This week’s guest on the Love In Action podcast is Richard Boyatzis, a renowned expert on emotional intelligence and bestselling author. Richard and his colleagues at Case Western University have recently released a new book entitled Helping People Change, which reveals their findings about a more effective approach to helping people learn and change behaviors.
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The big idea in the book is that we want to help others learn or change, but how we go about it causes them to close down to new ideas, which is the opposite of what we’re aiming for. The way to help people open up to change is to inspire them into the psychophysiological state he calls the Positive Emotional Attractor (PEA). Richard advocates the Coaching With Compassion approach. [04:55]
Marcel asks why we tend to try to fix people or coach for compliance. Richard lists both negative and positive reasons why we tend to do this. One negative reason is if we’re in a position of authority, we may think we know what other people should do and we try to make them do it. A positive reason is that we may really care for the person. [06:58]
Coaching with compassion is a way of approaching someone that helps to stimulate a psychological state of mood that focuses on more positive than negative. It allows you to ameliorate the ravages of stress and, being more in the empathic network of your brain, makes you open to new ideas and people. This state can be invoked through two main approaches: asking a person about their dreams, which makes them feel hopeful; and building and maintaining more caring relationships with other people which stimulates compassion and gratitude. [12:08]
The PEA state is when a person is open to new ideas, people and emotions. Before any learning or change can happen, you need to be in this state because it helps to create the Tipping Point. You want to go into this state periodically every day to tone down the stresses of life. [16:05]
Richard says that it’s the responsibility of every leader or manager to understand the dreams of the people who report to them. Most organizations are sub-optimizing their human capital. If you activate your human capital by understanding and inspiring them, they will make magic for your organization. [18:22]
Marcel asks Richard to unpack an interesting story from his book about diabetic patients. Richard describes how a shared vision of their long-term future with their physicians, increased patients’ treatment adherence. This research can be translated into the workplace, he agrees. [25:25]
No organization in the world exists to make money, Richard says. They exist to serve people. Making money is how to measure how effectively you’re doing that. [33:15]
Instead of focusing on the task, focus on engaging the person doing the task. [36:15]
You can create a sustainable culture of caring in your organization by helping your people to form coaching groups where they care for and rely on each other. [ 37:18]
Richard shares how our minds and bodies react in a fear-based environment versus a loving one. [38:30]
Marcel asks the question “Why do people still lead through fear?” Richard shares his thoughts on narcissism and its impacts. [43:50]
- Melissa Hughes: Employee Engagement Starts in the Brain (Episode #20)
- Mark C. Crowley: The Physiological Impacts of Bad Management (Episode #14)
- Bob Chapman: The Extraordinary Power of Caring (Episode #5)
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