Emotional intelligence is an incredibly important topic – being able to effectively harness the power of your emotions could have a massive impact on the results being achieved by you and your business.
When I first discovered the idea it blew my mind. And I’m sure it will have a similar effect on you too.
I also realised I was maybe missing a trick…
I’ve sought to illustrate my story with case studies and stories – and I wonder if you agree/disagree or can find other examples of your own that make the point.
So get yourself a cup of your favourite beverage. Make yourself comfortable and be ready for a right riveting read…
It’s all different now…
There’s a new type of balance sheet in the world today. Knowledge, or intellectual capital is still widely accepted as the highly valued stock in most businesses. It’s what businesses know and use to create products and services that customers want. Ultimately, this creates wealth.
But knowledge is only the first of two very important assets in your business. In Emotional Capitalists (John Wiley & Sons, 2014), Martyn Newman PH.D argues that the second key ingredient necessary to achieve business success is emotional capital.
What is it? Newman defines emotional capital as the feelings, beliefs, perceptions and values that people hold when they engage with your business. It’s the emotional assets in your organisation.
And it determines whether or not people will work well for you, buy from you, employ you and enter into business with you.
Newman argues that there are Three Core Elements to Emotional Capital:
1. External Emotional Capital
This is the value of the feelings and perceptions held by external stakeholder towards your business. Perhaps the most important of these is the customer.
The only way to create real profit in business is to attract the emotional rather than the rational customer. You do this by appealing to their feelings and imagination. Many consumer purchasing decisions are made emotionally, based on factors such as brand-loyalty and advertising, and so are often rationalized retrospectively in an attempt to justify the choice. (This is where Buyer’s Remorse can kick in and scupper a deal!)
Generally, customers want to buy from organisations they like and who are like them. This creates brand value and goodwill and results in repeat sales through customer loyalty, lifetime relationships and referrals.
The brand creates trust and recognition and is a promise and an emotional contract with each customer.
Case Study: Apple Fans
Apple fans love the Apple brand. Just walk into a room full of Apple devotees and say: “Hey, I was thinking of buying a PC.” Watch as their hair stands on end and they clench their fists as they try to muster the self-control to make their inevitable tirade as civil as possible. They’ll then talk to you with passion and enthusiasm about the brilliance of an Apple iMac or MacBook Pro computer.
Yet how many people do you know with a Windoze PC who will rave about them in the same way? A BIG difference, yes?
2. Internal Emotional Capital
The value of the emotional commitments held in the hearts of the people within your business makes up internal emotional capital.
It manifests itself in the energy and enthusiasm that people bring to work to create products and services for customers to buy.
Indeed, every relationship that your business has with everyone it touches is an asset and an investment.
To build emotional wealth you must treat your people as investors because that is what they are — intellectual and emotional investors. Every day they bring their heads and hearts to work. And if they don’t, you won’t be in business very long.
Case Study: Lego Employees
You can almost feel the passion that Lego employees have for their business. Next time you’re in town go into a Lego shop and check it out for yourself. I promise that you’ll be amazed. They clearly care about their jobs and the company they work for. Though they are accountable they have the leeway to make decisions and are encouraged to cooperate with others.
This leads to greater engagement, happier workers and increased productivity. Add yes, this contributes massively to the bottom line.
3. Intra-personal Emotional Capital
The level of positive, focused energy that you invest at work and in your personal life is known as your intra-personal emotional capital.
As a leader in your business, in the community and at home, you will inspire or demoralise others first by how effectively you manage your own emotional energy and, second, by how well you mobilise, focus and renew the collective energy of the people you lead.
Case Study: Richard Branson
Richard Branson’s philosophy about leadership is that the best leaders strive to unearth what their employees are thinking and feeling. He also believes that “the best designed business plan will come to nothing if it is not carried out by enthusiastic and passionate staff”.
Developing people through praise and recognition and having fun are also important ingredients of Branson’s philosophy on leadership. And Branson’s high level of energy and enthusiasm is evident in all of the amazing and inspiring things that he has done and continues to do to motivate his teams.
Emotional Capital is important stuff and you should care about it. It can be the difference between success and failure of your organisation and you personally.
Maybe that’s a trick many of us are missing?
To find out more about emotional intelligence and what it can do for you contact Mark Russell at [email protected] or call 020 3368 8191.