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Enzo E.

@enzo_e120

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Is the measure of an individual’s abilities to recognise and manage their emotions, and the emotions of other people, both individually and in groups.

@enzo_e120

Emotional Intelligence | SkillsYouNeed

skillsyouneed.com

Benefits of a higher EQ
  • Ease in forming and maintaining interpersonal relationships and in ‘fitting in’ to group situations.
  • A better understanding one's own psychological state, which can include managing stress effectively and being less likely to suffer from depression.

There is no correlation between IQ and EQ scores.

IQ has no connection with how people understand and deal with their emotions and the emotions of others (EQ). 

You simply can’t predict emotional intelligence based on how smart someone is.

  • Self-awareness: emotional awareness, self-assessment, self-confidence;
  • Self-regulation: self-control, trustworthiness, conscientiousness, adaptability, innovation;
  • Motivation: achievement drive, commitment, initiative, optimism;
  • Empathy: understanding others, service orientation, leveraging diversity, political awareness;
  • Social skills: influence, communication, conflict management, leadership, change catalyst, collaboration and cooperation.
Why some companies fail at remote work

Companies that fail at remote work focus too much on technology and too little on the process. Successful remote work is based on clear processes that support three core principles.

  • Communication: The ability to exchange information.
  • Coordination: The ability to work toward a common goal.
  • Culture: A shared set of customs that foster trust and engagement.

Why Remote Work Thrives in Some Companies and Fails in Others

hbr.org

It can be difficult to explain complex ideas. The lack of face-to-face interaction limits social cues, which may lead to misunderstandings and conflict.

  • To avoid miscues and misinterpretation, match the message with the medium. Videoconferencing is the next best tool to talking face-to-face. Small, non-urgent requests are best suited to e-mail, instant messaging, or all-in-one platforms like Slack.
  • Frequency of communication matters. Provide regular updates, respond to messages promptly, be available at important times.

Remote workers should be working in harmony, but people often don't know what others are doing and how everything fits together.

  • Create formal processes that simulate the informal way; for example, stopping by a colleague's desk or eating lunch together. These interactions serve as course corrections.
  • Managers should clearly articulate the mission, assign roles and responsibilities, create detailed project plans, establish performance metrics. They should also document all that and make it available offsite.
  • Managers should model and enforce the processes until they are completely incorporated.

Remote workers who rarely meet with their teammates face to face tend to focus on tasks and ignore the team. A culture is vital to foster engagement and sustain performance over the long term.

Establish trust. Affective trust (based on feeling) is tricky to build virtually.

  • You may need to bring team members together for short periods.
  • Rituals, such as #toasts feed the culture and provide recognition for employees. Otherwise, schedule regular informal calls as a group or one-on-one.
Communication In a Remote Setup: The Importance of Writing

Writing is increasingly important now as remote work has gone mainstream.

Be it Email, Slack, or Notion, all remote work is communicated with the help of writing. Writing helps save time by summarizing points in black and white to facilitate asynchronous communication, something of a mainstay in global organizations.

Why does writing matter in remote work? — Tim Casasola

timcasasola.com

Five people in a room sitting for a one-hour meeting are spending a total of five hours of productive time. Real-time communication, physical or virtual meetings can be avoided most of the time.

Meetings should be the last resort, and writing comes to the rescue. Most meetings can be avoided by asynchronous communication on Slack, but if the threads are too long, and the decision is not in sight, it’s a signal that a meeting is required.

Many extroverts had a gala time in physical meetings, as their social interactions and energy kept them at the centre of attention. The quiet introverts, who might be great at implementing the ideas bounced on the table, were sidelined.

Remote work and the focus on the written word is the introvert's revenge, as now the scales are balanced towards merit and real results.

People can take time to examine the problem or issue, and provide their input, something which isn’t possible in meetings.

Writing forces individuals and teams to think clearly and participate in a productive discussion. Writing also invites people to rectify mistakes, and point out gaps in the idea. Added opinions, suggestions and corrections are a good thing for the project or the main idea.

  1. Get to the point quickly.
  2. Write as if explaining to a newbie or someone who doesn’t know what you do.
  3. If you are using acronyms, spell them out.
  4. Focus on the key idea at all times, from start to finish. Also add a summary and next action point to move forward.
  5. Provide options to invite engagement, like by using a poll.
  6. Do not use a passive voice.
  7. Shorter sentences work extremely well, but can turn monotonous. Use varied sentence lengths, but keep the format simple.
  8. No rambling.

Remote workers save money by avoiding the expenses that come with a traditional office and can choose the best people for their team regardless of their location. They get to enjoy more flexibility, get rid of daily commutes, and spend more time at home with their families.

Downsides to remote work: decreased connection between workers and between the worker and the company, increased feelings of isolation and of being mistreated by colleagues, and decrease in productivity and company morale.

5 Ways to Make Your Remote Team Feel Connected

business.com

Communication Tools

To make your remote workers really feel connected, use instantaneous messaging tools that organize conversations into customizable channels. You should also create channels that allow your remote workers to chat about topics unrelated to work so they can benefit from the social aspects of work and strengthen their bonds. 

