Looking Back At 2017
Seriously, I’m in the future and I’m looking back at 2017. My top Strength is called Futuristic®. Futuristic® translates to Visionary. I’ve always seen down the road further than most people. This skill serves my coaching clients well when I'm working with them on developing a career road map that will impact their career future.
Look at a few "C" level job descriptions. Leadership job descriptions routinely ask for Visionary, Strategic, Leadership.
To make this delivery even more powerful, I slip in my number 2 Strength, Strategic®. When I add this strength to my Futuristic®, I’m able to not only see down the road, I’m also able to build strategic paths to get from here to there.
Futuristic® IN Dallas, Texas
Four years ago, I spoke at a technology event in Dallas, Texas. Following my talk, a "C" suite executive came from the back of the room to speak with me. He recognized my Futuristic® message and said: "I need that". When I asked what it was that he needed, he replied, "I need all of that and whatever you might have in your back pocket."
I've been privileged to work with this "C" suite executive in a coaching capacity ever since. This is where he is today after working with me to understand his Strengths, to improve his Self-Awareness and to improve his Emotional Intelligence.
Just to be fair, it turns out that the person who made his way from the back of the room is also Futuristic® and Strategic® as I am. We've worked hard to achieve what you just read above. This is not how the "C" Suite leader was thinking when we first met.
Futuristic® in Denver, Colorado
Just over three years ago, I stood in front of a group of smart cyber security professionals as their invited speaker. I talked to this group about the importance of Emotional Intelligence (EI) or sometimes called, Emotional Quotient, (EQ) and how working with a skilled Emotional Intelligence Coach to develop higher EQ would become a career differentiating decision.
Futuristic® in Las Vegas, Nevada
Three years ago, this month, I stood in front of a group of “C” Suite executives in Las Vegas as a speaker. I talked to this group about moving past sole reliance on their high IQs to develop high EQ as well. Did anybody hear me? Yes, a few people did.
Articles I’ve read recently predicting the future in 2020 and 2025 suggest that Emotional Intelligence is a hot skill to possess in the future.
Experience the Future Now!
The 2020 and 2025 articles aren’t wrong. I became trained and certified to coach Emotional Intelligence skills in 2014 because I saw EQ becoming a must-have set of skills not for 2020 or 2025 but for now. Right now, in 2017.
Yesterday, I received a message from someone I originally spoke with in August of 2015. I distinctly remember the 2015 conversation. I recall that the person on the other end of my phone resonated with what I was sharing at the time but he didn’t take immediate action. Our conversation centered around Self-Awareness, Strengths, and Emotional Intelligence topics.
Yesterday’s message to me from this person read like this:
Do It Now!
The issues referenced in this email include this person’s Strengths, Self-Awareness and his need to develop more polished Emotional Intelligence. I can help this person today. I could also have helped this person two years ago and he likely would have been able to skip some of the lessons he has learned “the hard way”.
Looking Back From the Future
As I look back at 2017 from the future, I’m 100% certain that those high IQ professionals I’m privileged to serve today, where we’re working to develop stronger Self-Awareness and stronger Emotional Intelligence, will already be ready for action when 2020 and 2025 arrive.
The truth is that those who engage in this type of coaching today will be well-ahead of the curve when 2020 and 2025 arrive.
Don’t wait for tomorrow to do what you could do today. That’s my Activator® (Let’s Go) speaking!
The term “emotional intelligence” was coined and formally defined by John (Jack) Mayer of the University of New Hampshire and Peter Salovey of Yale University in 1990.
Jack Mayer and Peter Salovey define Emotional Intelligence as “the ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional meanings, and to reflectively regulate emotions in ways that promote emotional and intellectual growth.”
Research has shown that there is no difference between emotional intelligence in men and women. Women do however frequently score higher in some emotional intelligence skills than most men.
Men are more likely to dismiss the value of emotional intelligence than women.
A “C” suite coaching client of mine who has been working with me as his coach for several years now, shared these ideas with me yesterday.
Benefits of Emotional Intelligence
- “I’ve become much more efficient in my relationships.”
- “I now pick up on other people’s behaviors that I didn’t notice before because I was too busy focusing on myself.”
- “When you understand emotional intelligence, you learn to break through other people’s acts. It’s as if you learn how to decode other’s sincerity or lack thereof.”
