vPsychology for Business


We are dedicated to bringing out the best in you and your employees

Volume 4, Number 20                                                             October 3, 2003


Psychology for Business is an e-mail newsletter written by  Dr. John Weaver, Dr. Lynda Dahlke, and Dr. Paul Glass, business psychologists and independent consultants, provided to you at no charge. It is published bi-weekly. You’ve received this newsletter because you’ve subscribed to it or it was forwarded to you by a friend or colleague. To subscribe sign up at our website, http://www.psychologyforbusiness.com/. If you wish to cancel your subscription, please see the end of this e-mail for easy instructions

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We invite you to forward this newsletter, in its entirety, to your colleagues.

On Executive Coaching:   Have you considered coaching for individuals in your organization who are new to management or who have been having difficulty with the difficult task of working with the human side of the business?

Executive coaching is not geographically limited.  Coaching by telephone is effective.  It is also an efficient use of time and resources.  You never need to leave your office to travel, nor do you need to pay travel expenses for your coach. We offer coaching either onsite or by telephone. To find out if coaching is right for you, contact us to schedule a 1/2 hour consultation at no charge.  Or request a price sheet to determine the best value for your organization.  Call us at: (262) 789-2728 or email us at mailto:jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com.

Coaching for Performance Series:

By Dr. John Weaver, Business Psychologist and Executive Coach

Summary: Think of the best boss you ever had. What were the qualities that distinguished him or her from the rest? The qualities of emotional intelligence distinguish the great leaders from those who are average. Emotional intelligence can be learned through mentoring and coaching..

Your workforce seems burnt out. Employees know what to do but they are slow to respond. Knowledge is not the issue; communication of the strategic plan has been painstakingly done. Employees are being paid wages that are competitive in the industry. The marketing plan is sound. But there is little enthusiasm and an excess of grumbling. The bottom line is looking anemic. Do you blame the problems on the sluggish economy? Or is there a problem with your leadership skill?

Leadership is not an easy skill to acquire. The volume of leadership books and seminars are indications of the difficulties inherent in this role. Some people pursue a leadership role in an organization, only to be a disaster for the bottom line while they continue to climb up the corporate ladder. Others focus on the details but do not learn to see the big picture. Still others get mired in a need to be liked by subordinates.

What makes effective leaders?

Intellectual Skill:

Good leaders have mastery of the domain of their business. This knowledge must be acquired in depth. Technical expertise, as well as a broader curiosity about the world, is a valuable quality. The technical expertise includes knowledge and skill that is specific to the products or services offered by this organization and deepens the impact of the business. A broader curiosity about the world is an essential component of creativity that, by its application, widens the organization’s impact. The intellectual exercise of learning about leadership is also important. Leadership is comprised of a specific set of skills. These qualities can be identified and have been studied. Good intellectual skills are critical is development and communication about the goals of the organization.

Business Acumen:

We have all met very bright and intelligent individuals who would be terrible leaders. There is a “street smarts” in the business world that is necessary to bring in the results that translate to the bottom line of the business. This quality involves balancing risk against security in decision-making. It includes the ability to “sense” where the next business opportunities arise. It is related to intelligence but adds the “intuitive.” The best leaders go beyond the rational data and move the organization in the right way through the complex marketplace. Individuals with good business acumen can find the right balance between aggressive initiative and allowing the emergence of new opportunity.

These skills of intelligence and business acumen are “gateway” skills to leadership. It should be noted that both qualities are necessary. Intelligence without business acumen or vice versa does not result in effective leadership. Yet these qualities are not enough. This is not to diminish their importance but to notice that most individuals in leadership positions have them to a significant degree. The measurement of these skills does not distinguish leaders from each other because they are prerequisite qualities. They do, however, distinguish leaders from others without leadership skills in the organization.

When we are searching for the qualities that separate great leaders from average leaders, there is one group of qualities that has been shown in research to account for 80 to 90 percent of the difference. That group of qualities is emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence:

There are individuals who are very intelligent, who also possess a keen sense of the marketplace, but who still have difficulty directing the energy of the workforce to fully capitalize on the opportunities for the organization. A third critical quality of the effective leaders is emotional intelligence. This is the ability to master the emotional domain and direct the emotional energy of employees. These are the individuals who are truly great leaders.

Business is not a “rational” endeavor, it is a human one. That is to say that we all function from a complex interaction of intelligence and experience that is shaped by likes and dislikes, by hopes and fears. 

An intellectual and analytical thinker, Tom still explodes in a rage whenever problems arise. He finds some of his employees become increasingly avoidant of him. His influence with these workers is weak even though his temper often gets immediate compliance. Because they avoid him, his attempts to set direction are met with passive resistance. Other employees have become prone to angry outbursts themselves. They treat those lower in status with a similar contempt. It has now become more noticeable because they are starting to treat customers poorly. He is becoming an unwitting model for disastrous behavior in his company.  

Alice, who has an excessive need to be liked, finds it difficult to make the right decision in a timely manner. She explains her behavior as “creating teamwork” but the endless meetings to discuss the directions of her business are really attempts to make sure everyone will be pleased with her. In fact, everyone is getting frustrated because nothing gets done.  In this environment, co-workers learn that the organizational culture demands that no one openly express disagreement. Even when they secretly hate an idea Alice presents they do not challenge it because the message is clear (even though out of her awareness): tell me that you like me or you won’t get ahead in this organization! As a result of these constraints, her workforce likes working for her less and less.

Emotions matter.

