Welcome to the More Than Sound podcast. In this episode, Daniel Goleman and Anthony Gell discuss steps a leader can take to develop his or her emotional intelligence.
Anthony Gell- We all know that you sort of create your own habits and then your habits create you, they define you, so how would you go about hard wiring a more healthy or positive habit? And is it possible to replace habits that may be hardwired into you?
Daniel Goleman- Well this is really the basis of improving leadership abilities, changing habits. Because one of the common colds of leadership is not listening, just saying what you think. You know, someone comes into the office, they start to speak, just like when you go to the physician. You start to say, well, “Doctor, I’m having this, and this, and this,” and you have three things you want to talk about. Well, in 18 seconds they’ll take over the conversation, steer it where they want it to go, and you’re out the door. And you asked one half of a question! And it’s the same with bosses, it’s the same with leaders.
So, how would you get over that bad habit? The answer is there are simple steps. The first is: notice it. Realize, “Oh, I do have this habit, and it would be better for me as a leader if I could change.” Second step: care about it. If you don’t care, you’re not going to get anywhere. Third step: think. “Well, how could I intentionally counter that habit?” I could have a contract with myself that when someone comes into my office I’m going to stop, pause, listen to them, and then say what I think. It’s that simple. But to do that you have to overcome years and years of another habit. And then the fourth step is to practice at every naturally occurring opportunity. And if you do that you’ll reach a neural landmark where you do it well without having to think about it.
AG- Got you, yup. Because I love the bit in your book Leadership: The Power Of Emotional Intelligence where you’ve got a list of attributes of good bosses and bad bosses, so you just choose the good ones and build them to habits.
DG- Well, yeah! And by the way that list is universal. Wherever I go in the world I get pretty much the same list. We all know what that bastard of a boss looks like.
AG- That’s right, a lot of nodding heads!