After six years of running The Junto Institute, there is no doubt in my mind: growing our emotional intelligence makes us better people and makes the people around us better.
So, at least to us at Junto, perhaps the greatest service one of our participants or graduates can do is bring emotional intelligence (EI) to their company and co-workers. While our Apprenticeship Program strongly encourages team attendance at sessions, it's impossible for any company to bring everyone. Therefore, it behooves them to extend their learning into their company.
While much of the "hard skills" training may not be applicable (cash flow management, building a sales team, etc.), all of the "soft skills" training in emotional intelligence is. And while we have occasionally been asked to help with extending those skill sets into the organization, it's best done by the leadership team.
That has been happening since day one but seems to have accelerated in the past year, with four unique case studies:
- Since they graduated from the program five years ago, Spikeball (J2) has been asking EI-related interview questions of job candidates. They list certain attributes they're looking for in applicants on their careers page. And we learned last year that new team members spend an entire day learning about emotional intelligence during their on-boarding process.
- Last year, Red Caffeine (J4) enrolled two managers in our EI Master Class. Furthermore, they began addressing EI competencies during performance reviews, and are now taking that one step further. They're building emotional intelligence into their full performance management process and have asked for our help in designing a certification structure for learning and applying EI skills.
- A few months ago, I learned from the CEO of ReviewTrackers (J4) that he is sharing the EI skills he learned in his Leadership Forum - such as becoming a better listener and confronting conflict - with his entire team, and that they're practicing them together.
- Finally, in a similar way, Arrow Payments (J4) has asked us to come in on a monthly basis this year to help their entire team learn those skills and to hold them accountable.
Obviously, this is exciting to us and very inspiring. Each one is an example of the company's leadership building an emotionally intelligent team, one that is improving their self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.
In other words, they're helping their team members become better co-workers, salespeople, designers, customer support professionals, and so on. And better team members make a better company.