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  • Esther Orioli 6:36 am on February 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    How harmful are workplace bullies? 

    An important part of being a professional leader is managing employee behavior. What started out as isolated bad habits can spread throughout your staff, damaging moral, undermining productivity and hurting profits. It's critical to notice early warning signs of potentially destructive habits, and to reverse them as quickly as possible. 

    One particularly insidious one is bullying. While you might assume that this sort of behavior got left behind on the playground with swing sets and dodgeball, it can still crop up even in professional environments. Some 37 percent of Americans report being the target of it, according to the Workplace Bullying Institute, and it can be a major source of employee stress, headaches, irritability and depression. 

    And the effects of bullying often extend beyond the direct victims. Bullying can create an overall tension and stress in the workplace, as fellow coworkers sit on pins and needles anticipating the next bullying incident. How can your workforce focus and remain productive with bullying as a constant distraction?

    If you suspect that bullying is a problem at your company, it's a good time to evaluate the stress levels and emotional intelligence competencies of your people. With Essi's 21 Day Club technology platform, every employee gets a comprehensive, business-proven stress, resiliency or emotional intelligence assessment and an interactive, reusable habit creation system that helps them make positive, sustainable behavior change, directly related to their StressMap, Resiliency Map or EQ Map scores. Through its engaging, employee-centric website portal, users can measure, build new skills and measure again to track their success while getting support and learning along the way.

    If bullying or other negative behaviors pop up in your organization, take action.

    Target the source and help your employees manage their stressors before it impacts day-to-day performance, well being and the overall bottom line.

  • Esther Orioli 7:54 am on February 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Survey of 5,000 workers find stress as number one risk 

    Workplace stress affects productivity.

    Research supporting this hypothesis continues to pile up: employee stress is a serious problem that any corporate health and wellness program would be well served to take seriously. 

    This latest study comes courtesy of Towers Watson, a global professional services company specializing in risk and financial management. The firm questioned more than 5,000 workers on what they thought were the most serious workplace risks, defined as any issue that could compromise the efficiency and profitability of an organization. 

    The most common answer? Employee stress. 

    The primary drivers of this issue were actually different for managers than they were for employees. While the former cited difficulty in achieving work/life balance and inadequate staffing as their primary stressors, the latter ranked staffing issues first followed by low or insufficient pay. 

    Whatever the cause, the result is clear: a less productive work environment with a weaker bottom line. Helen Darling, president of the National Business Group on Health, highlighted the importance of having a comprehensive program to deal with this problem. 

    "Employers need to understand their employees' stress drivers, assess their health and productivity programs in light of the findings and leverage what employees are already doing to cope with stress," says Darling. 

    In other words, they need to cultivate resiliency. There isn't any magic solution to immediately reduce the presence of stress, but employers can help employees better cope with and be motivated by it. As human capital stress and resiliency experts, Essi Systems knows first-hand what can happen to a business's performance when stress isn't addressed. That's why we've been dedicated to the study and treatment of stress in the workplace for more than 30 years. Essi's 21 Day Club technology platform, featuring Resiliency Map, provides employees with a business-proven, engaging system to assess their resiliency and build new coping skills to manage stress and improve health and performance.

  • Esther Orioli 9:56 am on February 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Study: Emotional intelligence biggest predictor of career success 

    When people discuss the most common indicators of career success, they might bandy about education, or connections or even just raw talent. According to a new study, they could very well be overlooking the most important facet of all: emotional intelligence

    That research, which was compiled at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior, sought to isolate which factors had the greatest influence on job performance. The results mirrored those of numerous previous studies, all of which indicated that those who displayed interpersonal competence, self-awareness and social awareness — all components of emotional intelligence — tended to fare better than those who didn't. 

    In the conclusion of the VCU study, the authors shared their findings. 

    "The three streams of EI research, ability measures, self- and peer-report measures, and mixed models, all predict job performance equally well. Moreover, all three methods of measuring EI increment cognitive ability and personality measures in the prediction of job performance," they wrote.