- “Knowing my emotional intelligence has caused me to make a lot of behavioral adjustments that I could have never made before when I was unaware of how I was coming across to others.”
- “Developing EQ has pushed me to learn how to leverage my gift as a Strategic leader and I no longer feel the need to convince others that I know everything. I stick to the strategy and delegate the details to people on my team who are more capable of carrying out detailed assignments.”
- “My recent presentation to the Audit Committee was a 10 on a scale of 10. My presentation to the Board of Directors was a 9.5 on a scale of 10. These ratings came to me from my boss.”
This was one of my most favorite conversations of all time. To have worked with someone for several years to improve behavior, the most difficult task on the planet, and to learn about these kinds of results was priceless. Then the feedback got even better from my perspective.
While these are not the only benefits to be gained by understanding one’s emotional intelligence, these are benefits that came to my client’s mind in one conversation.
This “C” suite executive’s life has changed because of the work we’ve done together to improve his emotional intelligence. No, I’m not guessing at this. I’ve been told on many occasions by this same client that the work we’ve done together has impacted him professionally as well as at home with his wife and his son.
It’s never too late to learn the current state of your own emotional intelligence. It's also not too late to learn how to improve your emotional intelligence. The benefits of doing so are virtually endless. The sooner you get started the more time there is to create lasting impact.
Top 10 skills required in 2020 according to the World Economic Forum report
All of the top 2020 skills listed above can be measured with the combination of the Clifton StrengthsFinder and the EQi-2.0 Emotional Quotient Inventory.
Your Unique Strengths
In the hands of an experienced Strengths Coach, the results of the Clifton StrengthsFinder™ can be interpreted to show a coaching client exactly and precisely how they are internally wired. The 34 traits represented in the Clifton StrengthsFinder™ are broken down into Strategic Thinking Traits, Influencing Traits, Relationship Building Traits and Executing Traits. How a person's traits uniquely line up determine whether they'd be a better Engineer or a better Engineering Manager, a better Accountant or a better Chief Financial Officer and so on.
Notice in the chart above for example that People Management, Coordinating with Others (Collaboration) and Emotional Intelligence are all people-oriented topics. People skills or Soft skills are, have been and will continue to be highly valuable skills moving into the future.
The EQi-2.0 Emotional Quotient® Inventory is an assessment used to measure a person's Emotional Intelligence. This assessment can only be purchased and interpreted by someone who has invested in training and certification through the assessment's owner.
Through this assessment, a Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach can show their client where their Emotional Intelligence stands relative to other people who do similar work. The good news is that the 15 different emotional intelligence skills measured by the EQi-2.0® can be improved upon when working with an experienced coach.
The business wants, needs and expects job candidates who have a blend of Strategic Thinking skills and Emotional Intelligence skills to name just a few. It takes time to fine-tune and polish the traits found in the Clifton StrengthsFinder™ into Strengths. It also takes time to fine-tune and polish the skills found in the EQi-2.0 assessment.
Those who invest themselves to learn about their natural Strengths and those who invest in themselves to improve their current level of Emotional Intelligence are the individuals who will earn the best jobs of the future.
I was recently asked why I offer both Strengths Coaching and Emotional Intelligence Coaching.
Strengths Coaching focuses on what a person has potential to be great at based on their natural giftedness. Because I work heavily with people who are gifted technologists, I have built up enough data and experience to understand the uniqueness of the gifted technologists I’m privileged to serve. When I get to pass this understanding on to the gifted technologists who trust me to coach them, I get to help my coaching clients take their personal game to a new level.
This work taps into the Maximizer (one of my top strengths) in me. By default, my Maximizer causes me to focus on taking good to great all the time. I love to show my clients how they can turn their good performance into a great performance.
My work goes beyond working with gifted technologists. My unique experience also enables me to show some of my clients how their unique giftedness sets them up to either become or to fine-tune their leadership abilities if they're already in leadership.
The days when I get to coach someone who has potential they didn’t know they had before we got together are some of my best days!
Because everyone I coach is a human being, there is a 100% chance that every one of my coaching clients have weaknesses. As a Strengths Coach, I have determined that it makes no sense at all to try to help my clients turn their weaknesses into strengths. It simply doesn’t work.
What does work is the effort I invest with my clients to strengthen their strengths while showing them how to build strategies around their weaknesses so their weaknesses don’t get in the way of their strengths. Strategies can’t be built around topics that are not clearly understood.
