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Managing Change with Emotional Intelligence 1

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Almost everyone in the business terrain can attest to the significant wave of change ongoing in that domain. Associated factors are innumerable but their impact is copious and palpable. Business restructuring; re-engineering, globalization, new sources of competition, changing business models mergers and acquisitions are just a few of the outcomes these changes bring about.

Everyone can also attest to the impact technology continue to have on our lives as a whole. The degree of change in this regard is potent enough to make anyone feel dizzy. To this end, it is evident that one of the skills you would need to survive and thrive in today’s world, is to acquire new skills on a continuing basis. And to be sure, technology makes leveraging in that regard very possible. William Bridges, the pre-eminent authority on change and transitions, suggested that change involves multiple stages. A dip in productivity could even be expected as people cope with confusion, frustration and denial, before they can successfully become engaged around new beginnings. Whatever the kind of change requiring implementation, be it in organizational strategy, culture or employee motivation, businesses rely on managers and leaders to drive change efforts and implement vital change initiatives. The question however is if these managers and leaders have the requisite change management skills to execute these kinds of tasks/projects. It is almost impossible to speak of change management competencies without acceding to the Emotional intelligence dimension of the same. Emotional intelligence consists of a range of fundamental skills that allow you to confidently respond to people and changing situations. It is easy to think of Emotional Intelligence as just another theory. But truth is the skills are practical and are the basic ingredients of effective leadership and personal resilience to change. Whether you are in charge of deploying a change initiative or you’re required to comply with one, the need to engage emotional intelligence competencies is crucial. I believe many of us have been in situations where we were eager to initiate some change either in our line of work or within the broader organizational context within which we function. A more familiar scenario would be joining a new business and you observing that there are loads of things that need to be improved upon. You’re pumped up and ready to roll. You’re more than confident that your ideas and ‘innovative approach’ will significantly shift things and bring about superlative outcomes for the business either in qualitative and/or qualitative terms. It could even be that you have come from a more structured environment, employed in a managerial capacity in a domain that is far less structured. You’re bursting at the seams with concepts on how to improve this new organization but two years into your ‘intervention voyage’ and you’re still struggling to get anyone to listen to your ‘innovative ideas’ much less join in in implementing your change effort.

About Olive & Pearce

We are a Productivity & Learning Company. We help individuals & organizations identity & curb behavioral barriers to achieving set objectives. Through a selection of processes as Productivity Audit, Consulting and Learning interventions, we help our clients sieve through productivity related fuzziness, unproducitive motion and/or tendencies. Our approach is all encompassing, integrative and trackable.

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