“Engage your emotions at work. Your instincts and emotions are there to help you”. –Richard Branson
Neuro Emotional Coaching® helps us to transform our negative emotional reactions and makes space for behaviors that favor a thoughtful rational approach to business. If you are angry – breathe, figure out what is causing the anger, react in a manner that will lead to a positive solution. Use your Emotional Intelligence – that perfect blend of perceiving, understanding and reacting upon what is going on around you in a constructive manner.
In making hiring decisions, we have to be aware that our first impressions of a person occur within eight seconds of meeting them. With that knowledge, we have to be prepared to let go of that initial reptilian reaction and replace it with thoughtful analysis. We ask:
• Am I reacting this way because of something in my past that triggers a negative response based on a past experience?
• Am I judging based on clothing or race?
• Am I making assumptions about the person before I know him?
• Do I feel an affinity and immediate attachment to this person because she reminds me of someone else?
Once we go through these steps to uncover our emotional reactions, we go on to the rational interview process and ask questions such as:
• Can the person do the job?
• Why does the person want the job?
• Will he or she fit into the corporate culture?
• Are his qualifications commensurate with what we are looking for?
• Are her benefit demands ones we can or want to meet?
I do a lot of hiring on behalf of my clients and coach many executives on how to conduct a meaningful interview with a positive result. I also coach many people how do to do well in an interview. So, I do see both sides of the coin.
Usually, when the interviewer analyzes why he or she is reacting a certain way and removes internal biases, replacing them with a “real” skills and behavioral analysis, s/he ends up with a great new employee. Take for example, the newest hire at a steel manufacturing and fittings company. The CEO needed a high level manager, someone to run the business. At first, she found fault with everyone who she interviewed. And, bear in mind she interviewed these people at considerable expense because the specialized nature of the position require that she look throughout the country. In the coaching session, we asked why she found everyone to be lacking, even those with impeccable records and a good attitude. The answer wasn’t hard to find. She inherited the company from her father, whom she adored and admired. None of those she interviewed had her father’s traits, either physical or, as far as she could tell, mentally. So, they were automatically lacking in her estimation. Once she was able, through NEC, to neutralize this bias, she was far more open to those she interviewed. This occurred three years ago and the company, under the leadership of the new senior vice president of business management, had shown a considerable increased profit, even in a difficult economy.
That said, I don’t suggest that you let go of your instincts completely. In fact, a business person I admire greatly, Richard Branson, has this to say about hiring:
The first thing to look for when searching for a great employee is somebody with a personality that fits with your company culture. Personality … is not something that always comes out in interview …. But you have to trust your judgment. If you have got a slightly introverted person with a great personality, use your experience to pull it out of them. It is easier with an extrovert, but be wary of people becoming overexcited in the pressure of interviews.
It’s all about finding and hiring people smarter than you. Getting them to join your business. And giving them good work. Then getting out of their way. And trusting them. You have to get out of the way so YOU can focus on the bigger vision. That’s important. And here’s the main thing….you must make them see their work as a MISSION.
Let me give you an example of how hiring instinct works as well. My colleague was starting a new business and, as yet, had no employees and wasn’t even at the point where he had started to think about hiring anyone. Yet, a friend of his mother’s asked if he could employ her granddaughter Carol who had just started college but was too home sick to stay there. What would you do faced with such a request? An 18-year old college dropout, a business that hadn’t yet opened its doors and wasn’t making any money, imperfect knowledge of how the business would do once it opened? He hired her in a giant leap of faith, based on instinct. In many ways, he admits, it was a case of the blind leading the blind! But, hiring the 18 year old was the best thing that my colleague ever did. Their skills complemented one another and they worked really well together; clients adored her. Other employees came and went but Carol stayed until, at age 24, she married and moved far from home. Under my friend’s guidance, Carol grew into a capable young woman with a career in the same industry as the business she worked in. Instinctively, my friend knew that the personality would work and it did. Carol was smart and shared the business vision and mission.
When hiring, you have to allow both your rational mind and your instinct work together. Use NEC to register the legitimacy of your initial reaction. Go through the thoughtful skills and benefits analysis in the interview process. Then, armed with all of the information and tools, it’s not a bad idea to let your instincts be your guide