The Communication Jigsaw

Emotional intelligence is the new buzz phrase in business. And rightly so. To embrace emotional as well as intellectual intelligence creates balance within ourselves, which translates into balance in the workplace.

 

We have long known that our values are at the core of why we feel and react the way we do. But how do you get these values and quickly understand them in other team members/clients/colleagues? Even more critically, how do you use them to make a team work more effectively together, improve customer service and enhance communication?

 

Based on Jungian theory, leading with a balanced mind focuses on the reasons why we do things, rather than the behaviors themselves – they don’t pigeon hole certain people for certain roles.

 

For organizations going through periods of change, it is crucial that they understand, appreciate and communicate with staff in a way that honors and respects the balanced mind ethos. This will create a culture of inclusion, not exclusion, and ensure the change is more easily obtained and sustainable.

 

To lead with a balanced mind is to lead with authenticity and inclusiveness, honoring and respecting the diversity of thought within your team. We all filter the messages we hear dependant on what we deem to be important, it is crucial as a leader of people you communicate messages in a way that everyone will hear. For example, some of your team may be enthused by spontaneity, fun, excitement, skill and courage, others by other people, human potential, caring and good communication, others by ingenuity, intelligence, explanations, the big picture and perfection, whilst others by practical answers, details, being on time, family and tradition.

This will impact on how people in your team need to be developed. Get it right and you empower them to become the best versions of themselves they can be. Get it wrong and you run the risk of closing them down and creating tension.

 

A balanced mind in more detail: The brain is divided into left and right, top and bottom. The four potential quarters of the brain are – Top Left; Top Right; Bottom Left; Bottom Right. Each quarter will have a dominant personality style which is then complemented by the other three.

 

Top Left Thinkers

 

They prefer to work by themselves and are not the obvious social or networking personalities of a team or a group. They really hate being put on the spot to present information, so will always need notice if being asked to do so, they don’t naturally like being the centre of attention, preferring to observe and do their own thing.

 

They love research and detail, and are great at analyzing from every angle and will definitely ‘think before they speak’. They tend to process everything internally before it is shared with anyone.

 

Their greatest skills are expertise and clear, tunnel vision focus. They can always be relied upon to get things done and can be courageous leaders with an expansive vision.

 

Their greatest challenges are to be ‘people’ focused, to listen to the stories of others, to be spontaneous, take risks and be outwardly social.

 

 

Top Right

 

People with this as their dominant quarter are, similar to top left people, great visionaries and global thinkers, they just come at it from a completely different standpoint. These people are the risk takers, they push the boundaries, for themselves and for the companies they run or work for. They are wonderful trouble-shooters, loving a challenge they can get stuck into, finding a new and unique way to overcome the issue. They are definitely ‘glass half full’ people, rarely letting doubt enter their vocabulary or thought processes, they believe there is always a way.

 

They tend to talk more quickly than other people and can sometimes open their mouths before they have fully engaged their brains. This can lead them to land in hot water on regular occasions. But, as they possess great charm and self effacement, they usually get themselves out of sticky situations with humour and speed.

               

They are great fun to be around and will lift the energy of any group. Because of their optimism, they will pull people out of low moods very quickly. However, if they  are extreme in this quarter they can also be exhausting, they push themselves and expect everyone else to share their vision, energy and motivation. They do not take kindly to people trying to be ‘sensible’ and throwing cold water over their ideas.

 

Their greatest skills are their flexibility, mobility, energy and their ability to see things in a unique and revolutionary way. They test boundaries and strive for improvement.  They are adaptable and able to change direction at a drop of a hat, therefore they cope very well, even thriving, with change.

 

Their greatest challenges are to slow down. To listen to other people and not assume they know everything. To both honor stability and respect rules. To practice patience and to understand the need for detail, and to try to fast-forward everything in their life to the end result.

 

Bottom Left

 

People with this as their most preferred style will be hugely organized in every area of their life. They know exactly where everything is, how much is in their bank account at any given moment. Nothing is left to chance and preparation is key.

 

Similar to the top left style, these people will not naturally seek the limelight, preferring to stay in the background and get things done. They may well be seen as the foundations of a company or team, creating the solid base on which others can operate. They may be seen by others at being a bit bossy, but without them a group would collapse, we all need a solid foundation in order to flourish. These are the not risk takers of the world, in fact they love rules and regulations.

 

These people are lover of tradition, both personal and professional. They enjoy history, and family is hugely important to them. When at work their team is their family and they care about every member greatly. Good, solid professions will make them happy, they are not natural entrepreneurs as the risk of not having a guaranteed salary may well be too much to contend with.

 

Their greatest skills are their dependability, loyalty, perfectionism, attention to detail, reliability and steadfastness.

Their greatest challenges are to be spontaneous, to go with the flow, take a few risks, relinquish control (of themselves and other people) and permit mistakes, again, of    themselves and other people.

 

Bottom Right

 

Those with this as their dominant quarter are the ‘people’ people of the world. They are natural communicators and nurturers, caring hugely how everyone else is feeling.  They are more likely than anyone else to put other people first and themselves second. They love harmony and are not naturally good with conflict. They may be perceived by others as being weak and not strong enough to lead. However, people underestimate this group at their peril, these are very strong people and make exceptional leaders, and they simply show their strength in other ways. They are far more likely to adopt the coaching and empowering style of leadership rather than the command and control style. People are drawn to them because of their ability to communicate openly and their desire to pull a team together collaboratively.

 

They will hate working by themselves, much preferring the group set-up and team building ethos. Because of the empowering and caring side to their leadership and management of others, they will always have a much better exit strategy than most in business. They have spent the time building the people underneath them to be able to take over when it is time for them to move onwards and upwards.

 

Their greatest skills are their ability to pull people together, to create calm and harmonious environments. They naturally take people with them due to their people-skills and genuine interest in others.

 

Their greatest challenges are not to talk about their private lives too much, to understand boundaries and not abuse them. To keep their language succinct and to the point, avoiding rambling conversations, and to resist the urge to ‘rescue’ people.

 

Part of emotional intelligence as a leader is the ability to find the balance within your own mind whilst recognizing and appreciating the diversity of thought processes within your team.  The emotionally intelligent leader is the leader who sees the benefit of difference and has the skill to adjust to what each person needs, rather than the ‘It is my way or the highway’ approach to managing people.

 

Leading with a balanced mind is about finding your equilibrium, your centre, where you can stand firmly rooted in your authentic power and inspire those around you to grow into the brilliance they are capable of.

 

Leading with an unbalanced mind is representative of the ego centric command and control style that is lacking in any emotional intelligence, belongs to the past, has no place in the present and will die quickly in the future.

 

By embracing a balanced mind, and therefore an aspect of emotional intelligence, all leaders are creating an organization that is in the best possible position for health, sustainability and active growth.

 About Katie Day

Katie Day is a published author, established trainer, consultant, business coach and speaker experienced in working with all sectors. She is fully trained and accredited to deliver a range of personality profiling tools to assist individuals and organizations with their personal and corporate development, communications, team building and leadership expertise.

Katie is the Winner of WEConnect International, Global Pitch Competition, Philadelphia 2014. Her new Book, The High-heeled Leader, is available on Amazon.

She can be reached at: katie@thehighheeleedleader.com

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