It was my observation that everyone has weaknesses that led me to discover a way to become trained and certified in Emotional Intelligence Coaching.
Emotional Intelligence shows me how my clients perceive themselves. Sometimes this self-perception is right and sometimes it is wrong. I can also see how my clients are likely perceived by other people. When there is a gap between how my clients perceive themselves and how they come across to other people, there is work to be done.
The good news here is that a person’s Emotional Intelligence can be improved upon. In my coaching practice, these are the Emotional Intelligence skill we measure and work to improve based on each coaching client’s unique needs.
Self-Regard, Self-Actualization, Emotional Self-Awareness
Emotional Expression, Assertiveness, Independence
Interpersonal Relationships, Empathy, Social Responsibility
Problem Solving, Reality Testing, Impulse Control
Flexibility, Stress Tolerance, Optimism
Working with my clients as an Emotional Intelligence Coach to improve their Emotional Intelligence is the most difficult and the most impactful and rewarding work I do. When a person works to improve their behavior, the behavior that impacts other people and progress is made, this is the most impactful work I do and it is one of the greatest personal and professional investments my clients can possibly make.
Better behavior leads to all kinds of positive results. When my clients are focused on doing work that aligns with their top strengths and they are focused on delivering their work with their best behavior attached, the result for my clients is their best performance.
Jeff Snyder Coaching, 719.686.881
What Is Strengths Coaching?
The Strengths Coaching I’ll refer to here is what happens after a person takes a Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment. The report that comes from taking a Clifton StrengthsFinder shows a person’s totally unique human makeup or wiring as I like to call it, based on how their 34 traits line up.
The results of this assessment don’t throw a person into a box or category that someone else created. This assessment brilliantly shows a person how entirely unique they are. As a Strengths Coach, I get to show my clients what to do with their uniqueness. I’m passionate about this work.
“Millennials love not being put into a box by the way”
Traits / Strengths
The traits at or near the top of someone’s Clifton StrengthsFinder report are generally thought to be someone’s Strengths. This is true if a person is aware of their dominant traits and if they’re actively working to leverage their dominate traits to create the best possible version of themselves.
I spoke in front of an audience of approximately 75 people. I asked the audience to raise their hand of they had ever taken a Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment. My best guess is that as many as 60 out of 75 hands went up.
I then asked those who had raised their hand to keep their hand up if they had done anything with their StrengthsFinder assessment results. Again, my best guess suggests that approximately 10 hands remained raised and as many as 50 hands went down.
This was an eye opening experience for me. At that moment, I began to understand why so many people I encounter think they know their strengths. In reality, these people might know the words that sit on an assessment report but if they’ve never gone beyond the word descriptions on the assessment report, they likely don’t know their unique personal strengths and more importantly, how those strengths operate.
My Strengths Coaching Process
- Begins with my client taking a Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment.
- What: In our first session together, I help my client to understand what their report says, how to read and interpret their report and we set the ground work for our second meeting.
- Why: In our second session together, my focus is on interactively taking my client on a deep dive into their unique top traits. My goal here is to help my client see how and why their unique traits cause them to operate the way they do. Simultaneously, my client will learn how their unique traits could be coming across to other people. It is during this second meeting that “Ah Ha” moments and “Light bulb” moments frequently occur. This is when my clients start to see not just what dots are sitting on their report but they start to see how their dots work together to make them the unique person they are.
- How: In our next meeting, this is when I build our meeting around the homework my client worked on after our second meeting. During the homework stage, I find that many of my clients start to develop clarity around what they uniquely have to offer. Once the switch flips in my client’s mine, it is now time to start working on how they can leverage their unique giftedness to create their best performance.
- Leverage: In our fourth meeting, this is where I apply my 26+ years of experience as a professional recruiter to help my clients to create a personal strategy around their unique Strengths. By strategy I’m referring to what my client will do with their new-found understanding of how to create their own best performance. For some of my clients, this means making course adjustments in the job they already have in the company they’re already in. Some of my clients come to the realization that they might be in the wrong job or that they might be in the right or wrong job in the wrong company. Other clients who had been scratching an entrepreneurial itch now have the clarity to see that stepping out to start their own business of some sort is the right personal decision.
What matters to me is that each and every Strengths Coaching client I’m privileged to work with is able to move forward with enhanced Clarity, Direction, Confidence and a Strategic Plan to know how to get to their next destination.