    These findings suggest that more companies should administer emotional IQ assessments as tools for employee development. Not only will it help a business identify which candidates and employees are likely to be more successful, it will also help them to cultivate this sort of intelligence in their staff as a whole. As the research shows, investing in this process is likely to have strong, long-term positive benefits for the company at large.

    As a human capital solutions company and experts in the field of emotional intelligence, Essi Systems understands that the EQ of a workforce has bottom line implications. That's why we created EQ Map, a scientifically sound, business-tested assessment of emotional intelligence. EQ Map® helps employees measure and build their EQ competencies, giving them a distinct competitive advantage that translates to more responsive, engaged and resilient organizations. 

  • Esther Orioli 12:29 pm on August 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    How do YOU measure resiliency? 

    At a time in the world where everyone is having to COPE in a capital letter kind of way, resiliency has become the new buzz word for health and wellness and the prescription for getting through during tough times both at work and at home.

    As the creator of Resiliency Map®, a resiliency assessment used by major corporations worldwide to help their people, I am often asked how knowing your resiliency “score” really makes a difference in the day-to-day ways we handle pressures and persevere to live another day. Some leaders I have worked with think that when bad things happen we should just pick ourselves up and push on. They want their people to stop being cry babies and get the job done! If it were only that simple.

    Forcing ourselves to hang in there, again and again, without a break or some tool to manage during distressful times, leads to increasing the rate of wear and tear on the body, mind, emotions and spirit. After awhile, i.e. months or years, of keeping a stiff upper lip it is no wonder we’re a little bundle of ailments – back pain, headaches, anxiety, frustration, getting less done and using more effort to do it. That being said, how can accurately measuring your resiliency really help you have a better, easier life?

    Having a scientifically sound assessment gives you information. It shows your unique strengths and personal vulnerabilities. It tells you if you’re eating too much junk, getting stuck in old habits, or acting out through anger or passive aggression when things go wrong. It tells you if you’re not making your needs a priority so you can bolster yourself to be present and successful in the ways you want to be in your life. I have often said that “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” This has never been more true.

    Based on years of research and data studies, my definition of resiliency is this: The ability to come back after disappointments, failures or setbacks, to be adaptable and flexible, to renew your sense of vitality and reengineer yourself based on life experiences. These three prongs of resiliency give you everything you need to thrive, not just cope, in a world filled with chaos and uncertainty.

    How do YOU define resiliency?

  • Esther Orioli 3:27 pm on July 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , emotional intelligence and iq, eq and iq, Eq vs iq, ,   

    EQ and The IT Guy (and other IQ-centric professionals) 

    Show me the numbers! Show me the data! You’ve heard this mantra before. As leaders we have all had to deal with colleagues, supervisors and team members who doubt the real impact of emotional intelligence at work. In fact, some of the most resistant to embracing EQ are the ones most in need of its benefits. While programmers, accountants, lawyers, and engineers are often thought to lead the hit parade of ‘doubting Thomases’, they are not by any means the only ones. So how do you get people in these and other IQ-centric fields to recognize and utilize the valuable assets that come from developing and using their EQ?

    Here are a few suggestions I make to organizations of how to bring EQ to an IQ World:

    Meet people where they live. If you have a science guy, present the facts and figures. Through presenting the business case for EQ I find that business leaders and heady people of all types can wrap their minds around the facts of productivity, customer loyalty and profitability that EQ brings to the equation. For example, 75% of the reasons that companies lose their clients or customers are EQ-related reasons. That means that three quarters of all reasons that the customers who purchase their product or services do so because they like the way they were treated (an eq trait), like the service they receive when things go wrong (an eq trait) and keep coming back because of their positive experience (an eq trait).

    I then progress from the business case to the brain science case. Explaining how every decision is an emotional decision, based on the limbic system and the science of how the brain works, goes a long way to helping the IT guys and gals reframe how they make decisions.

