Thank you for joining Episode 4 of our Season 2 of the Reboot Program. Going back to work will present different challenges, but will also bring opportunities on how we can survive and recover during this time. In this episode, Gabe Baradi talks about the fourth step to Self-Leadership.
Because of this pandemic, we are all experiencing individual challenges as well as shared concerns. Our reactions to this crisis are unique and personal, with no two people feeling the exact emotions. As we prepare to return to work, everyone will be bringing their fears and worries. We need to be sensitive to how our colleagues and customers are feeling. Being aware of others’ emotions allows us to communicate more effectively with them. We can find win-win solutions when we are socially aware of others.
Social awareness is the ability to understand other people’s emotions by emphatizing with their perspective. Various studies have shown that awareness of others builds engagement with employees and customers. Studies also show that engaged employees have more commitment, perform better, delight customers, and increase the value of the company. When our customers are engaged, they choose to come back to our stores, and become advocates of our brand.
Here’s how we can develop the skill of social awareness:
- Start with being aware of your own emotions. In episode 1 of season 2, we talked about self-awareness. Knowing what your emotions and triggers are allows you to understand yourself. Understanding yourself first helps you understand other people’s emotions. Appreciating your own strengths and weaknesses gives you the humility to accept that you are not perfect, and neither are other people. Being patient with yourself allows you to be patient with others.
- Understand that everyone has their own needs and struggles. Like we discussed in previous episodes, our service industry is based on empathy. We cannot serve our customers well or work with our colleagues effectively if we do not care about their welfare. We need to consider the challenges that this pandemic has added to our daily lives. When we realize that other people are also experiencing hardships like us, we can find more patience within as we deal with people especially those who are being difficult. Your colleague may have problems at home. Your customers could be worried about their own safety. Knowing that we all share common challenges makes us appreciate the different points of view of the people around us. People are not their emotions, their emotions usually come from their fears and anxieties. Your growth mindset sees the potential for people to be better and act better than they usually do.
- Accept that people are resistant to change or improvement. We often hear the saying that “the only person you can truly change is yourself.” It is possible to inform, inspire, motivate, and instruct other people on how to act or behave. But we cannot force other people to act the way we want them to act just for our benefit. While people are resistant to change, they can choose to change when they see the benefits are better than the status quo. The more they see us acting with the growth mindset and the benefits that this brings us, the more they will be moved to improve themselves. Use your Giver mindset to help people along their own journeys to the Growth mindset.
- Adapt your behavior to relate better with others. We all have different personalities and needs. The more we interact with people in our daily lives, the more we experience the variety of peoples’ emotions, motivations, and communication styles. The more you know about other people, the more that you can approach them in the manner that they prefer.
Our service industry requires people who can deal with other people effectively. Learning how to adapt your own behavior to the personality of the person you are dealing with allows you to build effective relationships with them. Your colleagues and customers will appreciate dealing with a person who knows how to talk to them.
As we practice the skill of social awareness, we learn to deal with people better. This sets us up to be effective leaders of both our peers and our customers, which we will talk about soon.
See you in our next episode.
We would like to end this episode with a few questions to help you practice what Gabe shared with us:
- How do you feel about returning to work? Take this time to reflect on your emotions. It helps us mentally and emotionally when we are able to be honest with ourselves about how we feel about our situation.
- Is there anyone in your team who is triggering your emotions towards negativity? People are not their emotions, but many do not know how to cope with the fears and stress in their lives.
- Instead of keeping negative feelings towards this co-worker, challenge yourself to reach out and get to know their story. When we understand another person’s hardship, we begin to see their triggers which lead to the behaviors we observe, which in turn, trigger us.
- Were there changes in our work that were difficult for us to accept? Reflect on what is making you feel this way, is it because we do not like it when our routines get changed? If you are able to admit this to yourself, you are practicing Humility. After the lockdown, there will be many more changes we need to adapt to. To help us practice social awareness, it's best to get more information on why these changes were necessary. When we understand different points of view, we can be more supportive and promote teamwork, which is what will help us all survive this crisis.
Practicing Social Awareness cannot happen effectively without Self-Awareness, if we want to grow in our mindset and become self-leaders, we must make the decision to practice these skills each day.
Be patient and be kind to yourself while on this journey.
If you have questions about this episode, please visit the Reboot website and send me a message. Thank you for joining.