We believe that improving emotional intelligence is a prerequisite of a successful strategy to improve authentic communication skills.
Recent research shows that over 17% of businesses list communication skills as their top skill for improvement. This sits alongside nearly 7% who list emotional intelligence (EQ) as their top of the list skill.
However, perhaps this is the wrong way to look at gaining their desired outcome of better communication. We believe that improving emotional intelligence is a prerequisite of a successful strategy to improve communication skills.
For sure, we can teach you the techniques of great written and verbal communication. These techniques are well trodden and successful pathways. We can teach you which words to put where, how to give yourself the time and space to think and speak, and how to present with polish. But, if you don’t do these things with empathy and emotional intelligence, your words may be hollow and miss the mark. You may lack the authenticity that your crafted message needs to resonate with and influence your audience. The same study also reported that 6% wanted their people to improve their influencing skills. So, that’s nearly 30% of organisations who really need to focus on one thing: emotional intelligence.
Fortunately, emotional intelligence, just like communication, is a skill that can be taught. It is, however, a bigger commitment than a day of classroom learning about communication tips and techniques. It involves a structured programme of assessment, training and coaching that should sit at the heart of your organisation’s people strategy in order to develop healthy teams that work well together.
Making human connections
The recent example of new Lloyds CEO Charlie Nunn’s personal letter and video to the business was an excellent move in terms of showing both his communication skills and his emotional intelligence. By introducing himself as a human being first, in jeans and casual shirt from his shed, he sent a message to everyone that he was ready to listen and learn; that personal connection is fundamental to his leadership style.
Nunn could have trotted these words out, taking the formal approach traditional to the banking sector. However, he chose to be approachable and empower Lloyds employees to identify with him. Cynics may argue that this is a carefully crafted approach. That may be true, but it is done with emotional intelligence at its centre.
Perks are passé for younger workers
Research from Kansas State University shows that younger workers under 35 place more value on respect than office perks and benefits. The report goes on to suggest that organisations should instead invest in training managers to communicate respectfully and nurture employee wellbeing. This is especially so in the area of ‘autonomous respect’, i.e. feeling respected for who you are beyond your position or how well you do your job.
Yet many managers are not properly trained to manage. In the study, LaGree goes on to suggest that managers must better understand their teams in order to successfully communicate and engage. Yes, it’s valuable to know about the interests and passions outside of work, to support and show interest. But what’s really valuable is to better understand their triggers and most importantly help them to understand too. This will enable individuals and teams to be aware of their emotions and reactions, and crucially to be able to regulate and respond proportionately.
Develop a culture of respectful and authentic communication
This cannot be done in a one-off workshop or with a one-off assessment. It’s a long-term process that requires investment from all parties. But it doesn’t have to be a daunting process without milestones or goals. flowprofiler® is a complete package that wraps up psychometric assessment, training and coaching over a defined time period. It enables you to measure progress, set interventions and provide the support your managers and teams need to be their best selves.
Combine flowprofiler® with our technical communication skills training solutions to develop a culture of authentic and respectful communication across your organisation.
Contact us to develop emotional intelligence and authentic communication in your organisation.
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