Many of my Strengths Coaching clients learn so much about themselves through the Strengths Coaching experience that they stick with me to work on improving their Emotional Intelligence. In addition to being a Strengths Coach, I am also a Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach. The work I do around Emotional Intelligence Coaching is the most deeply impacting work I’ve been privileged to do with other people in my entire career.
The combination of Strengths Coaching and Emotional Intelligence Coaching is what moves my clients from “Good to Great” and I’m fortunate enough to go along for the ride.
If you figure it out or if someone tells you that something in your behavior is getting in the way of your progress and you decide that it’s time to address that behavior, there are a few things you should know about behavioral change.
The behavior that is getting in the way of your progress likely didn’t start yesterday. Therefore, fixing a negative behavior isn’t going to happen as soon as tomorrow. Most human behaviors are deeply ingrained because we’ve been practicing our bad behaviors for a long time.
The idea of changing human behavior is possible and frequently very fruitful but it is also one of the most difficult endeavors a person can take on. The behavior that is deeply ingrained and practiced will take time to unravel and to improve.
Anyone who is serious about changing behaviors that might be holding back their progress can change their behavior. There is no magic wand or pixie dust available to facilitate human behavioral change. A properly trained emotional intelligence coach can assist his / her client in making positive change and the benefits of doing so can be priceless.
What does changing human behavior look like? Here are just a few examples.
The smartest person in the room frequently has the impulse to let others know how smart they are. Learning how to control this impulse and adding a scoop of humility can do wonders for this person’s personal and professional progress. Impulse Control is an Emotional Intelligence skill that can be improved upon.
It has been said that most people listen in order to determine how best to formulate what they’re going to say next. In other words, they aren’t really listening to actually hear and understand what someone else has to say. They're listening to build their speaking strategy.
A different listening approach would be to listen with the intention of understanding the person who is speaking. This change in approach can radically change the results of a conversation.
Winning Too Much
Many people who in leadership roles are highly competitive people who need to win all the time. The down-side of being wired like this is the tendency for such a person to step in and give his / her team the answers to a problem. By simply (not so simple for this person) stepping back and allowing one’s team to formulate an answer to a problem, a highly competitive, win at all costs type of leader can dramatically boost his / her team’s willingness to contribute to problem solving in the future.
People who consider how their behavior impacts the audience around them and people who strive to achieve balance in their behavior are the people who will achieve the most desirable results in all facets of life. This is simple to say and very difficult to achieve.
As difficult as it is to achieve behavioral change, the results of changing negative behavior can be priceless.
For many of my career coaching clients, the process we follow is that of strengths coaching followed by emotional intelligence coaching. The decision to coach around these two topics wasn’t a random choice. It was my Strategic strength at work.
Once my strengths coach introduced me to the idea that I was uniquely built and he helped me to understand how I was built and why my unique wiring mattered, all kinds of light bulbs lit up in my mind.
Reaching a point where I understood my unique personal strengths was a life-changing experience. I decided that adding strengths coaching to my coaching practice. However, I felt like something was still missing. I continued on my journey to find best-in-class tools to add to my coaching practice and discovered that something I had seen for many years had been labeled by someone else.
Once I connected the dots and realized that what was on my mind for a long time was emotional intelligence, I found a way to become educated, trained and certified in the topic of emotional intelligence. Once again, it was my Strategic strength at work again.
VALIDATION of my THEORIES
There is no shortage of articles that have been written about Emotional Intelligence. Here are a few you might want to read.
- Fastcompany.com "Why Emotionally Intelligent People Are More Successful"
- Harvard Business Reveiw: "How Emotional Intelligence Became a Leadership Skill"
- Recently I shared an Inc.com article entitled “10 Qualities of People With High Emotional Intelligence”.
In this Inc. article, one of the 10 Qualities reads like this:
“6. They know their strengths and weaknesses.
Emotionally intelligent people know what they're good at and what they're not so great at. They've not just accepted their strengths and weaknesses; they also know how to leverage their strengths and weaknesses by working with the right people in the right situation.”
UNDERSTANDING, EMBRACING and LEVERAGING STRENGTHS
In my strengths coaching practice, I help my clients understand their unique personal strengths. Once they understand what they have to work with and they choose to embrace their uniqueness, I’m then in a position to show my clients how to leverage their strengths to create their best personal performance.
