David and Bijal chat about how our capability impacts our behaviour.
Our ‘Why people do what they do’ behavioural model shows the personal and cultural factors that may impact your behaviour. At Rambutan, we believe these factors push, pull and shove you into behaving in certain ways, in different situations. Capability, one of the personal factors within our model, can be split into emotional intelligence, knowledge and skills.
Lately, we’ve been hearing all about how artificial intelligence (AI) can replace the workforce. Is that really true? Let’s look at this idea in terms of our capability. AI can certainly compete or even beat humans on the knowledge front. How many of us have switched from memorising facts to Googling for the answer? What about emotional intelligence? Why not take AI one step further and cut out humans completely?
What is emotional intelligence? Some time ago, the idea of different types of intelligence came to light. We all know about IQ and the many established ways to measure it. Over time other forms of intelligence were identified – including emotional intelligence, which was found to be something that can be developed and mastered, unlike other types of intelligence. It wasn’t a fixed trait like IQ.
There are lots of challenges in our lives. Once we become aware of our own emotions we can start to manage them using techniques like ‘surf the urge’. We use this technique a lot at Rambutan within our Civility Saves Lives programme. We often have to overcome instant gratification, as smartphones take over more and more of our lives, and there’s sure to be new challenges in the future. What’s key is how we integrate these challenges – first with awareness and then understanding.
Why is emotional intelligence so important? Well, compared with other elements of the model, our emotions are powerful. If we’re not careful, they can often override other things. For example, seeing someone being treated unfairly might invoke a strong reaction and cause us to behave in a way that breaks the rules.
What about knowledge and skills? It’s interesting that we often lump these two together. How often do we ask people if they know how to do something when actually we need to know if they’re skilled? A physics professor can easily write the mathematical equation for a perfect free kick, but that doesn’t mean the professor has the skills to actually score a goal. David Beckham has the skills to bend the football around the ‘wall’ of players, but does he have the mathematical knowledge that describes the motion?
How do we start to be more discerning? What knowledge do we have? How skilled are we in that area? What excuses do we make when we don’t have the capability? Have we invested in self-development or passed the task on to someone else? It’s only natural that we want to focus on the tasks that we can overcome. By being more aware, we can start to understand our behaviour and make better choices.
Building on that further as leaders, we need to think about other people’s capability – both now and in the future. Many managers promote people who are skilled and knowledgeable in their current job. We need to ask ourselves, “Have I thought about what skills and knowledge they’ll need in their new role? How can I upskill them?”
If we don’t understand and act on this, the newly promoted person may end up micromanaging others because they have the skills to do the task, but don’t have the skills to lead and support others.
How do we as leaders, not only check understanding, but also create opportunities for our teams to demonstrate their capability?
For more information, why not read our top tips all about emotional intelligence…