When I was in graduate school, I worked for the university. I had an outstanding boss, one of the finest bosses you could ever meet. He was a leader, a motivator, a developer of people. He was highly effective, yet unusually modest and humble. He was one of my early mentors and professional role models.
When I worked for him in the early 1990s, he was a mid-level administrator at the university. He wasn’t a big-time corporate CEO. He wasn’t famous. As a university employee, he didn’t take home a huge salary. But if you were fortunate enough to work for him while going to school, you were set on a path to being highly successful. He is just one of those rare persons who makes the other people in his life more successful than they would be if they hadn’t ever encountered him.
When I think of his strengths, one of them was a remarkable ability to interact with other people. He never seemed to have any enemies in the administration. He was good at preventing and diffusing conflicts. He created win-win scenarios that won him a lot of respect and quite a few “social credits.”
I used to think he was the master of managing institutional politics, but as I have grown more mature and experienced myself, I realized his effectiveness came from something much more advanced than political savvy…He possessed high levels of emotional intelligence.
You’ve probably heard that term before. Some people abbreviate it as “EQ.”
Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, control and evaluate your own emotions while being in tuned with and empathetic of others’ feelings and behaviors. The ability to express and control your own emotions while being highly perceptive when it comes to others’ emotions is critically important in sales. Similarly, it’s even more important if you have a leadership role in your company.
People with high emotional intelligence can recognize their own emotions and those of others, they use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, they discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, plus they adjust emotions to adapt to environments.
Perhaps your EQ is highly developed. If so, congratulations, but keep improving it. If it’s not developed enough, here are a few things you can try:
1. Use an assertive communication style, not a passive or aggressive one.
2. Respond instead of reacting to conflict.
3. Listen to other people instead of being too quick to talk.
4. Become the master of your own emotions by being constantly aware of your thoughts and behaviors
5. Take criticism well, not defensively
6. Have empathy and imagine the other person’s point of view.
Humans are naturally emotional. We are fraught with feelings – both positive and negative. Sales pros are more likely to succeed when they embrace emotion and work with it as opposed to discounting it or even working against it.
P.S. We have a module on emotional intelligence in our new BragBird sales training program. BragBird is a compilation of strategies I’ve developed over the past 20+ years, and it’s all in one virtual membership. Youl get 24-7 access to 40 modules, each with a video and workbook. Check out the details HERE!