emotional intelligence Archives - The Performance Biz

Engagement The Secret Ingredient

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Employee Engagement

Do you find employee engagement difficult? Get your own team engaged by discovering the Secret Ingredient. It costs nothing, yet once you have the secret ingredient, you will transform your team performance.

Albert Einstein is famously quoted as saying “If you can’t explain it to a 6 year old, you don’t understand it well enough.” Well, if you have any 6 year olds in the house, perhaps you’ll try it out for us.

Find out how to engage with your employees by downloading this short e-book.

Lucy Windsor is available for speaking, consulting and troubleshooting.

Call on 00 44 1932 888 885.





Happiness on Tap?

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Have you ever been going about your day just minding your own business, and you smell, see or hear something and immediately you are transported back in time to a place – maybe your school, a holiday destination, or an event in your life.

These moments may also be accompanied by a rush of emotion. This happened to me only recently and I found myself suddenly and unexpectedly filled with joy.

I was in a park, and there was some fencing around a tennis court, you know that steel wire that you so often see. Leading to this was some grass, cut short. The sun was shining, and immediately, I was transported back to a holiday home we used to go to when I was very small, I think I was 4 or 5 the last time we went. I had a distinct recollection of playing next to a putting green with my older brother, near some wire fencing. That unexpected memory made me feel wonderful! Soaking up that moment, I found myself smiling from ear to ear as I continued my walk.

What is happening is that the brain picks up on your sense memory. This memory is programmed into the physical body. Our sense memory is instinctive. It is this bit of our memory that also allows us to tap out a phone number on the telephone number pad, even if we can’t actually remember the number. The body is extraordinary in its ability to remember. Whilst I recall very little of the detail of the memory I have described, it was enough to induce an emotion of joy inside me and a smile on my face.

When I work with individuals, I am very interested in the information provided by the body – it is a great communicator and sits at the heart of many breakthroughs both in business and in life.

If you are interested in learning more about how you might harness your sense memory to help you at work, you might find this simple exercise enjoyable. It gives you a fast track to positive feeling or thought on demand.


  • Pick a picture, objects, music or photographs that make you feel immensely happy.
  • Display them where you will look at them several times a day – in the case of music, listen to it throughout the day.
  • Spend time studying your items in detail. Touch them, smell them, notice how they feel, how they sound.
  • As you are enjoying them, place one hand very specifically on your body, (eg: hold onto a thumb or finger, put your hand on your chin, or maybe your sternum, touch your elbow, whatever feels right to you)

Then at any time of day when you feel in need of a boost of resources, put your hand on that place and recall your memory to instantaneously recreate that feeling of happiness.

By tapping into happiness, you will feel good and at the same time, you are stimulating the area of your brain responsible for strategic thinking and problem solving – BOOM! A double whammy.


Why Bother Presenting

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The opportunity though is lost so often though because the WHY was never thought through…”

Very often, business professionals approach presentations as something to get through without f*****g up. ‘Phew’ they will say internally, ‘I think I got away with that’.

They prepare strong content, ensuring all the relevant points are made. Their focus is on WHAT to cover. They may also have ticked the boxes on HOW to cover it. The opportunity though is lost so often though because the WHY was never thought through.

What is the WHY of your presentation or communication, face to face? It might be a large WHY of ‘educate, inform and entertain’ (BBC). It might be a relatively small WHY of ‘win business’ or ‘clarify project time-lines’ and so on. Even so, you must make sure the WHY is in place. The WHY is the destination – it helps your audience know:

1. Where are they heading

2. What you will want them to do

So that’s the What, How and Why…but still there is something missing. It’s all a bit dry isn’t it?

Let me introduce FROLL

FROLL is a means of making your communication

– Outstanding

– Memorable

– Relevant

Here is the approach that will help you achieve this

F = First.

Firstly, give your presentation a strong beginning. We always remember the first things in life don’t we?

R = Repeat.

Or reinforce. Very often people assume that they should only say something once. No, no, no! Remember, part of your why is to get some form of action from your audience. If you don’t like the word ‘repeat’ then use the word ‘reinforce’. Reinforce is a strong word.

Whether you use the word Repeat or Reinforce it is essential that you do it! Without this R word thoughts cannot form into actions. People need to hear things more than once. Whether it be marketing messages, advice from parents, teachers, learning lines for a play, all involve the need to repeat.

O = Outstanding.

Say something outstanding. The bauble on the Christmas tree. You don’t need many baubles – one or two. In fact the fewer you have the more outstanding it can be. Examples of something outstanding could be a story, an action (dance like no one’s watching!), even a pause…try it. Pause for 5 seconds during your speech and see what effect it has on your audience. I bet they’ll remember it!

L = Linked.

