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What’s Your E.Q.?

Your role as the head of your shop is to lead, guide and set the tone for your team – especially now.

Running a successful auto repair business requires a lot of skill and talent. Leadership, accounting, inventory management, sales and communication skills are just a few.

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I’ve worked with a lot of shop owners and might say that those who reach the best level of performance are the owners who have the highest E.Q. – also known as “emotional intelligence.” A high E.Q. is an attribute that sets these owners apart from their peers.

Emotional intelligence is defined by four attributes:

  1. Self-awareness – You understand your emotions and can see how they affect how you think and behave. You know what your strengths and weaknesses are and have a high degree of self-confidence.
  2. Social awareness – You are empathetic and have an understanding of others’ emotions. You are aware of the emotional cues of those around you. You are comfortable in a social setting and see the power of working in a group.
  3. Relationship management – Good relationships and communication are important. You know how to clearly communicate and inspire others in a team atmosphere, and you manage conflict effectively.
  4. Self-management – You take initiative, you’re committed to your obligations and you’re able to control your feelings. You won’t let emotions take control, and you adapt to changing circumstances with ease.

When you’re in the midst of the challenges and uncertain business environment caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the pressure can seem unbearable. This is where leaning into the first component of your E.Q. – self-management – becomes so important.

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Self-management is your ability to control your emotions, and this is important given the impact that negative emotions can have on your employees. There’s a real phenomenon that psychologists call emotional transference. This is where your positive and negative emotions can be felt by and replicated by everyone around you – such as your customers, vendors and, more importantly, your staff. A bad mood is as infectious as a virus, suggests Gary Lewandowski Jr., associate professor of psychology at Monmouth University.

Your shop is taking extreme measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. It is imperative that you have the same sense of urgency to prevent negative emotions from growing roots and doing severe damage to your organization.

Your role is to lead, guide and set the tone for your team, especially now. The last thing you’ll want to do is send a message of uncertainty, panic or that you lack direction. Your primary role right now is to demonstrate a quiet calm and a feeling that you have things under control.

Keeping your emotions in check will drive you forward and prevent a downward trajectory due to the emotional transference of negativity.

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