Food for Thought – Emotional Intelligence

Food for Thought – Emotional Intelligence

The rabbit holes

The boss sends you an email. I want to see you in the office at 3pm. Do you imagine there is something wonderful about to happen? Is there a hint of caution? The messages we receive can evoke such powerful responses. A statement or an incident and then Bang! Without a map of emotional intelligence we are lost down a mind-field of rabbit holes of confusion and self-doubt.

When I google ‘thoughts’ the resulting search reveals that each of us has 45,000 a day, with 80% being negative. That’s an avalanche of mindless thoughts rife with image baits and emotional snares. The link between action – thought – reaction is a web of reflexes. Conditional responses that have been learned.

The centre of the universe

Reflex answers – is that why it’s easier to respond with negative opinions? If I am on the motorway and a Porsche cuts me off do I have the right to say they did that on purpose? Would that force retaliation? Consider this – I pull the car over only to find the driver upset because they had a distressing phone call and did not see me in the rear vision mirror. Would I still be angry or would I react differently?

How many times do we position ourselves as the catalyst to everything? The traffic jam when I was in a rush to get to work. The queue for tickets because they know I have no time to wait. The guy on the train station whose train is delayed by 30 minutes and turning to me says ‘well of course it is, they knew I had a deadline’. Does our reaction start from an unconscious belief that we are the centre of the universe? Are we that important?

Introducing – the Critic

The trap of so-called conventional wisdom, our default position a repertoire of ‘criticism’. If I present a new idea to 10 people why will 9 tell me why it won’t work? Is status in modern society becoming a master of critical opinion in your field of expertise? From Sport, Entertainment, Business and Politics, the title of Critic is a genuine profession. Maybe the way we influence others needs to be reconsidered?

Is it mis-communication?

Don’t believe me? Try this simple test. See if you can give a compliment without a suspicious look being thrown back. The simple reply should be an obvious ‘thank you’, instead of a ‘Yeah right, what do you want’ which makes you feel weak, needy…  And if I point out a weakness (obvious or not) does that imply a sense of superiority? Am I suggesting that to point out the flaw I am the only one clever enough to see it? And if I state the error or mistake then how will others react to me?

When I was younger and attempting to learn guitar my dad would constantly remind me of how bad I sounded. Years later when I played a CD of my music he was rather impressed. I asked him why he never encouraged me? He looked shocked – but I did. I challenged you to do better every time you played. For a kid this can be confusing.

Let’s try this – together

We send messages between each other in a perpetual rain of innuendo and suggestion. Let’s get rid of the guesswork and aim for better messages. The email – John, good news, would like to meet you in the office at 3pm to discuss the Richter Account. The Porsche – hey is everything okay, you nearly hit me? Good old dad – Son, keep practising you can only get better. Communication skills are not about how much power I can claim from you, it’s how much power I can release in you. How about we try this together, after all we share the same small planet. And none of us are getting out alive.

Exceeding expectations – Service or Delivery?

Exceeding expectations – service or delivery?

Do you really mean it?

Great customer service isn’t a convenient statement for business to slap on a mission statement. It’s not a gimmick nor is it a side-line for those filling a job card out while doing a PhD. Great service is serious business and it starts with a philosophy dedicated to an attitude. It takes an application of intuition and empathy and researching expectations to fashion exceptional service.

To present your business, through to delivery of product, is the greatest opportunity to showcase and promote who you are. Service – to deliver what has been ordered. It is one of the most powerful blends of adverting, suggestive selling and relationship building a business can have. The best opportunity for the client to experience you. You have to mean it.

Corporate image vs social media

The effort companies go to promoting ‘loyalty’ cards and ‘no claim bonuses’ to their customers. With an endless supply of catch-phrase advertising at giant financial costs they build an illusion that each client is special. One who deserves the very best. Yet it only takes a phone call or a face-to-face interaction to realise that maybe the advertising dollars could have been better spent elsewhere.

Take the national insurance company who openly prides themselves on putting the customer first. Upon investigation the conditions are extraordinary. If a client does not meet these conditions, they are refused. The advertising budget has become a punchline, a cautionary tale in the social media reviews. Social media could have worked for them, for free.

Turn a client into a fan

Don’t you just love a business who knows you? Who understands that you have a want and need and that both are entirely separate. The ‘want’ may be car insurance, the ‘need’ is to be understood by a professional who can recommend the best policy. Who can point out the areas you should focus on. Who speaks like they know the industry, the pros and the cons. Can inform you of the finer detail in an engaging conversation, not just a tick box.

I called in and the account manager greeted me by my name. Asked if I got the paperwork through? He always sounds so happy to hear from me. Are there any questions you need answering? And look don’t sign it off just yet, you have a week’s grace, send it in at the end of the month – let me save you money. He notes I bought the car two months ago, a Honda. He asks – so are you enjoying the car? For me getting a new car is incredibly exciting, you must be thrilled sir, glad you phoned me – I love looking after new clients. He again acknowledges my name. I am now his greatest fan.

To Exceed Expectations or not?

I wanted my new car, my pride and joy, to be covered with a great policy. I needed someone to understand how I felt about getting a new car and guide me through suitable options. Not to fit in with their way-of-doing-things or answer a tick box. And guess what – I pay more per month than anyone else charges, purely because of the service I get. So how much is your client really worth? Do you exceed expectations, or do you just say you do? Consider that one could be making you a fortune – an investment the future. The other could be eroding your business. As for me I am heading onto social media, singing my new companies’ praises.