On the other side of an individual’s strengths are an individual’s weaknesses. I don’t believe in trying to turn weaknesses into strengths but I do believe in the importance of knowing one’s weaknesses so that a strategy can be built around weaknesses to keep them from getting in the way of fine-tuning one’s strengths.
Another one of the 10 Qualities mentioned in the Inc. article reads like this:
5. They're empathetic.
Daniel Goleman, psychologist and author of Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, told The Huffington Post that empathy is one of the five components of emotional intelligence. In fact, being able to relate to others, show compassion, and take the time to help someone are all crucial components of EI. Additionally, being empathic makes people with EI curious about other people and leads them to ask lots of questions whenever they meet someone new.
Empathy is one of the 34 traits measured by the StregnthsFinder assessment I use for strengths coaching.
Empathy is also one of 15 emotional intelligence skills that are measured in the assessment I use to determine a person’s baseline emotional intelligence before we start the emotional intelligence coaching process.
While the StrengthsFinder assessment and the EQi-2.0 Assessment are owned by two different companies, I determined that they strategically fit together. More importantly, my clients who have worked with me on both strengths coaching and emotional intelligence coaching appreciate the results they have personally achieved through the coaching process where these two tools were used to record baseline results.
The decision I made to blend strengths coaching with emotional intelligence coaching has benefited my clients in amazing ways. Here are a few of my client's thoughts on the subject:
"I wish I had known about Jeff and Strengths base Coaching before I put myself in a situation that isn't ideal."
"It wasn't until I started Emotional Intelligence Coaching with you that I started seeing the world through other people's eyes. That's a gift you've given me".
"You sir are a magician at assisting me in accessing and having confidence in my abilities based on my natural strengths."
"I am so thankful I was introduced to Jeff's EQi-2.0 Emotional Intelligence Assessment and his amazing coaching skills. I only wish it was years earlier."
"Jeff, I just wanted to thank you for today's session. I continue to get more "Ah-Ha" moments as we continue to process the StrengthsFinder exercise."
Jeff Snyder Coaching, 719.686.8810
Perhaps you’ve encountered this person?
The smartest person in the room tends to dominate meetings. They don’t let others add a word to their one-sided conversations. They have a consistent need to let others know how intelligent they are. More often than not, they truly are the person in the room who was gifted with the highest IQ.
When it comes to IQ (cognitive skills), the smartest person in the room frequently possesses more intellectual, analytical, logical and rational abilities than everyone else. They are drawn to highly analytical careers such as engineering, information technology or cyber security. These are careers where exceptionally high IQ serves one well.
It is this exceptionally high IQ that enables the smartest person in the room to excel to a certain level. At some point though, the IQ that got the smartest person in the room to where they are will no longer propel them forward to the next level of career success.
Research suggests that IQ can be responsible for as much as +-20% of one’s career success but more often than not, IQ is responsible for as little as 6% of career success.
Is the smartest person in the room doomed to hit a glass ceiling in their career? Often times the answer is yes and the reason is behavior. The smartest person in the room frequently leaves a trail of relationship carnage behind them. They may not wake up every morning thinking about whom they can step on that day, but throughout the day, if they behave in ways that are natural to them, they will step on other people.
What are some of the characteristics of the smartest person in the room?
- Talk more than they listen.
- Fail to consider other’s points of view.
- Have a constant need to be right and to win.
- Share opinions even when the topic they have an opinion on is not their expertise.
- Frequently not teachable because their regard for themselves is inflated.
- Fails to understand how they come across to others.
- Low in empathy.
Is there a cure for “The Smartest Person in the Room Syndrome”?
There absolutely is a cure if the smartest person in the room can humble themselves to not just accept coaching, but they need to humble themselves to actively participate in and work on their coaching. It’s not a matter of turning weaknesses into strengths. Addressing behavioral change is more about creating strategies to manage behaviors that could impact others in an adverse way.
IQ is generally thought of as being stagnant. In other words, you're as smart today as you're ever going to be. Emotional Intelligence is generally thought to be flexible in that the skills that make up Emotional Intelligence can be adjusted through coaching.
The "Smartest Person In the Room"...with a Behavioral Strategy
A retired military 2 Star General told me a story while we shared a meal. He asked me to take a look at a person I could see over his shoulder at the next table. He asked me if I wanted to know how that person became a 4 Star General when my meal companion had only reached 2 Stars. Not that becoming a 2 Star General is an easy task but my companion really wanted me to understand how his friend and colleague reached the 4 Star level of success.
