By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s how to improve your performance with a better feel for your work. Reading time: 3:58
After four years of marriage, Monica was thrilled that at last she might be pregnant. The doctor concluded his medical examination. Then looking more towards his nurse than to Monica he said in a matter-of-fact tone: “The cervix is blue. That indicates pregnancy.”
Then the obstetrician brusquely left the examination and hurried off to his next patient. Monica was so deflated. So chilled. So unfulfilled.
A few days later Monica went to see another doctor. He conducted a similar examination. With similar results. But with a decidedly different response.
This time the doctor shook Monica’s hand and beamed: “Congratulations, congratulations, you are going to have a baby.” Monica smiled. She felt goose bumps running down her back. She was so elated. So thrilled. So fulfilled.
Goosing the goose bumps — triggering a sense of well-being– is a critical skill for the most effective leaders. When feelings more than just the facts are shared, trust soars and mutual understanding and confidence ensues in any relationship, particularly one as intimate as doctor/patient. With feelings comes a human bond that cements conviction and leads to outstanding service, quality and performance.
Caring: The Art of Medicine
Research shows that doctors are less likely to be sued by their patients if doctors demonstrate a listening/caring/feeling posture in their initial meeting with the patient. And with that caring treatment, the patient is more likely to respond favorably to the medical treatment. As Voltaire noted: “The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”
Goose the goose bumps –the feelings — in your people and you leverage your bottom line, according to Jim Autry, a former chief executive officer of a multi-million company. The author of Love and Profit, Autry writes:
“In every office you hear the threads of love and joy
and fear and guilt, the cries for celebration and reassurance.
And somehow you know
connecting those threads is what you are supposed to do.
And business takes care of itself.”
How do you connect those threads? With emotional intelligence, with a high degree of knowing how you feel, with a feeling of how others feel and with an ability to leverage your poise in the face of pressure, according to Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence: Sine Qua Non of Leadership
Goleman calls emotional intelligence the “sine qua non of leadership.” He means that without emotional intelligence, without feelings, there can be no leadership. Without emotional intelligence, without feeling, leaders would fail to inspire new thinking, new behaviors, and new endeavors as Santayana reminds us: “It is not wisdom to be only wise and on the inward close the eyes, but it is wisdom to believe the heart.”
In fact without feeling, there can be no perception of thinking, according to Dr. Wayne Dyer in his book Your Erroneous Zones. He defines feelings as a physical reaction to a thought. Without feeling, there can be no creativity, according to author Dr. Edward De Bono. He says the ideal thinker “sees the purpose of thinking as being the arranging of experience so that his emotions can be used more fruitfully,”
Leadership is 100 Percent About Emotion
No wonder. Feelings count. That’s why Author Tom Peters says, “leadership is 100 percent about emotion.” Feelings count. That’s why The Center for Creative Leadership found that “insensitivity to others” is the most cited reason that leaders fail. Feelings count. That’s why James MacGregor Burns, in his book Leadership, says the “fundamental act” of a leader is to “feel people’s needs so strong, to define their values so meaningfully, that they are moved to purposeful action.”
And to goose the goose bumps. With feeling.
Work with feeling and keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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