Thursday, January 10, 2019

Month in a Minute

Presenting for the CIIPA in the Cayman Islands
Happy new year!

We have put a bow on another great year. We ended it with a wonderful team trip to the Cayman Islands where I spoke as part of the Cayman Islands CPA Association conference. It was a delightful way to finish up the year's events. 

I am not really much of a New Year's Resolution person, instead, I like to focus on themes/goals. Last year I was focused on doing new things and getting out of my comfort zone. Looking back, I did pretty well. There were some exciting new things for me, like traveling to a country I had never been before, buying a new house and moving to a new state. 

There were some new things that came with a lot of anxiety, like video recording a new online learning program (Raising Resiliency) and EQ&You micro videos. We worked with 15 new organizations this year and got to work with some great people. For 2019, my focus will be on building our business in the West and especially in my new hometown of Phoenix. What goals are you setting? I would love to hear from you and what you're working on in the new year. I wish you all the best in 2019! 

Thursday, January 3, 2019

How to Embrace Change Using Emotional Intelligence

Dealing with the personal consequences of change can be difficult; however, leading others through that same pathway is even more complex. Challenging times require EQ competencies that provide the basis for leading through tough transitions. Kandi Wiens and Darin Rowell wrote a fantastic article for HBR on how to use some of those EQ skills to help you navigate through the waters of uncertainty.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Are You A Credible Leader

Despite all best intentions it's easy to send mixed messages to others when we allow stress or self-focused behaviors dominate our interactions with others. This month provides a quick checklist to see if your leadership credibility might be taking a hit.

Credibility Crushers
Consider the following behaviors that hurt employee engagement and motivation:

Forgetting conversations and instructions given; poor listening skills. Common employee complaint: "I have to take notes just to be sure I can prove later we had this conversation."

Not Understanding Employee's Jobs
Assuming credibility can be earned without understanding the inner workings of the team. Common employee complaint: "If they had any idea what we do they would make better decisions instead of making our jobs harder."

Fairweather Boss
A fan one minute, a critic the next. Common employee complaint: "You have her support until it becomes unpopular."

Solitary Decision Making
Making decisions that impact others without soliciting their feedback. Common employee complaint: "This directly affected my job but yet he didn't think I was important enough to be included until after the fact."

Talking Out of Both Sides of Your Mouth
Being hypocritical, contradictory or overly political. Common employee complaint: "Mixed messages."

Reactive crisis-management mentality, often adopting the overreactions of others. Common employee complaint: "We're headed in one direction today, we'll be headed in the opposite direction tomorrow."

Unrealistic or Assumed Expectations
Expecting others to possess the same work ethic or assuming unspoken expectations will be met. Common employee complaint: "I failed at something I didn't even know I was being evaluated on and never got the chance to discuss it"

Leadership behaviors that build credibility and employee engagement:  
  • Assuming the best and delaying judgment
  • Reliability in word and deed
  • Soliciting their input in brainstorming and problem solving
  • Challenging them to think outside their job description
  • Taking a genuine interest in employees as individuals
  • Delegating learning opportunities not just problems
  • Laughing at yourself and fessing up when you blow it
  • Encouraging creativity
  • Giving others the freedom to "fail forward"
  • Operating from a hope of success rather than a fear of failure
  • Asking "How am I doing?"
Just remember credibility takes years to establish and only a few bad behaviors to destroy. The first step is moving out of your comfort zone and asking for feedback on how others see you modeling these behaviors. Raising your self-awareness will increase your effectiveness and influence.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Month in a Minute

AICPA Breakout Session, NYC: Conference Atrium in the Grand Hyatt, NYC:
Steve and I making some last minute presentations tweaks in SLC:
Barnes Foundation

November included events in Philadelphia, Boston, NYC, and Salt Lake City. I was fortunate to present an EQ talk at a women's event at the Barnes Foundation, it started out as a private collection that has since been made available to the public. We had the museum all to ourselves at the evening event and the visiting exhibition is Berthe Morisot, she was the only female impressionist painter. She has quite a remarkable story, it's worth a visit if you are in the Philadelphia area.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

How Employers Measure Emotional Intelligence in Candidates

Kelly asked if I would contribute to her article for HigherEd Jobs.  She did a fantastic job!  To view the original article click here.  Thanks so much, Kelly!