Of course I wanted to know. The 2 Star General explained to me that he and the 4 Star General graduated from the same class in the military academy they both attended. They both started out with the same credentials to begin their military careers. The game-changer for the 4 Star General was his ability to be the smartest person in the room more often than not throughout his career but he learned to suppress his need to let everyone know that he was so smart.
The 2 Star General told me that the 4 Star General, whom he admired as both a friend and career colleague, excelled in everything he did because he was intellectually gifted but he learned quickly that his career would take off if he learned how to treat people with respect.
Some of the characteristics that enabled the 4 Star General to excel include:
- Listened more than he talked.
- Let other people win whenever possible.
- Considered other people’s points of view.
- Shared opinions when he was asked for his opinions and not just because he possessed an answer.
- Was teachable, trainable and receptive to being coached.
- Exhibited humility.
- Developed empathy for others.
The 4 Star General developed and mastered Emotional Intelligence. Think about it. The 4 Star General had to have a high IQ in order to get into a military academy. He had to have an exceptionally high IQ in order to graduate at or near the top of his academy class.
The 2 Star General was confident that it was the 4 Star General’s ability to develop trust with those around him, his ability to humble himself and his ability to step into others’ shoes to consider their needs and their points of view that caused his career to excel.
“Many people have an incomplete sense of how to learn from books. They make the mistake of reading a book and deciding they know the information in it, but put the book down before they have actually mastered the information – as it applies to their life – and poof! The knowledge they gained – and the benefit they could have derived – from reading the book is gone. It didn’t have anywhere to stick, and so the potential wisdom fades away.” Angela E. Lauria
This paragraph comes from a book I’m reading called “The Difference”. It’s a book that outlines how to go about writing a book. This particular paragraph caught my attention because I’ve heard people tell me many times that they’ve read books on Strengths or they’ve read books on Emotional Intelligence.
These are the people who don’t usually see any value in strengths coaching or emotional intelligence coaching because they have already learned everything there is to learn about strengths and emotional intelligence.
The other reason that the quoted paragraph caught my attention was a personal experience I had. In the 1995 timeframe, just after I started my business at the age of 27, I read a book called “The E Myth”. Since I was young and I hadn’t had time to make many entrepreneurial mistakes yet, the book didn’t mean much to me.
Twenty years later in 2015, I picked up “The E Myth” again. This time, I had 20 years of experience with both mistakes and successes. This time around, I highlighted half of the book because it made sense to me. If you have read a book on Strengths or Emotional Intelligence, great job for taking the first step. You know what both topics are about.
I encourage you to take the next step to gain an understanding of how your unique personal strengths impact your life and how your personal emotional intelligence impacts your life and the lives of those around you. It is after this second step that you might be in a position to learn to leverage your unique personal strengths and your unique emotional intelligence.
IQ is Cognitive Intelligence. Cognitive Intelligence involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience.
EQ or Emotional Quotient (Emotional Intelligence) is a set of emotional and social skills that collectively establish how we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges and how we use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way.
A conversation I shared a while back with one of the smartest people I know shed light on a topic I set out to master a few years ago. I have a friend who has a PhD in Math. He was once a college math professor. He has worked in academic, government and private industry roles.
We got into a conversation one day where I learned about the early part of my friend’s career. As a young college math professor, he learned the hard way that his high IQ wasn’t enough to make him successful.
My friend told me that he wished I’d come along to teach him about the value of people and relationships long ago. He learned the hard way that strong emotional intelligence is a requirement and not an option.
This amazingly smart former professor encouraged me to stick with my mission of wanting to help gifted, high IQ technology professionals to get to the next level in their careers by addressing their people skills, social skills, relationship building skills and for some, their leadership skills.
In my Inbox yesterday was an email from the Harvard Business Review. The subject line read like this:
“Unleash your emotional intelligence for a leadership advantage”
HBR was offering a collection of books focused on Emotional Intelligence. This is the real deal folks. There is nothing in my portfolio of work that is more important than the Emotional Intelligence Coaching work I’m fortunate to do with people who are ready to improve.
Jeff Snyder Coaching, 719.686.8810
Reality Testing is one of the skills measured by the EQi-2.0 Emotional Intelligence assessment.
