Microsoft, management lessons from my students…

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In one of the last post, we have discussed about Microsoft and its Performance Management System. This topic raised an incredible and unexpected interest and so I have decided to transform the article in a part of the final exam for my students at the Faculty of Engineering. What was even more surprising was the level of the answers… Here you can find a summary of the main points:

1) introduce Emotional Intelligence inside the company – probably this point was stressed because they know my passion about neuroscience and people-centred methodology and to have an higher score they are capable to do things like that but I have to say at least they have chosen the right reasons… πŸ™‚
– If you want to understand the people behaviours you need to use both the rational and the emotional perspective
– Leaders need to be in charge of the emotions (their own and others’ emotions) inside the company.
– Emotions drive people, people drive performance. Unpleasent emotions for example have a huge impact on learning and innovation!

2) Cancel rankings – the ranking is dead, each person is a unicum, an unique human being!
– Discover and use the strengths of people, it’s the easiest and fastest way to performance
– Support the development of people to Mastery is one of the most important goal for a Leader
– Match people’s potential (strengths, passions, expectations) with organizational challenges

3) Shift the focus to Teams – innovation in complex situations is a team activity not a solo effort.
– High performance Teams are the ones with an high level of Divergence (in terms of brain styles, backgrounds and strengths)
– The Leader is in charge of the quantity and quality of connections between team members, not always quantity means quality…
– The harder the team challenge, the easier is the failure. We need to establish a culture of exploration where we evaluate not only the final results but an overall set of paramethers because we want the brightest people to embrace the hardest challenges without trying to be conservative.

What is interesting is that you can measure Emotional Intelligence, you can measure the people strengths, you can measure the Divergence inside a team… They are not asking to change the actual ranking system with a touchy feeling method but with a different set of paramethers and as usual what you measure is what you get!

Not so bad as free consultancy, isn’t it? In the reality my students would like to have free Office’s licences… If someone in Microsoft is reading the blog post… πŸ™‚

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Wile E. Coyote EQ Profile

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It’s not a great moment for me. After a life of studies, teaching and consulting in respectful Institutions and Organizations, I have to write another post about Wile E. Coyote… Yesterday I don’t know how many emails I have received about that! I have used the famous Coyote as, in my opinion, funny example of Optimism at the end of a serious article for leaders. You know what? No one asked me about Seligman or my research in the field, but all the comments were on the EQ profile of this animal… I had to imagine it: it’s the communication, stupid! Anyway, considering I think that every way to try to explain something about Emotional Intelligence it’s an opportunity, with the help of my 9 years’ son Ricky I am ready to try! Before going ahead, let me ask to be forgiven by the University of Bologna and by Six Seconds… πŸ™‚

First of all, let me say I am going to use the Six Seconds model, based on three areas: Self Awareness (Know Yourself), Self Management (Choose Yourself) and Self Direction (Give Yourself).

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Inside the model, you can see 8 competences that I am going to try to explain briefly (if you want to know more go to the Six Seconds’ website). Ok, no more excuse we are ready to evaluate the Wile E. Coyote EQ:

Self Awareness
Enhance Emotional Literacy (identifing and interpreting feelings) – Low
Recognize Patterns (acknowledging frequently recurring reactions and behaviors) – Very Low

Self Management
Apply Consequential Thinking (evaluating the costs and benefits of your choices) – Very Low
Navigate Emotions (assessing, harnessing, and transforming emotions as a strategic resource) – High
Engage Intrinsic Motivation (gaining energy from personal values & commitments vs. being driven by external forces) – Very High
Exercise Optimism (taking a proactive perspective of hope and possibility) – Very High

Self Direction
Increase Empathy (recognizing and appropriately responding to others’ emotions) – Low
Pursue Noble Goals (connecting your daily choices with your overarching sense of purpose) – Very Low

So we can say the Coyote is low in Self Awareness and Direction but pretty good on Self Management. Overall, I would say his Emotional Intelligence is below 100, the average score.

It would be great if Wile E. Coyote was available to take the real SEI or at least a 360 degree evaluation, but I am not so confident… πŸ™‚

Let me ask you the last questions: What about your EQ? Are you aware of your strengths and weaknesses? Are you training your Brain to improve your Emotional Intelligence? Did you know that EQ is strongly correlated with performance, health and happiness?

If you want to start exploring, I suggest you to take this book (a great opportunity to understand the model and have an idea of how to increase your Emotional Intelligence)