February 04, 2020
Company culture, brand story, brand experience, brand loyalty. Find out how emotional intelligence, or the ability to manage your emotions to better interact with others, is interconnected to all four and why it must be maintained over time in Part Two of The 19: Entrepreneur Edition with Lindon Crow.
This is The 19. In 19 minutes or less, game-changing insights from Orange Label, the leading response marketing agency for established brands that are driven by a fearless entrepreneurial mindset.
Hello and welcome back to The 19: Entrepreneur Edition! I’m Rochelle Reiter, President of Orange Label. In Part Two of our interview with Productive Learning President Lindon Crow, we’re discussing the connection between emotional intelligence, company culture and brand loyalty. Let’s pick back up where we left off!
HOST: Let’s talk about culture, you mentioned it a couple times, how can emotional intelligence affect culture?
LC: Well, like I said before, if – the culture is going to be defined by the mission of the organization, the purpose or the why behind the organization and the values of the organization, how we conduct ourselves. So that’s going to be the guiding principles and in order to achieve that we have to figure out how you and I work together and policies and procedures may not cover that, because we’re not going to talk about, “Yes, you need to turn this in to me by four, you can’t turn it in to me by five because I can’t get my job done,” that’s a policy and procedure. But how I interact with you. How I engage you to get the best out of you when I turn that thing in at four. That is going to be developing the culture because that has to do with the relationship dynamic that you and I have – the trust and the vulnerability that you and I share, and if we can do that and I can communicate that in a way that is clear and articulate to influence you to get the best out of you, that’s that intangible feeling you get when you walk into an organization and it feels good to be there. Versus you walk into some organization and it just feels dead inside.
LC: And that’s all the company’s culture, that the experience of dealing with the organization – whether from the outside in as a client or as somebody that’s contracted to them or as the employees when they walk into the organization, how they feel about themselves when they walk in. How they feel about their direct reports or the people that they work with – their peers or their subordinates. All of that is going to be the development of their culture and emotional intelligence is going to say, “Well if you can understand yourself then you can understand how to align with that company culture so that we are all rowing in that same direction.
HOST: In that same direction. Yes, that’s fascinating! So, do you believe organizations with high emotional intelligence have stronger brand loyalty?
LC: Without a doubt, so go back to this feeling of culture. And if we can see the Domino effect of if you have high EQ within an organization – the individuals – therefore their culture is strong and if their culture is strong, they’re creating an experience that has healthy, engaging, interesting, happy…
LC: It’s motivating. It’s juicy, it feels good. So that’s the experience that the employees are having, but also those that are buying whatever product or service from that organization. So, they feel good about working with that company or dealing with that company. Like take Apple, right? They have a Genius Bar. Like how cool is that? They don’t have customer service; they have a Genius Bar. So, I feel cool walking in and going to a Genius bar and talking with a Genius about my iPhone.
LC: And then I feel even cooler because I walk into a sleek, sexy storeroom that everything is just really suave and nice. That is the company culture and the individual that you’re working with – they hire for somebody that has an ability to be socially influential, they can adapt to the client that they’re working with, right? And so, they’re actually, they’re either training and or hiring for people with high EQ, because when was the last time you walked into an Apple store and you talked with some punk that you could tell, they felt annoyed by the fact that you were asking them questions?
LC: Never, right? Apple doesn’t have that. You don’t get that. Same with Disney, you walk into a Disney Park or anything and you feel magical. Because everybody is aligned with the culture and in order to align people with the culture, if you remember, if you put people together, we’re going to have different viewpoints. So, emotional intelligence says, “Hey, let’s deal with ourselves so that we can get back into line and when we get back into a line, we have a strong company culture and when we have a strong company culture, boom! The experience that you get to feel as an employee and the other people out there in the world get to experience as the client, that is good. That’s juicy. That’s something that I want to stick around for. I’ll pay a higher price to get to deal with somebody or an organization like that as opposed to one where I feel they don’t they care about me or they don’t want to be, they’re annoyed by my questions or inquiries so if creating that sensation, that experience with your clients creates brand loyalty, then again, the Domino effect.
LC: Of course, emotional intelligence to brand culture to experience to loyalty would all be in alignment.
HOST: It would start with the hiring, right? You’re hiring for cultural fit and then you’re training and the ongoing training and development, you’re constantly challenging and putting them in an environment where they can grow and personally develop.