Hold Weekly Video Meetings

Face-to-face interaction is an effective way to make your remote workers feel more connected. Holding regular video meetings will allow remote workers to get that face time they're missing and form bonds with their co-workers.

To build even stronger connections during your weekly video meetings, don't talk only about work. Add a personal touch like allowing team members to share any good news they have. 

Including remote workers in fun company traditions will create stronger bonds and preserve your company culture intact. Good examples are:

  • celebrate birthdays by posting "happy birthday" messages on Slack so other employees can send do it too.
  • deliver a pizza to your remote employee's location.
  • create online scavenger hunts or get everyone together to play an online game. 
Celebrate Your Team

Recognizing the accomplishments and improvements of your employees will make them feel proud and like an important part of the team. Praise makes your team feel more connected, and studies show that it can increase productivity.

You can do this by sending a message of praise when a remote worker does a great job or adding an Employee of the Month program. Also, let your team members celebrate each other.

Plan a Yearly Company Retreat

Getting together with your remote team in person is a great way to form stronger connections and give employees something to look forward to all year.

A team retreat will allow all of your remote workers to get together and share ideas, work on projects together, and set company goals. Be sure to leave enough time for fun non-work related activities and for people to hang out.

Feeling united

Patriotism is an inborn human sentiment and part of a subconscious drive toward group bonding and allegiance. According to some recent studies, patriotism is in our genes.

But this allegiance is not always a warm feeling of connection. Sometimes the bond with a group serves as a powerful wedge to single out those who are different. Sometimes what makes us feel connected is not a love of country but a common enemy.

Why We’re Patriotic

nautil.us

The groups we identify with provide a sense of identity and belonging. Once we have identified our place in the group, we are motivated to enhance the status of this group. Patriotism is a form of identity.

Scientists explain that the instincts that drive patriotism can express humanity’s best and worst sides.

In an experiment, subjects consistently discriminated against those in other groups and acted in ways that benefited their own groups.

The feeling that the benefits of the group are beneficial to the individual is innate.

One common characteristic of a group is that emotions appear to be contagious. A shared emotional experience occurs when one person feels a similar emotion to another due to perceiving the other's state. Conversely, xenophobia can be attributed to a dissimilarity in perception that creates an empathy gap.

  • Patriotism is "ingroup love." An individual will sacrifice out of love for the greater good.
  • Nationalism is about "outgroup hate." We are better than people that are not like us.

Very few people will go out of their way to try to harm an outgroup. However, if we perceive an outside group as an active threat, it is possible for ingroup love to change into outgroup hate.

A group has an existence that extends beyond the life of any of its individual members. A sense of weakness and anxiety lead us to depend on the group. Once you feel part of a group, you are less afraid.

There is a connection between the need for closure and group identification, including patriotism. When you are uncertain about yourself, you seek certainty, and that certainty is provided by the group ideology that tells you who you are. However, if you are successful as an individual, you feel less dependent on the group.

Connecting with an audience through a screen

Most of us have switched to working primarily online since March, and the initial excitement of virtual happy hours is long gone.

When having a video conference, keep in mind that you are talking to a group of individuals who are sitting at home alone at their computers. They have every temptation and opportunity to multitask.

3 things you must do to be more engaging on videoconferences

fastcompany.com

Connect with your audience from the start by sharing a relevant story and asking for their participation.

Choose a story that is more personal than you would tell in a regular work setting. The barriers between work and life are coming down and you can use that to your advantage.

  • If the group is small, ask a question from the start and turn your presentation into a conversation.
  • If the audience is large, bring audience members together through polls, “raised hands” in response to yes-or-no questions, and the chatbox.

Your main tools to project energy through a screen are vocal variety, hand gestures, facial expressions, and posture.

Raising and lowering your voice, changing your tone, speeding up and slowing down are great ways to keep an audience listening.

Clarify the purpose of your virtual gathering

Don't assume your virtual gathering shares the same goal as the canceled in-person one. Keep these questions in mind:

  • What is the most important need now for this group right now?
  • What is the new desire of this gathering?
  • How ca we create that online?

How to hold work meetings and events that connect people — even online

ideas.ted.com

Use everyone's environment to fill the lack of context of virtual gatherings.

A room and location often set the context for the group. And virtual gatherings lack the context to set up the room. To solve this, invite people to help co-create the space. To add warmth, have them sit and place their cameras in front of places that have meaning for them.

Regardless of the size of the gathering, know who's in charge.

A good host knows how to use the mute button, can orient her guests to the gathering's purpose, and will connect and protect her guests.

Don't just get straight into the meeting. A consistent opening ritual connects people, establishes who's in the room, and their relevance to the meeting.

Invite people to bring a beverage and open the meeting by asking them to show it to help create a commonly shared moment. Or have guests share a physical object they keep in their workspace and why it matters. You will get insight into your colleagues that reveal what they care about.

We can now share things instantly. Share a relevant article, video, or agenda that orients people to the new purpose of the meeting.

Send a digital gift at the end of the gathering - a screenshot of the meeting or a digital subscription.

