January 29, 2018

Sitting down with Mr. Bean – emotional Intelligence for leaders

Emotional Intelligence for leaders in South Africa

Emotional Intelligence for leaders

Mr. Bean with his notorious mannerisms and apparent lack of Emotional Intelligence skills is not the person most of us would ever imagine in a corporate environment. Just thinking of him sitting at your office reception desk while trying to complete his Sudoku book with a unsharpened pencil, should make you smile.

When I do Leadership Coaching with corporate clients Mr. Bean followed by Sherlock Holmes and Oprah Winfrey are my go to characters I ask leaders to conjure up in their imagination. This Neuro-Linguistic-Programming Technique (NLP) teaches managers how to deal with keeping their emotions under control in a highly stressful work space. In essence you stop your mind from going into fight or flight mode when you feel on the brink of losing your temper in front of your peers.

The three most important questions to ask yourself in 2018 is:

  •   “How can I mobilise my staff to achieve more this year?”
  •  “Which direction am I going into?”
  •  “Which steps do I need to take to get there?”

A big part of Leadership Coaching is following a roadmap to answer these questions. It all starts with developing your Emotional Intelligence skills and learning how you as a leader should walk the talk and lead with intent. In order to motivate your staff in 2018 you’ll need to change your mindset and not just rely on external circumstances like team buildings or a sit down with HR. Instead you’ll need to internally make the change and lead by example.
Why is emotional Intelligence important to motivate your staff

As a Leader you have a holistic impact on everyone in your work environment. You might not realise this but your employee’s look up to you and study how you interact with people, how you communicate in person, interact on social media, how you talk over the phone and especially how you deal with conflict. Losing your temper on your staff, and going into a raging battle on an employee-in front of their peers, is more damaging to your reputation than to theirs. As a Leader you need to handle your emotions when you get frustrated or angry with an employee and also with people outside of the work environment.

Craig Valentine, one of the World Champions of Public Speaking said, “I pay attention to how people treat the people behind the scenes, the cleaners, the waiters, the toll gate operators.”  So here’s a question to ponder over – “Do you treat everyone the same, or do you put some people below others?” You can spend your entire budget on team building or motivational workshops but then by interacting in a poor way with one Individual you do a lot of damage and end up demotivating your staff.  Don’t become the Hulk – channel Mr. Bean or Oprah

Have you ever felt a pin drop when someone walks into a room, and seen half of the people in need of a smoke or bathroom break?

Non-verbal cues can unveil the truth about how people really feel about us. By honing your Emotional intelligence Skills it becomes easier to pick up on these cues and identify where you need to change your behaviour so that you only have a positive impact on your colleagues. The next time you feel the urge to lose your temper at work and turn into the Hulk rather go for a walk outside. Sit down in a quiet spot for a few moments and ask yourself – “If Mr. Bean or Oprah was in the room right now with the person who is upsetting me, what would they say and do.” Would Oprah perhaps change the subject or really hold her composure.  Just thinking of what Mr. Bean would do has helped me personally slow my heart rate and clear my head.  This technique will help you think more objectively about the situation and take a step back so that you think more logical and not with your emotions.

Yoke is a motivational speaker, NLP practitioner and leadership coach. If you would like to find out more about emotional intelligence or Leadership Training, get in touch with Yoke on

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