I have been working a long time toward promoting cooperation in the construction industry (and others). I will soon offer some packages along these lines. I believe passionately in the importance of improving “people skills”, such as good listening, working at open communication, paying attention to others, being committed to offering the best of yourself, and so on.
There are different ways to get there. Some people have wonderful natural abilities along these lines, and they can help educate and inspire everyone else. Most people, though, I believe, can use some help to improve their human relations. One direction of such help is getting a better knowledge of yourself, which is a good thing! As you know yourself better, the nature of others becomes clearer. And sometimes the reverse is true. You have insight into someone else which flashes off a light bulb about yourself.
Yet knowing yourself better is key to getting along with others and improving your own effectiveness. This self knowledge can come in different ways; through inner search, through spiritual practices, through powerful assessment instruments, just to give a few examples, and through a combination of all of the above and more.
Emotional Intelligence is a term that has become popular to describe these competencies of how effectively you know yourself and others, how you treat yourself and others, how well you work with others. There is a variety of in-depth programs developed for assessing emotional intelligence. I will put in a plug for one that I have been certified in working with, called the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory. This is a powerful and very insightful inventory that Reuven Bar-On spent years developing and testing.
Now another plug. The guy who got me interested in emotional intelligence is a fellow named Brent Darnell in Atlanta. One of the main things he does is work with people in commercial construction management using the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory as a starting point for broader self awareness and improving daily work harmony. He reviews the personal inventory with each person, and then together they create a plan for strengthening the areas that the person wants to strengthen.
Brent has had some great successes working in this manner, with results that often go far beyond the individuals’ construction lives. He also has a very good little book called The People Profit Connection. To sum up the book in one sentence, if Brent will forgive me, he says that taking care of people is good and rewarding in itself, AND it helps increase profits. You can check him out further at www.brentdarnell.com.
In a way Brent and I kind of compete with each other, but more importantly we support each other. There is no copyright on the good sense of conscious cooperation and paying attention to our basic makeup and needs as human beings. In the long run this helps all of us.