?

Although he didn’t name it specifically, he was concerned about trust.

Here are three main reasons why trust is such a challenge in today’s business environments.

It’s multileveled.

Trust can exist between team members, between a supervisor and a direct report, and between an individual and the organization as a whole. Further, these different levels can either support each other or cause rifts. A group of coworkers on a team could develop great trust because of a common distrust of the organization, leading to a mass exodus. Or they could back each other up...

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Is Your Glass Half Full or Half Empty? Part 1: Realism vs. Pessimism

clarity Feb 03, 2021

There are some classic philosophical questions that have puzzled people for years:

  • To be or not to be?
  • What is happiness?
  • Is the glass half full or half empty?

The reason these questions are so enduring and powerful is that they don’t have set answers. It’s about the process — how we think about the world.

If you’ve ever gotten philosophical about your business, you’re not alone. A search for “business self-help” on Amazon returns over 50,000 results, including books on upgrading your brain, improving your emotional intelligence, developing your motivation, and leveling up your habits. You can attack this philosophical journey from dozens of angles, and that’s even before you click “Next.”

So, let’s examine one of these questions: “Is the glass half full or half empty?”

The traditional answer is that the optimist would see it as half full, focusing on the liquid present, while the pessimist would focus...

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More Is the Enemy of Achievement

clarity Jan 19, 2021

The Curse of “More” 

Recently, I asked my daughter what she wanted for her birthday. 

Her reply was, “More toys.” 

I can relate: My goals often focus on more, too. More money — more time with my family — more achievement. 

Resolutions and vision boards are full of the goals of losing more weight and having more freedom. 

And, despite our annual good intentions, 80% of annual resolutions have failed by the beginning of February, according to U.S. News & World Report, and only 8% make it through the end of the year. 

This is true of many of the goals we set; they become more like intentions or vague feelings than anything of substance. And what might seem to be helping us is actually dragging us down. 

The same challenges that affect our New Year’s resolutions impact our company-level goal-setting—and the way to fix each share a lot of similarities. 

“Resolution without routine is like a...

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