LC: Right, and emotional intelligence, like we talked, about before is a skill that is developable which means that if it’s not trained on, we will go back to our old habits and ways of being. Right?
LC: I’m a mountain biker- so I have two races that I’ve signed up for this year. If I don’t put myself into some kind of training protocol, well then maybe I’ll go mountain bike maybe once, maybe twice a week and then at the race, I won’t feel strong. Because that’s my natural tendency to just go once or twice, but if I put myself onto a training program that says three or four times a week then all of a sudden, I’m keeping with the strength protocol that I want to be able to race well. And it’s the same kind of thing with emotional intelligence, if you want to build that skill up well then you also have to build it up and maintain it,
LC: Because otherwise you go back to your old tendencies of looking at the world through whatever limiting lenses and unconscious assumptions and beliefs that you had, because you’ve been living that way for ten, twenty, thirty years until you started to do the training. So, of course you have a natural predisposition toward something and what EQ is, is saying, “Hey, can we just shift that natural predisposition to something more aligned and healthier with the outcome that you’re trying to achieve?” And if that’s a business, productivity outcome or leadership, or communication outcome or relationship outcome? Fantastic. Let’s have it be that, but we’ve got to train on it and maintain that training.
HOST: Sure. So, for example, somebody goes to a workshop at your company. Do then you put them on like a maintenance plan? Once a month? What is the cadence of that?
LC: We have essentially two different divisions in our organization, one we call Open Enrollment and that’s just for any Jack and Jill on the street that want to come learn about themselves in regard to relationships or communication or self-esteem. And then we have our corporate side where we’ll go in, it’s still the foundation of emotional intelligence but on the corporate side we’re going to go in and help develop their company culture, right? Through conflict, resolution, communication and relationships. On either side of those groupings, the open enrollment, which is just the general public or the corporate side, and going into organizations what we look to do is to get them into one training or a small handful of trainings and they’ll see the power of what understanding themselves really gives them and the value of it and at that point we want to say, “What goals do you have? And let’s figure out the training protocol for that.” So I guess we can go right back to my mountain bike scenario – the idea would be if I have a goal, well what’s the training program that we believe will get you towards that goal better? And so for organizations, many times it’s a once a month depending on the size of the organization, maybe once every other month between half days and full days, and then we’ll throw in some coaching in between which will be like one-on-one with kind of higher on the totem pole individuals. But on the open enrollment side for individuals, yeah if we see them four times a year with four different workshops and some calls in between, what we’re looking for is to create consistency with reflecting back on themselves about how they are functioning out in the world and the reactions and responses that they’re having with their environment and the more that we can do that, you can assume, the better and the higher skills that they would develop.
HOST: Develop over time.
LC: Exactly. So whatever level of skill or sense of mastery of your emotional intelligence you want, well then let’s create a training program or protocol for that. A lot of our open enrollment clients, they take what we call year-long workshops, which is essentially a workshop that’s done over an entire year and they meet once a month.
HOST: Okay, interesting. I would assume that over time, if you have a consistent schedule, right? And you’re looking at it and you’re being self-aware that you, as a person get better, but it also, is easy to fall into the habits that you’re just made up off.
LC: Easy to regress. Yeah. And what’s always, what’s sometimes very discouraging, I can feel it with myself sometimes is – I will develop skills in my leadership or in my emotional intelligence in my ability to make decisions because many times, like I said, I grew up with all of this background of being the only boy in this sea of women around me and girls and all of my family, and I started to take on the perception that I was different. And different wasn’t you’re a unique, snowflake flower different it was like, “You are strange. You don’t like what everybody else likes,” because they all wanted to play ‘house’ and I wanted to play Frisbee, right?
LC: So, I can start to develop my skills about catching when I see that I’m starting to take on a perspective that is I’m different. Because it is an unhealthy perspective for me to take because it limits all of the possibilities that are in front of me as to what I could do, how do I deal with this client, how do I deal with this employee, what do I do with the business, if I start to take on the “I’m different” standpoint, I just limit all of the opportunities that are present. So, developing my skills, I’ve started to notice when I feel that different and I just know what that emotion is like. I know what my chest feels like, I know what it feels like in my neck and in my shoulders, I know the kinds of thinking that I have and the theme or the genre or the flavor of the thinking, and so I developed skills and I get better, and I’m getting better and I’m getting better year over year and yet I still feel that. Well, why is that? As I’ve grown and develop, the stakes have gotten even higher. My business has grown. There’s more employees, there’s more dynamic going on so now I’ve just raised the bar.