Reality Testing is part of the Decision Making domain of emotional intelligence skills. It is defined like this:
Reality Testing is the capacity to remain objective by seeing things as they really are. This capacity involves recognizing when emotions or personal bias can cause one to be less objective.
This particular skill is one of the most important skills out of the 15 emotional intelligence skills measured by the EQi-2.0. If a person’s Reality Testing is not balanced, the way they see themselves and the way they see the world around them will be out of balance.
Unbalanced Reality Testing
Let’s say you have a boss who thinks they are an outstanding communicator. From your point of view, when your boss speaks to you, he / she is never clear with regards to their spoken expectations.
You constantly find yourself wondering what your boss really expects from you because you’re never clear about what your boss just said.
Based on how confident your boss is about how they think they communicate, they set expectations in their mind for your performance that you never quite live up to.
Can you see where disconnect is occurring in this example?
This is what an unbalanced Reality Testing score looks like on the EQi-2.0 Emotional Intelligence assessment
This is what a balanced Reality Testing score looks like on the EQi-2.0 Emotional Intelligence assessment
What we're looking for in the scores you see above is balance. The top example is completely out of balance whereas the bottom example is much closer to being in balance.
If you were a boss who had healthy Reality Testing abilities or if you reported to a boss who had healthy Reality Testing abilities, the communication disconnect described in the above example would likely not occur.
Unlike IQ (cognitive intelligence) that remains static throughout adulthood, EQ or Emotional Intelligence can be measured, coached and improved. Think of EQ as being flexible.
If you’d like to see the entire chart of Emotional Intelligence skills that are measured by the EQi-2.0, the world’s most widely used assessment to measure Emotional Intelligence, I’ll take you to it on Jeff Snyder Coaching.
Jeff Snyder Coaching, 719.686.8810
Cognitive IntelligenceEIQ is Cognitive Intelligence. Cognitive Intelligence involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience.
EQ or Emotional Quotient (Emotional Intelligence) is a set of emotional and social skills that collectively establish how we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges and how we use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way.
A conversation I shared a while back with one of the smartest people I know shed light on a topic I set out to master a few years ago. I have a relationship with someone who has a PhD in Math. He was once a college math professor. He’s worked in government circles and he has worked in private industry as a management consultant.
We got into a conversation one day where I learned about the early part of my friend’s career. As a young college math professor, he learned the hard way that his high IQ wasn’t enough to make him successful. He told me that he wished I’d come along to teach him about the value of people and relationships long ago. He learned the hard way.
Stick With My Mission He Said
This amazingly smart former professor encouraged me to stick with my mission of wanting to help gifted, high IQ technology professionals to help them get to the next level in their careers by addressing their people skills, relationship building skills and for some, their leadership skills.
The beginning of March started in a great way for me. My first call of the day was an Emotional Intelligence Coaching call.
What I’m most excited about with this particular client is that he is in his early 30s. Emotional Intelligence generally begins developing in a person’s 20s. It develops significantly in one’s 30s and 40s and tops off somewhere in the 50s for most people.
This client is already extremely successful by most people’s measuring sticks. What got him to his current high level of success is a very high IQ (his cognitive skills). Basically, he has gotten to where he is today by finding ways to leverage his analytical skills and his raw intelligence.
My client's new role requires him to do less heads-down engineering work and more collaboration with people. What we started working on today is another part of his brain that hasn’t been exercised much at all.
Psychological research shows that IQ is generally responsible for 10% or less of most people’s overall success. In some cases, that number can rise to 20% but it is generally 10% or less.
We'll be working together to develop skills that will cause my client to be more effective when he works with other people. His IQ giftedness won’t go away. What he’ll have as we work to essentially build new muscles is a more balanced approach to business, to people and to relationships.
You may wonder why I’m writing about Emotional Intelligence rather than Strengths today.
After being led to an understanding of my own Strengths while working with a Strengths Coach, it seemed to me that there had to be more to the human make-up than just strengths alone. It seemed to me that in order to leverage my own Strengths, I would also have to learn how to manage my Weaknesses do they didn't get in the way of my Strengths.
For many years, as a result of being a technology recruiter, I’ve observed different people’s careers rising and falling. I’ve always been curious to know why one person rose while their colleague at another company fell. It wasn't that any of the people I observed lost or gained intelligence. Their cognitive abilities (IQ) were always high. My observation was that it was their behavior that got in their way and led to setbacks or sometimes failure.
