Monthly Archives: February 2020

Creating a Learning Journey for New Hires from Campus

The Campus to Corporate Program is a standard program that we have been running for over 20 years at Shradha HRD.  We have been running this program across Sectors, ranging from Manufacturing to Automobile companies, Pharma, Telecom and the IT/ITES sector.

This program that we ran for an Oil & Gas Public Sector Company was interesting. The “New Hire Induction Program” was staggered. Instead of doing all the programs together, there were 4 sessions staggered across a 6 month period.

What made this program interesting and an absolute value add for the participants was that they came in for each class and discussed how they had implemented learnings and the challenges they faced. As participants had a facilitator, that was external to the organization, they used the sessions as a forum to share their experiences, learn and look at solutions for challenges they encountered in their first jobs.

Are people that have a better vocabulary more emotionally intelligent?

Last month, at Shradha HRD, we were designing a learning intervention for managers. One component of the module was the skills and behaviors that emotionally intelligent people display. We came across this question during our research.

There is an external vocabulary that can help you describe “the world well”. Then there is an vocabulary that can describe your emotions well. The difference is striking, even though we are speaking about vocabulary in both cases.

While interacting with teenagers, most experiences are “awesome”. A McDonalds burgers, a Professor, a movie and even a trip to the moon would all be categorized as “simply awesome”. The challenge here lies in our inability to correctly label our emotions while going through different life experiences. Emotional intelligence above all is the ability to be in touch with your own emotions. Are you happy, overjoyed or ecstatic. Moved, profoundly impacted or going through a life changing experience.

Building awareness around our own emotions helps us deal with our emotions better. Including anger, pain, depression and despondency !!!!

There is a little bagful of words that we carry around all the time, the one we often refer to as our Vocabulary. We replenish our wardrobes often, throwing out old shirts and dresses that no longer fit and add fresher ones that define us better with each growing year. But that little bag of words remains unchanged.  Years go by and we often hear ourselves saying the same words… “Oh that makes me so mad” “I feel bad” “I am so angry”… especially with our feelings, we tend to use very few and generic words to express how we feel.

While all of us experience a wide array of emotions, only a select few can accurately identify them and use the right words to express them. This capability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them is what is known as emotional Intelligence. Research shows that only 36 % of people have the words to do this.  Without the insights into exactly what we are feeling and without the right words to express them, we are binging on many problems. Unlabeled emotions often go misunderstood, which leads to irrational choices and counterproductive actions.

While many might describe themselves as simply feeling “bad,” emotionally intelligent people can pinpoint whether they feel “irritable,” “frustrated,” “disappointed” or “anxious.” The more specific your word choice, the better insight you have into exactly how you are feeling, what caused it and what you should do about it.Like the anecdotal angry career women profiled in the #shradhahrdblog#, Recognizing and identifying emotions is a prerequisite for developing emotional intelligence.

So growing our kitty of words, with feeling words and self awareness is just one of the five things we can do to be more emotionally Intelligent at the workplace. According to David Goleman there are 4 more- self regulation, intrinsic motivation,Empathy and Social Skills.  Developing these skills improves our Emotional quotient which plays a vital role in many everyday decisions we make at the work place, such as how  we deal with pressure,  decisions on promoting, hiring and firing employees and dealing with conflict and change.

Pack then a bag of feeling words and get on the long but rewarding journey of emotional intelligence.  It is a journey with 5 flagship places (as listed by David Goleman ) to visit. Strew with events and eventualities, you may find yourself trudging slowing, one word or thought at a time, but a journey that rewards with  better mental health, wellbeing and career success.

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership

A couple of years ago during a program I was facilitating, we came up with an interesting question. If we were asked to describe an emotionally intelligent leader, we would all be able to do it. If we were asked to identify an emotionally intelligent leaders & a not so-emotionally intelligent leader we have worked with, we would all be able to do it with ease. The question we all asked was, if you know what behaviors to display, then why is it that organizations are replete with examples of apathetic behavior?????

So what makes a good leader a great one? It seems today, conventional wisdom favors the fluid ability of Emotional Intelligence as compared to the fixed capacity of brainpower or IQ as an important precursor to CEO success.

