In my previous blog I talked a little bit about the effects of blame and guilt, and fear and judgment, from leaders on their people and on the culture of your organization, and how unproductive that is.
This blog is an extension of that, because, I want to talk today about the influence of low emotional intelligence in the people themselves, whether they're employees or colleagues, and the role that that plays.
So, your high emotional intelligence leaders talk about ideas and concepts rather than use blame and
guilt and fear and judgment in their conversation. So, they're trying to solve problems. And that's a great way to go. But sometimes the people that they're talking to who have maybe been in a culture where it's been a high blame culture for a long time, high judgment culture for a long time, have habituated this
self-protective way of being.
And they find it difficult to separate an idea from themselves. Or an action from their own sense of value. So, you as a leader might go to them and say, "Hey, this part of the process isn't working, or "There's been a bit of a mix up here, or a problem here," and you're talking about the problem.
You're not really thinking about blame and guilt but you're trying to solve the problem, because that's what leaders do. But the person can't decouple or separate the idea or the problem from themselves. From their perspective it looks like an attack and it feels like an attack, even though it isn't.
And when a person feels like they're being attacked, what do they do? Naturally they adopt a self-protective mindset. And this mindset means that I am incrementally - it would depend on how serious I feel. I've exposed your vulnerability. I am closed, I'm inflexible, I'm argumentative, I procrastinate, I minimize, I go, "Yeah, yeah, that's not really a big problem." I undermine the problem and don't take it as seriously. Basically, I get my own way. And this is a real challenge, especially for highly habituated cultures where blame and guilt and fear and judgment are rife within the culture.
Those are the four big bads in my view for corporate culture; blame, guilt, fear, judgment.
And they operate at a leadership level and they are driven by leadership level, but if you've had a culture or individual who's been experiencing this and living this way for a long time, they're going to need a fair bit of support and training and coaching to lift them out of this context where every idea is a personal attack. This is why emotional intelligence is such a powerful and such an important part of building dynamism, building energy, and building proactivity into your team.
Hope that's helped. Let me know how you think or what you think about that. I'd be happy to answer a few questions, just drop me a line.