My research led me to the topic of Emotional Intelligence. I was so intrigued by the topic that I pursued training and certification around the topic so I can now offer this topic as a really important part of my career coaching and leadership coaching services.
Impulse Control is one of 15 skills measured by the EQi-2.0 Emotional Intelligence Assessment that I use I my coaching practice. It is an Emotional Intelligence skill that many of my clients struggle with until we work on improving it. The great news here is that Impulse Control can be improved.
Impulse Control is made up of impulses that compel action. Impulses can be either helpful or harmful to us. Unfortunately, a lack of Impulse Control can become the source of significant setbacks.
I’ve been working on the Impulse Control skill with several of my Emotional Intelligence Coaching clients. One client recently sent this to me in an email:
Subject: Emotional intelligence rocks!
"I was just in a meeting with two “C” level executives. The CTO went off in response to the petty barbs the other “C” level executive was littering the conversation with. I just sat there and looked concerned and bewildered. EI awesomeness! I was on my very best behavior. Honestly, I had to draw heavily from the impulse control bank. Just because you think it doesn't mean you have to say it.”
The “C” level executive I’m working with as a coaching client is learning that he can experience success far more often when he listens rather than when he speaks. He is the smartest person in most rooms he visits by the way.
If you even suspect that Impulse Control is a skill that could be improved upon in your own life, I can help you.
No, I didn’t really do that. I don’t know if there is such a police force. It just seems to me that there are a lot of people who are deciding for other people what is and is not okay to post on LinkedIn. Do people really have that much time on their hands?
I post Cybersecurity News and Cybersecurity Vulnerability and Patch Reports every week. I also post information to help others to understand Strengths and Emotional Intelligence. These are two topics I coach my clients around with great results.
I'm also guilty of sharing what are generally really good security jobs for people who want to advance their careers.
My intention with everything I post on LinkedIn is to bring value to people who are kind enough to follow my content. Will everyone like everything that I post? I suspect not. In fact, I know that not everyone likes what I post because I lose a follower or two every week.
On the other hand, I’m picking up several followers every week so I’ll continue to share what I share for those who seem to appreciate what I share.
If there is a LinkedIn Police Force as I suggested above, I don’t have time to joint it so don’t worry.
Empathy is a powerful relationship building theme in the Clifton StrengthsFinder. People who are gifted in this way have a built-in ability to sense others feelings. This is important because people who are gifted in this way possess an instinctive and powerful ability to anticipate questions and they instinctively anticipate how others are feeling.
Consider Dale Carnegie’s words.
People with the Empathy Strength are generally very good at forming relationships that have great emotional depth. In my proprietary research on what people want in a leader they are willing to follow, the topic of empathy came up frequently.
People want to be listened to. They want their thoughts and ideas to be considered and they want to be understood. It takes Empathy to listen, consider and to understand.
Empathy is one of 15 skills measured by the EQi-2.0 Emotional Intelligence assessment. The good news is that Empathy can be measured and improved upon. Great managers need to possess Empathy. Great leaders need empathy.
You can find out how you’re wired and you can learn how to turn your unique set of strengths into leverage that comes out in your personal power!
One Year Ago
Yesterday afternoon, a client who invested in Resume Coaching and LinkedIn Coaching with me a year or so ago called to talk about additional coaching. He has a great problem that needs some attention.
Just over a year ago when this Cyber Security professional called me for the first time, he was in a good job that paid well. After his Resume was rebuilt and his LinkedIn Profile was rebuilt, he landed a job at $153,000.
Prepared When Opportunity Knocked
He wasn’t looking for another job so soon but he told me yesterday that his LinkedIn profile has been attracting 5-10 inquiries every week for the past year. A start-up company reached out to him recently and offered a job he couldn’t refuse at $200,000.
The Cyber Security professional invested $409.00 with me one year ago to build a winning resume and a winning LinkedIn profile that are aligned and carrying the same message. In a period of one year, the Cyber Security went from compensation in the low $100s to compensation exceeding $200,000.
When opportunity knocked, the Cyber Security professional was prepared.
Striving For Excellence
The problem my Cyber Security coaching client has today will turn into opportunity for him once we work together to get his Emotional Intelligence balanced so he can learn to behave like a $200,000 Vice President. We'll accomplish this through Emotional Intelligence Coaching.
Jeff Snyder Coaching, 719.686.8810