On this episode of the Strategy & Leadership Podcast, we were live with Robin Hills from the United Kingdom. Robin is the Director of Ei4Change, a company that delivers educational training based on emotional intelligence. Today, Robin has taught emotional intelligence skills to over 100,000 people from 175+ countries via online training.
Is your organization having a strategic planning session soon? Make sure you're asking the right questions first:
We're super excited to have Robin on the show to discuss the importance of emotional intelligence and how we use it in everyday life, how to empathize, how to harness the power or emotional intelligence as a leader, and more.
Here's a break down of our conversation:
Using emotional intelligence in everyday life
Robin explains the best way to practice the skill of emotional intelligence, which is to begin observing how you feel during different situations. If you're feeling angry, why are you angry? When you're feeling happy, can you pinpoint why exactly you're feeling happy? This is harder than it seems, since our emotions are constantly in flux. Over time, you'll begin to recognize your emotions more clearly, what drives them, what works for you, and what doesn't.
How to empathize
Empathy is not to be confused with sympathy, which is feeling sorry for someone. Empathy is treating someone as an equal, trying to see the world through their eyes, and understanding their thought process (you don't have to agree with them). Robin explains his number one piece of advice for developing empathy, which is to ask questions. By asking questions, you'll get a better understanding of how people feel.
How leaders can use emotional intelligence to persuade
Robin says there are a couple things that leaders need to understand about persuasion. First, they need to recognize that other people aren't able to change their behaviour unless they're willing to. Second, people you're trying to persuade will have a choice - they can buy into what you're saying or not. They best way to use emotional intelligence to persuade is to ask questions and listen empathetically. That way, you'll end up building higher levels of repour and engagement, and ultimately put yourself in a better position to be persuasive.
Trends in the workplace
Robin touches on the evolving leadership dynamic he's been noticing. We're moving away from the second world war, militaristic leadership style, and towards a more collaborative and engaging leadership style. There's still a lot of progress to be made, but organizations are starting to realize the benefits of this type of leadership. Lastly, Robin addresses a growing concern due to automation. "The key skill that will keep us in the role that we're in.. (regardless of what it is) is empathy".
To learn more about Robin's work and access his free courses, visit his website: Ei4Change.com.