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FACES: Emotional Intelligence, Part 2, OR Leadership in the 21st Century

Cross-posted from WinWinWorkplace.com.

This is the second part of my article (December 2011) based on a piece by Daniel Siegel, M.D., entitled “Interpersonal Neurobiology” (Psychiatric Annals 36:4, April 2006). In his article Dr. Siegel describes a healthy brain-mind using the acronym FACES:

  • Flexible — able to bend without breaking.
  • Adaptive — able to adjust to different conditions.
  • Coherent — clear, logical, and forming a whole.
  • Energized — having vitality and enthusiasm.
  • Stable — firmly established, not easily upset, not likely to give way.

Moreover, I suggested in my previous article that FACES describes a dynamic, emotionally intelligent leader; in other words, an effective leader has a high-functioning brain-mind. As I wrote at the end of the article: Read more »

F.A.C.E.S.: The Emotionally Intelligent Brain

Cross-posted from WinWinWorkplace.com.

There is a lot — although not enough — talk in the business world today about “emotional intelligence” and its importance in understanding what makes leaders transcend to the next level in driving performance and productivity within their organizations. From what I know as a psychologist, with an interest in neurobiology, I do not think of emotional intelligence without thinking about the brain. Daniel Siegel, M.D., is one of the cutting-edge leaders in this new area of study, called “Interpersonal Neurobiology.” In an article for the Psychiatric Annals (36:4 April 2006) Dr. Siegel wrote the following (I recommend reading it slowly):

An interpersonal neurobiology view of well-being holds that the complex, nonlinear system of the mind achieves states of self-organization by balancing the two opposing processes of differentiation and linkage. When separated areas of the brain are allowed to specialize in their function and then become linked together, the system is integrated. Integration brings with it a special state or functioning of the whole, which has the acronym of FACES: Flexible, Adaptive, Coherent, Energized and Stable. This coherent flow is bounded on one side by chaos and on the other by rigidity. In this manner we can envision a flow or river of well-being, with the two banks being chaos on the one side, rigidity on the other.

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Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion: The Three Dimensions of the Interpersonal World

Cross-posted from WinWinWorkplace.com.

Just as there are three dimensions of the physical world — height, width, and depth — there are also three dimensions of the interpersonal world. And just as we need to learn how to navigate the three dimensions of the physical world with balance and coordination, we need to learn how to navigate the three dimensions of the interpersonal world as well.

So far, I have written two other newsletter articles based on principles from my book, Follow the Yellow Brick Road: How to Change for the Better When Life Gives You Its Worst (www.YellowBrickRoad-book). My first Win-Win article was Follow the Yellow Brick Road: The Royal Road to Managing Change (October 2010 Newsletter), based on book book’s first principle, “We change in Oz not Kansas”; and my second article was Munchkins, Monkeys, Toto, & Glinda: Why Leaders Can’t Lead Alone (December 2010 Newsletter), based on the fifth principle, “Use Your Resources.” Today I want to introduce you to the third principle — the centerpiece of my book — “Integrate Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion.”

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Manage Yourself First: The Key to Managing Others

Cross-posted from WinWinWorkplace.com.

Several years ago a woman told me the following story. While in a grocery store, shopping for family provisions, she accidentally and painfully ran over her toe with a heavily laden shopping cart — at which time, under her breath, she yelled at her husband, “You idiot!” She told me that it was at that moment she knew it was time for her to get into therapy. She realized with much embarrassment that not only did her husband not violate her big toe, but he wasn’t even in the store! Her story is humorous but probably not too far from our own experiences in which we blame someone else for our unhappiness. In the part of her mind where most of us live out our lives — the subconscious — the problem was and will always be … someone else.

One of my first goals when facilitating a workshop on the topic of “Managing Difficult People” is to dispute the very myth of the “difficult person.” The difficulty with the concept of a difficult person is establishing exactly who the difficult person is. We almost always experience the “other person” as difficult. In the case of the woman in the grocery store, she saw her husband as the difficult person, when in fact he wasn’t even there.

