We basically have four response options in any given situation. These are Passive, Passive Aggressive, Aggressive and Assertive. In the EQ Blunder case, Pat was aggressive with his teammates but believed they would see him as knowledgeable and solution-focused. His direct, blaming and attacking style resulted in conflict and disrespect. If he had been assertive he would have expressed the same self-confidence but delivered his message in a hearable format.
Figure 1— Response Choices (by Scott Barrella, MS CPIM)
Q3 — Social Awareness
Last-minute order changes, e-commerce, promotions and other just-in-time delivery variables are becoming increasingly common in most industries. Recognizing patterns is important in EQ. Our brain is looking for patterns known as neural pathways. A stimulus leads to response and, over time, the response becomes habitual as the pathway becomes a road. With life experiences, the road becomes a super highway. These patterns include thinking, feeling and action in a continuous cycle. At a young age we learn lessons of how to cope, how to get our needs met and how to protect ourselves. For example, if we perceive we are being attacked or disrespected, we may aggressively counterattack. These strategies reinforce one another, and we develop a complex structure of beliefs to support our "victim mentality."
Authors of The Oz Principle (Conners, Smith and Hickman) give examples of finger-pointing, denying, ignoring, pretending and passive-aggressive approaches. Many people see accountability as a negative management tool used to bully, punish or pressure people to perform or explain their choices. The authors discuss ownership and accountability through seeing issues, owning the problem, asking questions and doing whatever is necessary to create change and improvements. They write, "People hold inside themselves the power to rise above their circumstances and get the results they want." If everyone buys into the approach that the problem is their own to solve an entrepreneurial spirit takes over and creativity and passion lead to success.
In Pat's case, he was not seeking to insult the team, but his poor EQ skills lead to his self-destruction. He needs to find ways to bring up important issues without projecting blame. He is an empowered dictator who relieves himself of accountability (delegates). The authors of The Oz Principle would say he is operating "Below the line." Entitlement and misalignment are critical issues that permeate every level of the organization and distract from collaborative decision-making. Pat should ask himself higher-order questions like, "What else can I do to get the results I want?" This demonstrates a high EQ and personal accountability for change. Using the "IOSD" (identify, own, solve and do) approach to address critical challenges will help.
Supply chain optimization is focused on reducing total supply chain costs, not on functional optimization. We are seeking responsiveness (focused on speed-to-market), flexibility (operate seamlessly across our supplier base), consistency (common processes and standardized data), and visibility (fact-based decision making). There are savings to be found by applying optimization technology to transportation and manufacturing challenges.
- Could I diagram for my organization's power structure?
- Can I articulate the concerns of my organization? (Not just my team's but other functional areas as well)
- Can I identify those individuals within my organization that will support me when needed?
- Do I know where I can be utilized as a resource for others?
- Do I take initiative and challenge current processes?
Additional Q3 Social EQ Skills include empathy, mirroring, paraphrasing, spotlighting, discovery, closed questions and sharing.