I was meeting with the HR team at a public agency this week and they mentioned that they have a “culture of nice” and how much difficulty their managers have being able to set firm expectations and in giving honest feedback. They described it as a “circle of friends” management style. It reminded me of our article, EQ Does Not Equal Pushover (http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs088/1100409827245/archive/1109856429877.html) because it is very possible to be polite, friendly and kind but also provide straight talk style feedback and still be liked!
Leading with Emotional Intelligence means you have the courage to step outside of your own discomfort about a performance conversation and put the best interest of the other person first. It means you have the other person's needs at heart and can read their communication style and emotional needs to cater your message in a way they can hear it and do something with it. After all, it is the ultimate gift of friendship to help someone help themselves, isn't it?