This book will show you how to lead more effectively by engaging your own and your people's emotions.
Where other books tell you about emotional intelligence, this book provides the roadmap to put it in action. There are a handful of people in the world who have proven experience raising organizational performance with emotional intelligence. Freedman is one of the leaders. Using stories and data from his work around the world with organizations such as the US Marine Corps, Schlumberger, and FedEx, Freedman provides a practical guide to this critical topic.
At the Heart of Leadership delivers a compelling case for leaders to attend to their own and their people s emotions as a critical asset for optimal performance.
Then it shows you how.
You’ll learn the Six Seconds EQ Model, a practical three-step process to become more effective with emotions.” [...].” Amazon.com
The book is divided into three main chapters, “Part One: Emotions Are Assets”, “Part Two: EQ in Action” and “Part Three: Appendices”.
“Part One: Emotions Are Assets”
The first chapter is all about understanding emotions as well as defining that they do not have positive nor negative connotation contrary to most people’s believes. In addition the author shows clearly the impact of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) awareness towards business results in this chapter by citing MetLife’s, L’Oreal’s and Sanofi-Aventis’ sales increases after an EQ project implementation.
The key learning of this chapter is three fold:
There are no “good” or “bad” emotions
Emotions exist, affect us and are data and energy
EI awareness has a clear impact on business results
Above key learning shows, that emotions are a helpful tool in business as well as private environments. For instance the emotion everyone relates to as “bad”, fear, is a helpful indicator to be careful in the certain situation and it might show that the planning, i.e. of a project, potentially was not detailed enough.
“Part Two: EQ in Action”
The second chapter is focused on the implementation of EQ in everyone’s daily life. Main model used in this chapter is the so called 123 KCG model which is divided into three parts illustrated in below key learning.
The three key learning of this chapter are:
Emotional awareness: “Know Yourself: The Wisdom of Feelings”
Emotional action: “Choose Yourself: Fight or Flow”
Emotional sharing: “Give Yourself: From Success to Significance”
The first key learning is about how to categorize emotions (c.f. The Plutchik Model), understand those emotions and identify patterns in them. This might be helpful to identify certain repeating patterns in everyone’s environment in which emotions result in certain actions that were not ideal and could have been changed knowing about those emotions results.
Afterwards the second key learning dives into the details of how to navigate emotions and the fact that everyone has the power to make decisions towards reactions to certain emotions. For instance, certain emotions can be answered either with pessimism or optimism with both choices resulting in different outcomes. To fully grasp those emotions and their impact, oneself has to step back and first of all feel, then listen and finally be able to explore them.
The third key learning that completes the 123 KCG model then shows that, besides above mentioned skills, there are further skill sets required to fully own EQ. Those can be mainly divided into empathy and a noble goal. Empathy ensures in this case that feelings are not focused on oneself and target the own future benefit, hence selfish. On the contrary feelings should be used to understand oneself and once impact on other people’s feelings. Furthermore empathy helps to understand what other people feel and need, hence “puts you into their shoes.” This line of thinking also support the idea of a noble goal, which is a higher target in each once life. Examples of a noble goal could be “to always try to bring out the best in other people”. Noble goals are usually not tangible, hence not assets, but more intangible actions and values that help not oneself but other people.
“Part Three: Appendices”, covers real life applications of the 123 KCG model as well as a few "out of the box" examples as for instance parenthood advice.
The author clearly showed that EQ is an important aspect of business and private life and the understanding of it has clear benefits to both. Certain skills to achieve an understanding of EQ are easily implementable in real life (e.g. emotional patters) whereas others might be more difficult and require a lot of time and experience to achieve (e.g. to define a noble goal).
I feel that EQ is not only an important skill for managers and senior leaders, whereas also will benefit staff levels in any organization as human interaction is based on emotions that need to be understood by all levels.