LC: Go talk to that high school athlete that’s trying to run the hundred-meter* dash and the US Olympic athlete that’s running the one-hundred-yard dash and they feel both nervous and excited and empowered and freaked out and whatever. But one is a world-class athlete and one’s a high school kid just running a hundred-meter dash, they still have what they would label as almost the same emotions, but the stakes are way higher. So, it’s not like it just goes away, because you develop skills that then bring you to the next level of life and then, well let’s keep working on it. Let’s keep looking at yourself and how you now deal with all of those emotional upsets and those triggers and the way in which you think at that level of life.
LC: I say that because what people start to realize is this is a lifestyle. This is the way in which I want to conduct my life is to be introspective and master myself just like people who have a lifestyle of going to the gym three times a week.
LC: That’s just what they do. They don’t even question it. They sign up for their 24 Hour Fitness and that’s just normal. And those that eat a certain way, Paleo or Keto or whatever, it’s become a lifestyle. It’s just, they don’t think about what they’re going to do, they just do that.
HOST: Do it. Right.
LC: The same kind of thing with a lot of our clients and taking these workshops, and the organizations. It’s just part of how to do life.
LC: It’s not some strange thing that you go and you master and then you walk away, and you have your credential –
HOST: You’re done. I’m done. I have my certificate!
LC: No, I wish! If we had that pill, man, boy oh boy I wonder what would happen.
HOST: Have you seen any examples of companies weaving their stand for emotional intelligence into their brand story or storytelling?
LC: I think it would be seen through those that promote their company culture. So, the organizations that pride themselves on the relationships that they have and the feeling of comradery and the celebrations that they have, that would be to me, when people talk about their company culture and emotional intelligence, I just intertwine those two.
HOST: They’re one in the same.
LC: Yeah, I’ve got some background in psychology, so I look at it and I use the words EQ or emotional intelligence, but you as a business owner are thinking about your company culture. You’re not thinking about EQ, but all of the components of building that company culture are foundational to what emotional intelligence is.
LC: So, look at any organization that’s promoting, “Look at how we relate to our clients, our customer service, our employee-to-employee relationships, how we treat ourselves when conflicts arise, all of that – that they’re actually promoting EQ. They don’t realize it, but they’re promoting it.
HOST: Yeah, for sure. If you were to give advice to a business owner or leader, what would you tell them about emotional intelligence?
LC: Go read the science. It’s out there. There’s so many incredible books on culture and emotional intelligence and the value of psychology. You need to really inform yourself about how the individuals within your organization tick, because they’re actually the ones doing the work and making your company thrive.
LC: So, you’ve got to figure out how do you work with them? How do you deal with them? And what that means is you need to find out how you work and deal with yourself, because there’s going to be days when you don’t want to go into work and you don’t want to deal with that conflict and you want to just push by it and overlook it. Well, you’ve got to deal with your own upsets so that then your own employees are watching and learning what the leader does. So, go read the literature, go find the books, go inundate yourself with workshops or training or whatever that is to educate yourself on how to develop your own emotional intelligence.
HOST: Sure, and I love how you connected emotional intelligence to culture to brand loyalty to storytelling and the experience and all it’s, it is intertwined.
LC: It’s all intertwined, right? Yeah.
LC: The emotional experience, therefore, the emotional intelligence, therefore the culture, it’s all interwoven and so the value in developing one is essentially just saying, I’m developing all of that.
HOST: Mhm. A wholistic view.
LC: Beautiful. Well said.
HOST: Well thank you so much, Lindon, for coming today. We really appreciate having you and look forward to maybe taking some workshops.
LC: Super. You’re welcome. Thanks for having me.
Host Close: Thank you for listening to The 19: Entrepreneur Edition with Lindon Crow Part Two. To learn more about Productive Learning, check out our show notes or visit productivelearning.com. If you have additional thoughts on this topic, send us an email! You can send questions, comments and more to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Special thank you goes out to our contributors Studio Manager, Kelsey Phillips, Micah Panzich, who edits our show, and Ashley Ruiz, Content Writer. Be sure to subscribe to The 19 on iTunes and Google Play, and, if you like what you heard today, leave us a review!
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