What are the characteristics of emotional fools

To the top performer with empathy, integrity and emotional intelligence

Just a few days ago they were hanging around parades and dancing exuberantly at masked balls: we're talking about the fearless pirates, the malicious witches and the courageous superheroes. While we send our usual selves on a short vacation while dressing up, many of our soft skills are already unconsciously in the spotlight. Such “soft” skills are not only useful for ambitious carnival jesters, they can also help us achieve top performance on our job. Which soft skills a top performer should bring and how you can support your employees in their performance is what we have racked our brains for in this article. 😉

Soft skills: the trump cards in leadership

Even when looking for the best employees, you can't get past them: the soft skills that the newcomer should bring with them. While the professional competence can be proven with a look at the certificates, we often only gain knowledge of the characteristics of different competencies of the candidate after applying aptitude diagnostic procedures.

But why is it so complicated? Because we are human and no one is like the other. As complex and versatile as we are, so are our soft skills. You are a ...

“(...) a combination of people's skills, social skills, communication skills, character or personality traits, attitudes, career attributes, social intelligence and emotional intelligence quotients that enable people to find their way around their environment and to work well with others, perform well and achieve their goals with complementary hard skills. "

Open, curious, understanding, loyal and communicative are just a few of the qualities we expect not only from newcomers, but also from existing staff. This expectation should actually also presuppose that it is also those who expect it. So also the management board. Or is it not?

What do company bosses in Stuttgart, Karlsruhe or Bregenz do differently from others? In our last two posts we reported that the most committed employees of the last twelve months were at work here.

We think that highly committed employees too motivating and committed leadership that they need for their best possible development. But which soft skills do you expect from "above"?

We took a closer look at the Top Ten Soft Skills for Executives from Eastern Kentucky University and discovered the following:

  • integrity
  • communication
  • courtesy
  • responsibility
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Positive attitude
  • professionalism
  • flexibility
  • Teamwork
  • Work ethic

A fine potpourri of everything that makes a good boss. It is interesting that one of them is also included Integrity and work ethic finds. Both pursue basic ethical principles and press a attitude, a setting or a Mindset out.

"The older I get, the more I judge my own résumé and the vita of my employees in terms of integrity and attitude," confirms Nico Hofmann in an interview. The director, film producer and author of the book “More Attitude, Please!”, Published in 2018, regards integrity as a valuable asset that is also enriched with the trust of employees.

Of the power of the soft little helpers

Otto Geiß - member of the board of directors of the German Network for Business Ethics and Transparency Germany eV, firmly believes that integrity, when it is anchored in the corporate culture, underlines that it pays off economically to present yourself as a fair and upright partner , also economic success comes in. Only those who are honest and loyal to their customers (and employees) will be able to survive in the long term.

Many companies therefore record their business ethical principles in their in-house compliance. Geiß emphasizes that management has an important task here and compares this with the delivery of the ten commandments through Moses:

“It was crucial that Moses came down from the mountain and explained the ten commandments to the people. It's the same in compliance - those responsible have to develop rules for their company, explain them and follow them up over the long term. "

We admit that thinking about the cost-effectiveness of integrity raises a fundamental question: Could it be that some soft skills are not as “soft” as we have perceived them to be?

For a little thought experiment, let's take something as innocent as politeness by the hand: Are we going to go shopping again where we were once served so rudely? Rather not. Apart from the negative reviews on the net, we already agree: Soft skills are very powerful!

The latest Gallup study also reports on the economic loss due to a lack of emotional employee loyalty in German companies. The result shows how important personal skills can be: every seventh employee does not feel bound to the company and has already resigned internally. The connection that has been established between the degree of attachment and the type of leadership is particularly interesting. The more motivating leadership was heard in the immediate work environment, the stronger the emotional bond of employees to the company.

If emotional employee retention is related to the motivational factor of leadership, then the best possible personnel development probably also has something to do with emotionally intelligent leadership. Not true? You can read what that means in the next section.