No matter what you talk about, and no matter how creative you are in bringing outstanding images, make sure they are linked to your central theme. A good technique to link absolutely anything to your message is to go as BIG PICTURE as you can when drawing out the link or message. The great thing about this technique is that there are no rules as to how big you can go.

L = Last.

As important as the ‘F’ or First in FROLL, everyone remembers the last thing you do or say. Be careful here. When does your presentation end: when you stop speaking? When you walk off the stage? When you meet the audience at the end of the session? Decide where the end is and drive towards it. The last thing to give is your Call to Action. What is it you want your audience to do as a result of what you have said, done and imagined?

To find out more about how to be an EPiC leader, click here to arrange a conversation with one of our Consultants or call us on 00 44 (0)1932 888 885.

Gain Attention

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pb02_website_banner_bluemike-gain-attention‘I paused and thought for a moment – rather than joining the masses, what about if I did the opposite?…’

I start with a story.

When I was young and naive, I remember being coerced into going up to London for the January Sales, when the January Sales started on Boxing Day, and not in September.

That was my first mistake.

I remember queuing outside Selfridges in the freezing cold in London’s Oxford Street and then the doors burst open like an overripe haggis and we all fell into the warm and fuzzy madness that some people get rather excited about. Amongst the carnage, all sense of courtesy and patience was lost in the buying frenzy that ensued.

People were pushing and shoving at each other and at the shop assistants as they clamoured for help to make their purchase and get back to their homes for the Boxing Day snoozathon. The poor shop assistants were bewildered and buffeted by the hordes and I had no hope of gaining the attention of anyone, having miraculously found a pair of jeans that were heavily reduced. I attempted to join the scrum but there were far more determined shoppers than I.

I paused and thought for a moment – rather than joining the masses, what about if I did the opposite? What effect might this have? So I calmly and deliberately retreated to the edge of the scrum and stood, stock still, holding my jeans in one hand and fixing my gaze on one of the shop assistants.

‘Be patient’ I told myself ‘sustain your gaze’ and within a short period of time the shop assistant returned my gaze. Like a scene out of West Side Story, we walked towards each other while the mayhem continued and eventually we stood face to face. ‘Can I help you sir?’, she purred. ‘yes could I buy these jeans?’. ‘Certainly sir; that will be £5 please’.

Translating this story into the world of communication, it points at 3 elements that can help you draw the attention of your audience:

1. Do the opposite of whatever is happening around you. This immediately creates a counterpoint and will guarantee that you draw the attention of your audience.

2. Sustain the action. Hold it for as long as you dare. This will draw the flow of attention to you, minimising all that is going on around you.

3. Be at ease. Conduct the whole action with a feeling of ease, breathing in synchronisation with your actions. Good luck!

To find out more about how to be an EPiC leader, click here to arrange a conversation with one of our Consultants or call us on 00 44 1932 888 885.

Owning It – Part 2

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The starting point to owning it or taking personal responsibility begins with the mindset. It’s about making a proactive decision to be responsible for the actions that you take.

In another EPiC Insight (Developing a Feeling of Ease) we touched on the importance of the Hierarchy of Control™. This is required to identify and correct the state of our bodies before we communicate with a sense of personal responsibility.

The Hierarchy of Control™ is:

  1. PHYSICAL control
  2. EMOTIONAL control
  3. Control of FEELINGS
  4. Control of THOUGHTS
  5. Control of ACTIONS

Taking personal responsibility begins with a mindset, but very crucially continues with tangible steps that we can take in order that our actions are proactive, specific, and uncluttered.

Today I’m going to talk about emotional control which follows the physical control discussed in an earlier insight.

We talk about the emotional state in 4 layers:

Reading Emotion

Acknowledging Emotion

Understanding Emotion

Managing Emotion


Reading Emotion

It is really important, in order to be able to start controlling emotion, that you first recognise its presence in you and others. It is vital that you are able to acknowledge that the way you respond to a situation differently to how you responded yesterday is driven by a change in emotion or mood, we might say. So if you feel that you are in a type of crazy where everything you do is affected by a negative emotion STOP it right there. Pause, breathe, allow the emotion in and let it pass away. Meditative exercises are useful at the beginning of the day too, to set you up in the right frame of emotion for the day, without any baggage hanging over from previous interactions or experiences.

For others, consider what is driving the intention of the message-giver and disseminate what parts are driven by logic and what parts are driven by emotion. Give the message-giver time to reflect on their own use of language with advanced listening skills.

Acknowledging Emotion

Once you have reached the state of reading emotion so that your emotional antennae is properly tuned, you can more quickly identify it in you and others. It allows you to make decisions, rather than wallowing in the chaos that a lack of control can allow in. In others, for instance, if you’re faced with an aggressive salesperson, rather than reacting in an equally aggressive way, a more emotionally intelligent decision might be to use non-verbal language to indicate that you are not comfortable with the approach and therefore give the other person the opportunity to adapt their own emotional state.

