The EQ Factor

Navigating through the emotions around Lean changes


Where you choose to communicate these facts can also make an impact on how well they are received. If the setting is a meeting with a lot of others who are observing, you may want to hold your comments for a later time.

Ask yourself:

  • Is it easy for me to recognize what emotions I'm experiencing in a particular situation?
  • Do I listen rather than have a response ready before the other person finishes?
  • Do I check my facts and probe for understanding before challenging others?
  • Do I take a clarifying stance, or do I aggressively assume a mistake has been made?
  • If I feel justified, do I go on the attack and point blame?
  • Can I accurately determine what drives the decisions of others?

Q2 — Self-management

Evaluate and Adapt: We each make countless decisions each day. How we interpret our role in the situation, organization or project will impact the decisions we make. What is valuable information to share? When should I bring this point up? Who may take offense to this point? Who may have more relevant data? How should I put this to him? At times we make those decisions consciously based on personal priorities.

Other decisions are more unconscious or reactionary. In order to create integrity, we must look at the costs and benefits of the small actions as well as the large ones and align our actions with our intentions. The key is to take the appropriate amount of time and give the right amount of attention to critical tasks in order to manage all the issues and act appropriately.

Another Q2 competency is Optimism that confirms our long-term motivation because it allows us see the future as positive and worthwhile. Optimism is the vehicle to see beyond the present and anticipate the future. It is tied to resiliency and perseverance, which are two skills that most affect our ability to function despite the stresses and challenges of day-to-day life. Optimism means recognizing that we each have the power to make change, and through our efforts our world can improve. Our perceptions of the future create the present; optimistic thinking immediately enhances our lives.

Ask yourself:

  • When obstacles come up, do I veer off course?
  • Do I know how to use humor to relieve tense or uncomfortable situations?
  • In situations that are full of turmoil and confusion, do I stay calm and levelheaded?
  • Would my colleagues say that I am able to acknowledge my mistake and limitations without being too defensive?
  • Am I able to be flexible in my dealings with others?

"Motivation" comes from the Latin meaning "to move." In essence, we take action because it feels rewarding to do so. The challenge is to manage and sustain our energy levels and ensure that we are able to persevere through the challenges. To do so, we must tap into the part of ourselves that has a longer view and find the reward within ourselves. Otherwise, we are dependent on feedback from others and can easily be swayed from our true intentions. No one can force another person to be more effective, more productive, more trustworthy or more courageous.

Ask yourself:

  • Am I aware of how my own patterns of behavior impact others?
  • In assessing a situation, do I look at my biases and adjust my assessment accordingly?
  • Do I know what is most important to me?
  • Am I short-term driven or focused on the bigger picture?

Navigate Emotions: Instead of disconnecting our emotions, we need to slow down our reactions so that we have time to make the most creative, insightful and powerful decisions. Particularly when dealing with conflict or crisis, we benefit by staying engaged (both our heart and our mind) and creating productive solutions. When we become skilled at sensing, labeling and using our own emotions, we are able to harness them as a source of information and motivation. Emotions are the fuel for change — the challenge is to refine and utilize that energy to carefully choose how we will use the power of our feelings.

When doing demand forecasting, it is necessary to navigate through many emotions when attempting to gain consensus and agree one number that will be used as the basis for tactical execution activities. We stay connected across sales, marketing and the supply chain functions. The paradigm changes from responding to demand to influencing demand.

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