EQ SUCCESS STORIES
Two years ago, John Gardner, Systems Engineering Manager at Medrad, a medical devices company, was recognized as someone with a high degree of technical skills and an ability to “get things done.”
But at what cost?
According to John, “Although senior management liked that I got things done, they were frustrated with my methods of dealing with people. Essentially, management was saying, “John, we love you, but we want to shoot you!”
John focused only on the outcomes of the work, believing that task completion was much more important than people’s feelings. “On the one hand, I was receiving performance reviews at the top of the performer range. Then I got a letter saying that if I didn’t change my style, I might be fired.” John couldn’t believe that he was being knocked for his interpersonal style when he was delivering such amazing results!
Because the company valued John’s skills, they offered him the opportunity to participate in an Emotional Intelligence training and coaching program from the Institute for Health and Human Potential (IHHP). “At first,” John said, “I thought I would sit through the program to appease management and get my attendance checked off. Quite frankly, I saw emotional intelligence as a waste of time.”
After going through the program and follow-up coaching, John now sees Emotional Intelligence as a critical competence he was missing. “I now realize that I was operating with only half of what I needed to be successful — similar to rowing a boat with only one oar.” This became truer as he rose in the ranks at the company. As an engineer he felt he could get away without EQ skills … but not once he became a leader.
The Emotional Intelligence training and coaching that John participated in made him more aware of his impact on others and identified some “gaps” he needed to address. “The training really opened my eyes to things like the importance of learning to react more skillfully when I’m frustrated. I was unaware I had a problem with empathy until I got my 360 feedback in the program.”
After the two days of training, John received the next component of the program EQ coaching from a qualified IHHP coach. John describes the process, “The coach helped me understand how to apply the techniques in my life – both in business and at home. At first I wasn’t sure what to do, but with the guidance of the coach, I began to manage my emotions better and become more empathetic to others. As I worked through the exercises and learned to apply the techniques, I discovered that empathy went from being a tool I could use to a natural way of life for me.”
These new EQ skills had a big impact for John, at work and at home. At work, he began to make big changes in relationships that were previously challenging. “It was amazing; I was able to turn around relationships that were almost adversarial to the point where these people are now close allies at the company.”
Recent results in his career are impressive:
- In his last performance review, John received the highest review possible. Management indicated that they now consider his emotional skills to be one of his strongest assets even more so than his technical skills!
- John laughs. “They’ve even asked me to help in sales and marketing because of my ‘people skills.’ The joke used to be, ‘Don’t let John near the customers!’ Now they put me in key roles.”
- John is now mentoring three people and there are several more individuals waiting to be mentored by him. People consistently ask John to teach them how to deal with others, and as a result John has evolved into an EQ coach to others in the company!
Although he has received raises and promotions since participating in IHHP’s Emotional Intelligence training and coaching, John is now motivated by the kind of feedback he gets. “Peers, management and direct reports now see me as a leader – not just for my technical skills and “get it done” ability, but also for my skills in motivating people, resolving conflict and mentoring others. Those are the results that really inspire me.”
“Emotional Intelligence not only allows me to be a better leader in business; it also improves my relationships at home. I am able to listen better to my wife, to understand her feelings more and to be there for her on a deeper emotional level. This impacts her, and thus our relationship, very positively.”
And story gets even better. Improving EQ skills has even allowed John to be a better coach – on the soccer field. “The kids on the soccer team, including my son, have all said they’re really glad I’m coaching. They say that other coaches just yell at them and tell them what to do. That’s how I was before. It feels great to have all the boys telling my son that I’m a great coach. That’s the best reward of all!”
John has some advice for anyone interested in developing their Emotional Intelligence and achieving the kind of business and personal success he has. “First, you must be open to the idea that you have some ‘gaps’ — some things you could do better. Then you have to invest serious time and effort. It wasn’t easy to learn to manage my emotions and become more empathetic. Finally, get yourself a coach, they offer support, accountability and they can be trusted to help you work through the challenges you face – both personally and professionally.”
Real People – Case Study – Customer Highlights
Industry: Medical Imaging
Business results: MEDRAD products are sold to hospitals and medical imaging centers in over 85 countries. Annual sales are approximately $300 million. Medrad employs more than 1,300 people based in 15 locations around the world.
Medrad Values: MEDRAD performance is a result of an unrelenting commitment to improving healthcare, to upholding standards of excellence, and to responsible activities for the benefit of our customers, shareholders, employees, and communities. These values are expressed through our culture and philosophy, as well as our ethical and corporate responsibility policies.
Offices: MEDRAD is headquartered in Indianola, Pennsylvania, 15 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. The major location of 285,000-sq. ft. includes all headquarters, administration functions, and enterprise production units. MEDRAD is a global company. The European headquarters office is located in Maastricht, The Netherlands, and additional international offices are located in France, Germany, Italy, UK, Brazil, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Singapore, Egypt, Mexico, and Australia.
Bill Benjamin is the CEO of IHHP, contributing to its status as a world leader in the exciting field of Emotional Intelligence. Bill is a seasoned business executive with over 14 years of experience and is responsible for the sales, marketing, financial and business development areas of IHHP.
Bill is also a highly acclaimed and award winning keynote speaker. His passion and enthusiasm for Emotional Intelligence and its impact on performance leave audiences inspired and wanting to hear more.
Prior to starting IHHP Inc., Bill was Vice President of a large computer software firm, leading the sales, consulting, and marketing divisions. He was also responsible for customer relations and helped the company build a large and successful business partner network.
One of Bill's passions is coaching and mentoring others. He is highly sought after as an executive coach for Fortune 500 companies, whose senior leaders look to him to help them understand how to apply Emotional Intelligence to improve their leadership skills and get to the next level in their careers.
Bill has a degree in Mathematics with a major in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo in Canada. In addition to leveraging his background in sales to motivate and inspire more extroverted groups (e.g. sales and marketing), Bill's degree in Mathematics and technical background give him credibility and shared experience when he is speaking to groups that are more analytical in nature (Financial, IT, engineering, etc).