Which Social Intelligence Skills Should You Focus on First?
First, Understanding the Trifecta: Mindset, Emotion, Behavior.
Each aspect of the Social Intelligence (SQ) trifecta plays an important role in optimizing outcomes for individuals and for organizations. But how do companies determine where to start? What approach or program is the right first step? How do you match solving your biggest problems or achieving your biggest goals to the right training?
Most important to note, is that all TRACOM programs touch on all three elements of the trifecta – Mindset, Behavior and Emotional Intelligence (EQ) because the way we think, act and react are always intertwined. But some programs concentrate more fully on one area of focus.
Behavioral Style, most prominent in our SOCIAL STYLE program, is often the entry point for training because it includes an observable aspect of the human experience. How we behave with one another, especially in the workplace can be observed by everyone around us. Your behavior may have the most impact on how you are perceived by others, and therefore the most impact on your overall success. From our vantage point, we observe other behavior and equate it with potential success or potential ruin. But Behavioral Style is not about grandiose actions characterized by bad choices or a healthy lifestyle, it’s more nuanced and subtle. In understanding SOCIAL STYLE, no Behavioral Style is good or bad. All STYLEs are good, each just has their own preferences for sharing and receiving communication. Gaining an understanding of our preferred behavior can have a very significant impact on how effectively we interact with one another.
Emotional intelligence practices, approaches and training programs are abundant. Each tout their own way to achieve a state of calm through tips and techniques to control feelings and reactions. Many of these programs are highly effective in helping people to understand their emotions and the emotions of others better than if they didn’t receive the training. But what many EQ programs lack, is the behavioral component to go along with the learning. It’s great to understand how emotion impacts you and others, but it’s essential to learn techniques and strategies for how to engage and interact with other emotional beings. TRACOM’s Behavioral EQ program incorporates a behavioral component to help participants achieve observable change.
Mindset is how you think about the world. This can be influenced by philosophies, cultures, religion, politics or family as you grow up. Mindset includes a set of assumptions that people hold onto (biases), but our mindset isn’t ‘set in stone’ the way it sounds. Mindset is impacted, positively or negatively, when change is forced upon us. So, having an adaptive mindset is important for people who have to navigate disruptive change or who are in roles responsible for proactively innovating to create change. Our ability to be adaptable and versatile is dependent on how we choose to think, act and react. Behavior affects mindset and vice versa – just like emotion impacts behavior, and behavior affects the way we think. Each of the elements of the trifecta interact in an interdependent cycle.
Why Should Your Company Care about Mindset, Emotional Intelligence or Behavioral Style?
Because Social Intelligence is about increasing effectiveness and productivity, focus on any one area of the trifecta is an improvement that will lead to noticeable gains. But when you focus on multiple areas – to solve specific problems or to advance general goals – you provide your teams with the most impactful techniques, strategies and tools to function at the highest levels. Elevating even one person’s Social Intelligence has impact, but elevating your entire organization can move mountains.
Picking the Right Solution to Fit Your Goals or to Solve Your Problems.
Do We Need Resilience or Style or What?
As the leading provider of Social Intelligence models and training programs we often are asked when it’s most appropriate to use SOCIAL STYLE versus Behavioral EQ versus our Adaptive Mindset offerings. It’s a fair question because all of our programs address aspects of individual behavior and improve both personal and organizational performance. And they’re all built on years of research with studies documenting the reliability and validity of the models, assessments and profile reports. So which solutions are most appropriate for you?
Here are some guidelines:
#1 Scenario: The landscape is changing and we need to keep up.. Changing market conditions, technologies or competitive challenges have turned many once-dominant companies into historical footnotes and also-rans. If you need to develop employees who can react to a fast-changing environment or ideally drive those changes then Adaptive Mindset is probably your priority. It teaches skills to deal with the stress of change and overcome our natural aversion to change. Learn more: Agility and Resilience Whitepaper.
#2 Scenario: More effective leaders and managers. Research shows that employees don’t leave their company, they leave their manager. Managers and leaders have the most direct impact on your organization’s success. And SOCIAL STYLE training is the single-best way to improve your leaders’ performance. Simple to learn and powerful in practice, SOCIAL STYLE and Versatility skills are proven to create leaders that are better at achieving results, managing conflict, driving growth and developing motivated employees. Style skills are a must-have for managers.
#3 Scenario: We need salespeople to partner with customers. The idea of solutions-selling or consultative selling is not new, but the actual execution of it is still difficult. Without a salesforce that can build strong relationships and have frank discussions, you’ll almost always compete on just price. But emotional intelligence skills create opportunities for deeper sales relationships that create value for both supplier and customer. Behavioral EQ training develops truly insightful and effective sales professionals.
#4 Scenario: We need to support (or create) a common culture of success. Many companies that have been built through mergers or acquisitions find that different parts operate differently and are unable to maintain consistent culture and growth. SOCIAL STYLE training helps organizations create a vocabulary and culture. Understanding peoples’ behavioral preferences and practicing Versatility builds a unifying framework for success even with people operating in different countries and using different languages. As a senior L&D executive noted: “Building a common culture is critical when integrating new businesses and people. SOCIAL STYLE gives us tools to effectively deal with the business issues we face.”
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