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Munchkins, Monkeys, Toto, & Glinda: Why Leaders Can’t Lead Alone

Cross-posted from WinWinWorkplace.com.

“Won’t you go with me?” pleaded the girl, who had begun to look upon … [the good witch] as her … friend. “No, I cannot do that,” she replied; “but I will give you my kiss, and no one will dare injure a person who had been kissed by the Witch of the North.”
— L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

When I heard what Gail was going to write about this month — “looking around corners” to stay innovative and competitive — I put off my article on Increasing Bottom Line thru Employee Engagement and “Happiness@Work” (something to look forward to in next month’s newsletter).

As a way of introducing myself to the Win-Win family earlier this year, I took an idea from my first book — Follow the Yellow Brick Road: How to Change for the Better When Life Gives You Its Worst — and applied it to the world of organizations and leadership. This month, I want to present my fifth principle from the book: We don’t change by ourselves.

Of course, no one else can go on our personal journeys for us. As a leader or a business owner, no one can lead for us. The buck stops with us. The Wizard of Oz is primarily a story about personal responsibility. The Wizard did not give Scarecrow a brain, Tin Man a heart, nor Lion his courage; rather, they developed each attribute themselves. Likewise, it was up to Dorothy to face and melt her own Wicked Witch and fire her fraudulent Wizard. The trip to the Land of Oz was Dorothy’s journey; it was about Dorothy’s personal responsibility. Our commission to lead is our responsibility.

However, no one can lead alone.

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D.I.S.C.O.: The Good Hire Process

Cross-posted from WinWinWorkplace.com.

There are few things more important to the success of your organization than getting the right people into your organization (and then keeping them). The costs of a bad hire are enormous — in terms of the financial investment in the hiring process, cost of poor performance, lost time and energy in needless management, and decreased morale and employee retention (There is growing evidence that good employees don’t leave organizations, they leave bad bosses). When you think of the worst things about your organization, you can probably trace them back to bad hires. Likewise, when you consider what is working well, you will probably trace it back to good hires.

There are three ways to get the Best People into your organization. You can Hire them, you can Inspire them (or develop them), or you can Retire them — by repositioning or firing them. Firing people is necessary but difficult and at times risky. Repositioning is often a good alternative, as long as the problem was poor fit rather than poor emotional intelligence or incompetence. Developing is always good, but you can develop people only within their capacity to truly learn. It is hard to take an average employee and develop them into a star, and even more difficult to take a low-performing employee to just the next level. By far and away, the best option for getting the work force that you want is to hire them. It is easier to hire a star than to attempt to develop one over the years (And let’s face it, not everyone is teachable).

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Follow the Yellow Brick Road: The Royal Road to Managing Change

Cross-posted from WinWinWorkplace.com.

“‘It is a long journey, through a country that is sometimes pleasant and sometimes dark and terrible. …The road to the City of Emeralds is paved with yellow brick,’ said the [good] witch.”
—L. Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz

As a way of introducing myself to the Win-Win family, over the next few months I will take some ideas from my first book, Follow the Yellow Brick Road: How to Change for the Better When Life Gives You Its Worst, and apply them to the world of organizations and leadership. Today, in keeping with the theme of change, I will present the first principle from my book: We don’t change in Kansas; we change in Oz!

We are living in unsure and in many ways unknown times; by my metaphor, we are in “The Land of Oz.” “Kansas symbolizes what we know. It consists of the paradigms that we take for granted and live by without reflection. It is the accumulation of all our assumptions, as about how to grow a business, structure our company, sell our products and services, and lead our employees. But every once in a while a very big “tornado” comes along and picks up our organizational house and drops it into a strange and mostly uncharted land. This is either very bad news or very good news: It depends on how you respondnot react — to the challenge.

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