    Finally I’ll bring up the all important fun fact that EQ skills can be learned. Often I think it’s more difficult for heady people to break out of the mold of acting a certain way. So if you tend to be a more IQ-centric person and want to break out a bit there are things you can do to expand your repertoire. like starting a conversation with “I feel” instead of “I think.” Or asking for someone’s opinion before giving your own. And then actively listening to that opinion before offering your thoughts. Really basic small steps that people can put into practice right away and see results.

    As leaders we can’t always be smarter than the smart people we seek to surround ourselves with. The thing about super heady people is that they often do know more or are “smarter” than many folks. So ask for their opinions because they’re smart but don’t let them off the hook by never asking them to step up to the “feeling” plate, at least a little. Remind them that emotions are really heady stuff.

  • Esther Orioli 5:56 pm on January 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , organizational development   

    Smart and Present 

    A few years ago I was on a panel about emotional intelligence at an international conference on the subject. The moderator told the audience that he was going to use a question that he had heard me ask of several EQ experts in a program a year earlier.

    I knew what it was before it even came out of his mouth. He asked– “If it is true that you teach what you most need to learn, what has emotional intelligence taught you and why are you teaching it?” I thought it was a great question even if it was mine, except now I had to answer it in front of nearly 400 people.

    I told the audience that as a student in high school I got good grades and in college and my master’s program I did well too. I came to expect that I could use my brain to figure things out. Over time, as my intellect developed it became pretty easy to form an opinion, express a position or debate the benefits of this over that. I got the label of “being smart,” and I was happy to have it,

    What I learned from emotional intelligence of course, was that there was another kind of smarts, the kind that comes from emotion, feelings and gut level reactions. Not the same kind of smarts which I already had at my command.  And as I began my work in the arena of emotional intelligence and leadership I soon discovered that it was easier to be smart than it was to be present. And that the real challenge of leadership was to stay in the moment and make decisions in real time.

    Quite a number of people came up to me after that panel and said that they could really relate.

    It really is easier to be smart than it is to be present.

    So what does it mean to be present? You know, be in the moment, not be thinking about lunch or a clever come-back to a point that was being bantered about. But being here right now. It means listening with one’s full energy and attention, taking in the people, concerns and information as it is being presented without thinking, “this problem is like other problems I have solved and the answer to those dilemmas would be the right solutions to these dilemmas.” You can really make big mistakes with that.

    I still rely heavily on my IQ and others still think I am smart. However, I’ve been working on being present for a long time and integrating these two parts of myself. So in the spirit of teaching what I most need to learn, I am dedicating my blog to this purpose with a name of the same lesson and learning.

    • Tom Wojick 7:27 am on February 2, 2010 Permalink


      Thanks for taking up blogging and I enjoyed your story. Mine is similar. I never thought I was smart and always feared that people would find out. I couldn’t figure out why I was experiencing success in my career, and getting promotions into leadership positions until I found EQ. I then realized that my critical success factor was my ability to engage people on an emotional level and gain their trust.

      I look forward to your future blogs.

    • Joshua Freedman 10:19 am on February 2, 2010 Permalink

      Hey Esther, good to see you blogging, I remember that panel well!
      I just mentioned another “famous Esther Quote” on a LinkedIn discussion about empathy: http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestionAndAnswers=&gid=75300&discussionID=12607575&sik=1265127461454&split_page=2

      Good on ya,

      • Josh
    • Andrea Baker 1:46 pm on February 2, 2010 Permalink

      Hey Esther,
      Byron has also been teaching me about being in/living in the moment; … and you are so right – It’s a lot easier to just be smart – and no where near as satisfying.

    • Laurie Hillis 11:31 pm on February 2, 2010 Permalink

      Wonderful article (and UTube clip) Esther – you look fabulous .. smart, present AND full of wisdom. Doesn’t get much better than that .. I shall relish your on-going pearls of wisdom. Best to all at Essi.
      With joy always, Laurie

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