Engineering Emotional Intelligence...?
That might seem like an odd strapline. You'd be surprised at what I found from the survey just completed, though, on Operational Impacts of Behaviour in the Industrial Workplace. 54% of the companies I surveyed were in Engineering, the rest were in the Manufacturing sector. If you participated you may already have your copy of the Report - I'm sending them out this week.
One of the things I observed, which wasn't in the questionnaire, was the level of empathy demonstrated by the people being met, who were in directorship or upper management - some were CEOs. It was as if a conflict had arisen within them, one of discomfort at the situation as it stands battling with knowing that trad approaches don't work, and we're not going to get a different result by doing the same things.
Because of this, the topic was sometimes difficult to assimilate. I wasn't there to sell anything, I was there to ask some questions. Not being the time at the time to be talking solutions, I thought you'd like to know that if you feel like this, conflicted and unsure, you're not alone. The industrial world is a very different place to the one I had to leave behind ten years ago, and believe me, it's encouraging to see. Because although there is this sense of confusion, there's also an element of genuine caring that was notable by its absence when everyone was jumping up and down about black belts and how lean you could possibly be.
I'm heartened by this emerging new growth of emotional intelligence, and you can afford to be, too. You really can create a Continuous Improvement policy with cultural welfare at its heart, and make it sustainable. You can't do that with a process-led system that keeps self-perception out of the equation, though.
Check out what I do, if you're thinking this one through.