This article analyzes which top 10 Fortune 500 company CEO fits the bill of being the ‘emotional thermostat’ of their companies. What definitely sets these CEO’s apart is a level of disciplined self-awareness that helps them develop as leaders faster than the average CEO, as well as knowing how to attract a complimentary team around them.

Personal effectiveness for “Techies”

 

The VUCA environment throws up some interesting challenges for us as Learning and Development professionals at Shradha HRD. We recently conducted a series of workshops for a large telecom service provider in India. They had a team of professionals that was technically competent but lacked a customer service orientation and the necessary skills to effectively interact with their clients.

At Shradha HRD, we have conducted several interventions for participants from different industries and levels. What was a little unusual about this intervention was that due to the constant change and churn in the Telecom industry these “techies” were increasingly moving into a Client facing role. Their new deliverables included being able to present their ideas effectively, network and influence clients when they were over for reviews and handle difficult client situations.

We ran a detailed diagnostic for this project, designed a learning journey that included classroom training and hand-holding post completion of training. The results were immensely satisfying !!!!

The Value of Emotional Intelligence

“I overvalued intelligence”-Bill Gates. I read this article a couple of years ago (relevant sections are appended below). It appeared in the Times of India and its stayed with me since then.

3 points stood out in my mind from this article:

1. The importance of emotional intelligence for people in Leadership

2. People management skills are not correlated with Scientific IQ and may even be negatively correlated

3. It is rare to find someone who combine Scientific skills with IQ

We often quote this as an example in our People management programs at Shradha HRD. We often ask participants to reflect on anyone they have met at the workplace, past or current that possesses both these skills.

To my mind, if you have both these skills you mind well be on the Satya Nadella path !!!!!!

We had Satya Nadella (Microsoft’s present CEO) as Guest Editor barely a fortnight ago. We’d love to hear what you think of him.

I’m really happy that he’s running Microsoft, so that I don’t have to. I still love Microsoft, I still worry about it and I spend 15% of my time on it and Satya’s very good at using that time. He’s always telling me “Go meet this group. Are they doing a good job, let me know.”

I’ve worked with Satya for a long time. He was always very thoughtful, very good at working with people, He has this very calm way of dealing even with very hard problems. Happily the board endorsed him, because I was so enthusiastic that he should be the CEO. Why is he such a good CEO? It’s hard to say. His book talks about his (quadriplegic) son – which may explain a lot. He’s a very Zen person (laughs). In that respect, he’s probably better than I was. I was too emotional –if something’s not going well – “This is terrible”. But it’s fun to work with him.

Sometime ago, you gave a speech about how you once used to “overvalue intelligence”. Can you elaborate?

There’s a certain type of IQ where I can give you a 500-page book on meteorology and you read it and you understand how tornadoes work. I always admired people who were good at that, and I thought if you were good at that, then everything else is easy. Managing people? Just use common sense. Understanding profit and loss? That’s just a little mathematical equation. “You’re a smart person. You know physics. Go manage this group. It can’t be worse than the Navier-Stokes equation (a complicated fluid dynamics equation),” I used to think. I was wrong about that.
The idea that some of these skills were not correlated with scientific IQ, in fact, that some of them were negatively correlated, it took me a while to figure that out. Those who combine scientific IQ with people skills—like Satya –are rare. You have to learn to build a team with different capabilities and as Microsoft got bigger, it became more important. I’m a little broader in my understanding of different talents now.

Leadership Lessons With Justin Trudeau

Whether Justin Trudeau’s display of emotional intelligence in this particular incident is genuine can be debated, what is undeniable is that emotional intelligence is a critical competency for leaders. The concept of Emotional intelligence has gained traction in Corporate India in the last 5- 6 years. At Shradha HRD, we have seen this emerge as a top ask with our clients. We have run several learning interventions around this theme, especially for first time managers. Our experience tells us, while class room training is great as an introduction and a sensitisation to this behaviour, it will only become a part of an organisation’s DNA if this behaviour is rewarded along with the hard competencies in the Performance Management System.

Opinion: Emotional intelligence is Trudeau’s best skill, and it's paying dividends