This tactic can work well in personal relationships too as the other person will be finely tuned into body language through their deeper understanding of you.

Understanding Emotion

Students of Emotional Intelligence will quickly become aware that the understanding of you and other’s emotional state is a bit like predicting the weather. It constantly changes and although you can take a fair guess at what emotional state you might be walking into, it has a habit of surprising you. However, with practice, we can prepare more and more accurately by forecasting what sort of emotional situation we are going to be entering by thinking through the situation. This requires a degree of strategy or big picture thinking in order to keep the mind open to the variations that you haven’t quite planned for. Stay nimble, and alert. Particularly, stay present!

Managing Emotion

The key to managing emotion is self-regulation. It’s not easy and we all fall off the wagon, but so long as your intention is to control your reaction, you are more likely that not to achieve a positive outcome. Ultimately this – the positive outcome – is what we are driving at. It is very easy to fall into a temper tantrum if you haven’t applied self-regulation.

Being able to self-regulate your emotion, to communicate in an emotionally intelligent way how you feel, the more smoothly your interaction with people around you will go. Good luck. Give yourself plenty of opportunity to develop this skill and be kind to yourself if it doesn’t work the first, second or third time to try it. It will improve each time.

Now you are ready to move onto the next level – Your Feeling State. More on that in a future article.

To find out more about how to be an EPiC leader, click here to arrange a conversation with one of our Consultants.

Best wishes

The Insights Team



Naked Intent – Building Trust

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Strong deep business roots as a tree trunk with the root in the shape of a hand shake as a symbol of unity trust and integrity in finance and relationships.

It’s nigh on impossible to hide what we are thinking.  We expose ourselves all day, every day.  That is, what we are thinking leaks out in our facial expressions, our physiology, the language we use and our tone of voice.

It’s not that people can necessarily know exactly what we are thinking, we leak just enough for others to spot something.  An inconsistency, conflict or judgement. We can’t help but put our feelings out there, whether we are face to face, on the phone or in writing and what’s more – like trying to examine one’s own eyeball, it is really hard to see for ourselves the underlying message we are giving out.

Why does this matter?

It matters more now than ever because of the conscious move towards building trust in business. Even if we think we have been really careful about how we phrase something, our true intent is revealed.  So if our true intent is not in line with our stated intent, we risk losing the trust of those we are working with.  Or put it another way, we piss people off.

Have you ever had a situation where you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you just don’t believe someone, or they irritate you and you don’t really know why? Or maybe you feel manipulated in some way?  It might well be that you have subconsciously picked up on an incongruence between your understanding of the situation and what is actually taking place.  The discomfort that rises up in your body draws your attention to it, allowing you to probe a little and when satisfied, feel comfortable again.

Much has been said about emotional intelligence at work and its importance in building trust.  It can be really confusing.  Some people who believe they have high empathy, come out as having low empathy, and there are many who feel inside that they are emotionally intelligent yet, they are told they are not.  Remember the song – ‘I’m just a soul who’s intentions are good, Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.’

There are many schools of thought around Emotional Intelligence.  My belief is that it is primarily a matter of intent.  Get that clear, and everything else follows.  Everyone has the capacity to be emotionally intelligent.  Everyone too has the capacity to be emotionally ‘un’intelligent.  The variable is not the person, but the intention of the person.

Imagine you are in a meeting about a new project, sponsored by the CEO:

Your intention is to build trust between members of the team.  What might you do?  Offer teas, coffees etc…  Outline an agenda… Summarise your understanding of what is being said… Listen intently to what is required of you… Smile and offer your assurance that you have taken the ideas on board… Use open gestures…  Offer your appreciation towards others for their contribution or viewpoint… Freely share your perspective… These are all things you would do naturally, without giving it a second thought.

Imagine now that in your opinion, your colleague is getting too much attention for his mediocre ideas and you want to reassert yourself as the expert in your field.  What would be different in your behaviour?  You are unlikely to offer the drinks, that would be someone else’s role… You will want to talk about solutions, why one will work and not the other.  You will want to be sure everyone present understands the rationale behind your point of view…  And you will look for reasons to promote your ideas and to dismiss your colleagues ideas in favour of your own.

Finally, imagine your intent is to get others to like you.  You might laugh and smile if challenged… You might find it hard to support your own view point.  More likely to be swayed by the arguments of others… You are likely to tell people what they want to hear, even if it is not what you believe…  Perhaps you are keen to take on jobs that others aren’t interested in doing…

The same person with different intentions will behave very differently.  As you will see only one of the three examples is focussed on the needs of others.

Lining up our intent with the aspirations of the task helps to build trust and empathy.

To find out how The Performance Business can help your company, call Lucy on 01932 888885















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