Replacing Unwanted Behaviour With Results

Have you ever observed a group of children at play and noticed how they interact with each other?

They start out with an amiable spirit play and they laugh and run around. They might disagree, which often ends with tears or with fists flying around, and they form these little groups where someone would step up as the leader and have the others following.

Such a seemingly innocent scenario tells us so much about human behaviour.

Behaviour is defined as the way we conduct ourselves as we live in and adjust to our environment. Our behaviour determines how we would fare in the environment and situations we are in – be it in the workplace, in our relationships and in our social circles.

Our behaviour not only affects us but also the people around us.

Good behaviour can brighten up a gloomy day and can significantly improve our performance. It also has a flow on effect to the behaviour and performance of others.

Bad behaviour does otherwise. Uncivil behaviour results in poorer outcomes, particularly in the workplace. Robert M. Sapolsky, a Stanford professor and the author of “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers”, argues that people who are victims of bad behaviour tend to have their immune systems compromised. They may experience multiple health problems including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and ulcers. Another study conducted by Amir Erez, a management professor at the University of Florida, shows that people who are victims of bad behaviour can miss information that is right in front of them. They are no longer able to process it as well or as efficiently as they would otherwise resulting in poor performance at work.

Bad Behaviour can also affect an organisation’s reputation.

Professors Deborah MacInnis and Valerie S. Folkes at the University of Southern California, found out that “People were less likely to patronise a business that has an employee who is perceived as rude — whether the rudeness is directed at them or at other employees.”

Stress, emotionally charged situations, and even being a victim of bad behaviour itself are the usual causes of bad behaviour. Dr. Sabrina Strang, a former researcher at the University of Bonn, states that “a person who is treated unfairly tends to behave unfairly towards others in turn.”

So how do we counter bad behaviour?

A number of studies show that developing our emotional intelligence can significantly improve our behaviour and performance.

A study conducted by Harvard University on workplace behaviour, found that managers with high EQ outperformed those with higher IQ but lower EQ 70% of the time.

Another study found that amongst 33 other important workplace skills, Social and Emotional Intelligence is the strongest predictor of performance and behaviour, explaining a full 58% of success in all types of jobs.

People with high IQ may get a Nobel prize, but handling people, motivating them, and empathising with them necessitate tact and high degree of inter-personal relations. These are essential components of Social and Emotional Intelligence.

Social and Emotional Intelligence affects how we manage behaviour, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions to achieve positive results.

Developing our Social and Emotional Intelligence will enable us to master competencies within these four key areas that help us improve our behaviour:

1. Self Awareness – knowing our internal states, preferences, resources and intuitions. Having self awareness will empower us to recognise and understand the links between our feelings and what we think, say and do. It will also strengthen our self confidence and set healthy boundaries.

2. Self Management – managing our internal states, impulses and resources. Having these competencies can significantly reduce conflict and manage stress for ourselves and those around us by learning skills and strategies to manage our emotions.

3. Social Awareness – recognising and interpreting the nonverbal cues others are constantly using to communicate with us. These cues let us know how others are really feeling, how their emotional state is changing from moment to moment, and what’s truly important to them.

4.  Relationship Management – adeptness at inducing desirable responses in others. Having these competencies can significantly help us improve the environment at our workplace by learning to manage our relationships.

Building our Social and Emotional Intelligence can significantly help us improve our behaviour, manage our emotions, manage stress, turn intention into action and make informed decisions about the things that matter most to us.

Aristotle said it best:

“Anyone can get angry, but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way, that is not for everyone, nor is it easy.”

Having control over our behaviour and our emotions is a sure sign of maturity.

Getting rid of a bad behaviour, and replacing it with more beneficial behaviour, is a journey that must start with awareness.

People Builders have a team of highly skilled workplace behaviour and social + emotional intelligence trainers and coaches that can help you.

Contact Us today for a complimentary chat that will give you the clarity you need to get started on this important journey of change.

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