The home is also an office, for now. We need moments of home-life to remind the group that everyone has multiple things going on in their lives, like a cat that can't resist saying hello or the toddler who bursts into the 'office.'

People are more likely to remember different moments of an event when they occur in other places.

Even breaking up your virtual meeting sessions by just changing camera angles will help people to recall different parts of the meeting later on.

Keep some time for celebration if that would have been part of your in-person gathering.

Invite people to bring a drink of choice. Screen-share cellphone numbers (with permission). Then allocate part of the hour for one-on-one phone calls, just like it would've happened around a cocktail hour. Make time for toasts and small talk.

These are strange times - acknowledge that, but don't retreat. Be creative and continue to use the opportunities with the digital tools that previous generations did not have.

The pandemic has forced companies the world over to move to remote working protocols. But like most things worth doing, there are different levels of proficiency and sophistication to scale.

Just because you have tools like Zoom, Slack, and email, does not mean you will be efficient. Tools are only as good as how you use them.

The Five Levels of Remote Work - and why you're probably at Level 2

medium.com

Most organizations were at level one prior to the new virus outbreak where nothing deliberate has been done by the company to support remote work.
  • Employees can still offer a good service if they're at home for a day.
  • Employees have access to their phone and email and can even attend a few meetings, but they put off most things until they're back in the office.

Most organizations are at level 2. This is where employees have access to videoconferencing and instant messaging software as well as email, and they try to recreate online, how they work in the office. Examples include:

  • A 10-person video-call where two people would suffice.
  • 60+ interruptions a day via Slack and phone calls.
  • Sporadic checking and responding to email many times a day.
  • Hyper-responsiveness that is expected of all employees.
  • People are still expected to be online from 9 to 5.
  • Screen-logging software on employees' machines to play the role of Big Brother.

Here, organizations start to adapt to and take advantage of the medium.

  • Companies use shared documents that are visible to all and updated in real-time during a discussion.
  • They invest in better equipment for their employees, such as lighting for video-calls and background noise-canceling microphones.
  • Effective written communication becomes critical for remote work.
  • Meetings are only done if absolutely necessary.
  • Meeting are 15 minutes by default, and only extended if absolutely necessary, with s specific agenda and desired outcome.

Level Four: ‘I’ll get to it when it suits me.’
Asynchronous communication allows knowledge workers time to make better decisions because they have time to think, create, and get into the flow state. When sending messages:

  • Provide sufficient background detail, clear action items, and outcomes required.
  • Provide a due date.
  • Provide a path of recourse if the recipient is unable to meet your requirements.

Studies found that about 30 to 40 percent of the population are night owls, meaning that the modern 9-to-5 workday is sabotaging creative and intellectual efforts.

While early risers are more alert in the morning, night owls show sharper focus and longer attention spans ten hours after waking. Asynchronous companies benefit from night owls but require a functional overlap between them and their colleague's day.

This is where your distributed team works better than any in-person team, emphasizing environment design as far as the organization's culture and physical environment is concerned.

  • Employees have to make time to be in the office for team bonding and building events. They also make an effort to introduce people who have not met in person.
  • Working online removes you from the watercooler conversations, or just having a general awareness of your team's activities.
  • With IT hacks using social engineering to get inside, computer networks that are remotely bridged to client devices can become a point of failure.

Companies need to create cultures centered on employees. Strong cultures create effective working teams that attract top talent, while weak cultures can quickly lead to burnout or employees heading for the exit.

4 Signs That Will Instantly Identify Someone with Remarkable Leadership Skills

inc.com

  • Build trust through transparency.
  • Foster healthy connection.
  • Lead by example
  • Incorporate fun into the day job.

Workplaces are communities. Healthy relationships can be a source of energy, learning, and support. When they break down, they become sources of frustration that harm people and organizations.

How to Mend a Work Relationship

hbr.org

When we notice some tension in your work relationships, it is better to reset the emotional tone rather than pulling away. Do this by bringing up positive memories with your colleague, which can strengthen your bond and counterbalance the negative feelings so you can express them effectively.

The purpose is to create a supportive environment where you can talk about the issues without creating further damage to your relationship.

  • Raise the issue. "I know that we are not seeing eye-to-eye on this issue right now, and it is upsetting for both of us, but I'm really optimistic we can work this out."
  • Suggest a time out or try a brief topic change.
  • Commit to a shared relationship goal. Agree that your relationship is important and that you both want to restore mutual positive feelings.
  • Craft your shared narrative to increase the willingness to forgive and reconcile. Reflect on how both your actions contributed to the failure. Assume the best about the other person's intentions.
  • What went wrong? Find out from the other person, then offer your own perspective. Don't get defensive.
  • It's about us, not me or you.
  • Reflect on your positive history, your shared successes, as well as how you worked through hard times together.

Be willing to try new ways of interacting with each other, known as relational agility.

  • Plan to improvise. Think ahead to potential objections to ensure you can respond in the moment.
  • When the unexpected happens, pay attention and get curious Instead of getting defensive, ask yourself "why?" Try to pinpoint what is triggering for you. Strong reactions tell us that the other person feels under attack.

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