An emotionally intelligent leader is able to understand his or her emotions and use them as yet another source of information. Grace, whose leadership is fertile soil for growth, finds that a subordinate has made an error that will delay a shipment for one of her customers. She confronts Bill with the error and explains the problem she has discovered. She invites him to explain what happened, directing him away from making excuses but trying to remain receptive to his understanding of the factors that led to the error so that they can be corrected. She is firm with him and clear about what corrections need to be made. Next she contacts the customer to alert her to the delay and work out the details of a solution. The powerful emotion of her anger leads to a resolution of the problem and improvement in the business process that will be more effective for the future operations. Bill learns that he can discuss problems with her as they arise and begins to look for solutions rather than for excuses.

Emotionally intelligent leaders also use their ability to direct the emotions of others and draw out the best in those with whom they work. Frank, who has the maturity of living through several business cycles, regularly spends time thinking about and carefully listening to his employees. He knows that the type of employee in his industry is motivated by more than just a paycheck. Although he pays well, he understands that more is needed. He makes time for his workers to build relationships with the customers and rewards them for doing so. As a result of opening this horizon for his workforce, he has astoundingly low turnover rates and the highest customer service ratings in the state. People love to work for him and profits are soaring.

These qualities are essential to reaching the highest level of success. The world has become more competitive. The difference between success and bankruptcy is getting smaller and smaller. It is difficult to claim obvious superiority of a product from others who might compete with us from across the globe. The difference is in the realm of the relational. In today’s business climate those emotionally intelligence have the upper hand.

This unique set of skills is not a static body of knowledge. It is a set of skills that can be refined, mentored, and coached throughout the lifespan. You can think of individuals in your life that brought out the best in you. You can do the same for those around you.

If you would like to asses your emotional intelligence, consider taking the MSCEIT. This test is a scientifically developed and validated assessment of how well the individual taking the test 1) manages emotions, 2) understands his or her own emotions, 3) is able to use emotion in effective interpersonal interactions, and 4) recognizes the emotional response of others.  This test can be administered on site in Southeastern Wisconsin or online any where in the world. For more information contact us at (262) 789-2728 or by email at: mailto:ldahlke@psychologyforbusiness.com.

About the Author

John Weaver, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist with 22 years’ professional experience working with organizations, groups, and individuals. He has experience leading groups and creating teamwork in organizations. His areas of expertise include executive coaching, conflict resolution, coaching teams and individuals to improve performance under stress, assessing employees and potential employees to ensure the right person for the right job, and training in stress management and "The Vitamin C’s for an Emotionally Healthy Workplace."  He is an experienced professional speaker and published author.

Based in Waukesha, WI, Dr. John Weaver is available for consultation or executive coaching by phone, e-mail or in person. He may be reached at (262) 789-2728 (office) or (414) 491-8719 (cell), by e-mail: mailto:jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com or: 

John Weaver, Psy.D. 
Psychology for Business
2717 North Grandview Boulevard, Suite 303
Waukesha, Wisconsin, 53188

10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Coach is now available for download by visiting http://www.psychologyforbusiness.com/questions.htm.

Also receive your copy of 9 Ways to Motivate Your Workforce by visiting http://www.psychologyforbusiness.com/motivate.htm

If you are interested in having Dr. Weaver speak for your organization, contact him at mailto:jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com?subject=SPEAK .

To order your copy of the book, MANAGING DIFFICULT PERSONALITIES IN THE WORKPLACE: A Manager’s Practical Guide, by Dr. Paul Kenneth Glass, send your name, address, number of copies desired and a check made out to Dr. Paul Kenneth Glass for $12 per book (plus $2 shipping per book).  Or order 10 or more copies for $10 per book and $6.95 for shipping (up to 50 copies).  No fluff, this book gets right to the point. Send orders to:

Dr. Paul Kenneth Glass
Psychology for Business
2717 N. Grandview Blvd. #303
Waukesha, WI 53188   

Email: mailto:pglass@psychologyforbusiness.com

To order the booklet: 41 WAYS TO IMPROVE THE EMOTIONAL HEALTH OF YOUR WORKPLACE, by Dr. John Weaver send a check for $6 and a self-addressed, double stamped business size envelope to:

Dr. John Weaver
Psychology for Business
2717 N. Grandview Blvd. #303
Waukesha, WI 53188

To subscribe visit us at our website: http://www.psychologyforbusiness.com/.  If you would like to learn more about Dr. John Weaver (mailto:jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com), Dr. Lynda Dahlke (mailto:ldahlke@psychologyforbusiness.com), and Dr. Paul Glass (mailto:pglass@psychologyforbusiness.com) please visit us at our website.

© Copyright 2003. All rights reserved. John Weaver. Distribution rights: The above material is copyrighted, but you may retransmit or distribute it to whomever you wish as long as not a single word is changed, added or deleted, including the contact information. If you would like to reprint part of this newsletter please contact me at mailto:jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com to make arrangements.

Sharing this newsletter with colleagues and friends, under these conditions, is encouraged.

If you have a question or topic you would like to see covered, send your request to mailto:jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com.

Dr. John Weaver publishes another newsletter, co-authored by Darlene Weaver, THE CENTERED PENDULUMIt is our firm belief that lifelong patterns of “being” (personality, attitudes, emotions) and “doing” (lifestyle, adaptability, coping skills) interact with our genes and environment to create conditions of a healthy or a diseased brain.  If you would like to read previous issues of the Centered Pendulum newsletter or to subscribe, please visit the archives at http://www.centeredpendulum.org/newsletters.htm.