Career News  |  by Kelly A. Cherwin
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Employers want to know you as a candidate. They not only want to determine if you have the technical aptitude and job specific expertise but if you will be a "fit" within their organizational culture. One way they can do this is by interviewing for emotional intelligence (EI) or sometimes referred to as the emotional quotient (EQ). As researchers Mayer and Salovey state, emotional intelligence is "the ability to monitor one's own and others' feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one's thinking and actions."

Jennifer Shirkani, CEO and president at Penumbra Group, a firm that provides Talent Management Solutions and a frequent speaker on the topic of emotional intelligence explains why EI is so relevant in today's workplace and important for employers to consider. "The emotional intelligence of employees is directly related to their coachability and often shows their willingness to adapt and be open-minded to feedback and change." Employers are looking for people willing to listen thoughtfully, work collaboratively, and get out of their comfort zone as well as people who make thorough decisions and are good role models. Candidates displaying these skills and abilities through high emotional intelligence are more likely to be viewed more favorably.

According to Shirkani, 46% of new hires fail within 18 months. The common reasons are: the inability to accept feedback, inability to understand/manage emotions, lack of motivation, or wrong temperament for job/work environment. Interviewing for emotional intelligence can potentially avoid these errors in hiring the wrong candidate. In fact, according to a survey, many hiring managers (71%) stated they valued EI in an employee over IQ and (59%) claim that they'd pass up a candidate with a high IQ but low emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence in the workplace consists of three R's says Shirkani:
  • Recognizing and being self-aware. The ability to know your strengths and weaknesses is key.
  • Reading your environment. Having the ability to be situationally aware of what is happening around you is crucial to strengthening your emotional intelligence.
  • Responding appropriately and exercising self-control. Managing your own emotions and trying to understand and respond to others emotions are critical.
As a job seeker, you may ask, "How do employers interview for emotional intelligence?" Shirkani says that employers "use the past to predict the future." This can be done through behavior-based interview questions. Shirkani states that "candidates with a high EQ are more comfortable sharing an experience and are ok with who they are."

How do job seekers highlight their EQ in these behavioral interviews? When an employer asks you a question based on a past experience or situation, think of your CAR. No, not the sports or luxury car that you are dreaming of sitting in your driveway, but instead respond by explaining the Circumstance of the event or situation, describe the Action you took to resolve or improve the circumstance, and then elaborate on the Result that was generated. For example, if you were asked to describe a time that you demonstrated problem-solving skills you could say, "Our office did not have a good system to keep track of invoices, receipts, and expenses. I instituted a filing system that allowed everyone to put receipts and invoices in specific folders which I would then electronically scan and cross check against our credit card system and then file in the appropriate digital dropbox. This process resulted in a reduction of late fees as well as a very satisfied supervisor." 

Other advice for candidates to succeed in an interview? Research the environment and company culture, know your strengths and weaknesses and be comfortable talking about them. People who are afraid to talk about their weaknesses could be a red flag to employers. Instead, discuss the weakness, but most importantly, what you learned from that weakness. And finally, as Shirkani adds, "Do not try to be someone you aren't." 

Good luck in your next interview.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Our Attitude is Gratitude

We at Penumbra Group want to wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, which hopefully includes an emotionally intelligent family gathering this year.
We are counting our blessings, you among them. We are grateful for our circle of colleagues, wonderful clients, good health, and the opportunity to do the work we love. Thank you for your continued support.  

Thursday, November 15, 2018

This Emotional Intelligence Test Was So Accurate It Was Creepy

I often get asked if emotional intelligence can be measured or tested, and the answer is yes!  There are many different types of assessments out there, but the one we use at Penumbra is called the EQi 2.0.  I came across this great article by Rich Bellis at Fast Company, and thought is a fun narrative about taking the assessment and interpreting the results.  If you would like to take the "creepy test" and receive a 1-hour personal coaching call, click here.