Emotional intelligence: what is it?

The dictionary of psychology gives us a definition of emotional intelligence:
Emotional intelligence (EI) is understood to mean the ability to correctly assess feelings (in oneself and others) and human relationships and to be able to act accordingly.

The psychologist Daniel Goleman refers in his much-cited book “EQ. Emotional Intelligence "(dtv Verlag, 1997) on why emotional intelligence is more important to him than IQ and puts it quite plausibly on the spine of the book:
“What's the use of a high IQ if you're an emotional sucker?” How right he is! The right balance of both is also the healthier way for us.

"What's the use of a high IQ if you're an emotional sucker?"

Goleman also made a distinction five types of emotional intelligenceillustrated in three consecutive YouTube videos:

  • Self-confidence
  • Dealing with emotions
  • motivation
  • Empathy
  • Relationship ability

So those who act emotionally intelligently know their emotions, know how to control them, use them to achieve their own goals, understand them and those of others and can adapt to the respective situation.

It is essential that this Adjusting a key factor in exercising emotional intelligence. If someone is sad and we recognize that, then something in us will refuse to meet him / her with loud laughter.

Those who act emotionally intelligently know their emotions, know how to control them, use them to achieve their own goals, understand them and those of others and can adapt to the respective situation.

If we can adapt emotionally to this, then we could also help our employees engagement and motivation "Infect". Anyone who inevitably has to think about the widespread measles parties of our children, we can reassure them. We too had to think about it. Do not worry! In our tête-à-tête, the contagious virus is definitely something healthy. 😉

Perhaps you have also read our article “Employee engagement out of inner conviction”. In it we presented Nikki Gatenby's book “Superengaged”, won many inspiring ideas and heard incredibly fine examples from her company. Nikki is the best example of how you can raise employee engagement and thus performance to a very high level. By taking employees' dreams seriously and helping them to come true!

We have probably already found some performance levers and buttons that we can push and pull on ourselves, but also on our teams. It will definitely be exciting! Finally, we ask ourselves the question: What actually makes a top performer?

What makes top performers

We realized that it was because of the diversity of human abilities to one Interplay of all skills and abilities should come. To put it in Goleman's style: What use are wonderful soft skills and emotionally intelligent skills if we cannot recognize, feel and act out them?

Let us assume that we have all of the skills and abilities mentioned so far - in a balanced relationship: We are therefore with integrity, communicative, responsible, flexible, self-confident, empathetic, motivated, moral and polite at the same time. We took care of developing our personality traits and worked hard for them.

Negatives like arrogance and bad mood we could succeed banish from our day-to-day management and live out the positive characteristics of emotional intelligence mentioned by Goleman: We are therefore open, open to criticism, constructive and solution-oriented on top of that.

Could we be able to turn our employees into top performers with this “equipment”?
NATURALLY! And for different reasons:

  • Yes, because in our assumption we started our best to pass on to the people around us.
  • Yes, because we are with it authentic are and for that reason alone respected by our teams become.
  • Yes, because we are already doing it become top performers are and "infect" our fellow human beings with our emotional intelligence become.
  • Yes, because we are one Mindset that opened us to one clear and authentic attitude empowered.
  • Yes, because we do open, respectful and trusting working atmosphere would not exchange it for any other.

At the end of our journey of thought we come to the realization that we are endowed with many more personal abilities and skills than we probably assume. Let's think of the carnival jesters mentioned at the beginning, who slip into a different role year after year with a lot of empathy. Without excitement and without great preparation, they take on a different role. Why? Because it is fun!

Maybe we can learn a little something from the superheroes and pirates and some of them allow hidden ability in us. What time could not be more perfect for such an inside look than the time after the carnival? During Lent we like to reflect on the essentials. Why not press some sort of reset button to find yourself?
Have fun exploring!

Sincerely, your kununu team.

We are happy to support you if you would like to know what the current mood is in your teams or how you can get valuable feedback from your employees. Get to know kununu engage without obligation.