Joanne Magana, national coordinator and director of business education for ESON, the Eufora...

Joanne Magana, national coordinator and director of business education for ESON, the Eufora Salon Owners Network, offers an exercise for boosting your Emotional Intelligence or EQ.

Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, is your ability to recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others.  

EQ is so critical to success that it accounts for 58 percent of performance in all types of jobs, and it is the single biggest predictor of performance in the workplace and the strongest driver of leadership and personal excellence.

For Joanne Magana, who serves as the national coordinator and director of business education for the Eufora Salon Owners Network, EQ has been the focus of ESON’s education this past quarter and she believes it’s critical to hiring, teamwork and leadership.

“A little effort spent on increasing your EQ tends to have a wide-ranging, positive impact on your life,” she says. 

To help owners strengthen their EQ, Magana walks them through the Compass Points exercise she says can be replicated with the team during a staff meeting or retreat:

Preparation: Be sure to have enough newsprint-size paper and markers for four different teams. Create four signs with the headings North, South, East and West on top. Under each ‘direction’ write the traits associated with each, as follows:

  • North: Acting—“Let’s do it;” Likes to act, try things, plunge in.
  • East: Speculating—Likes to look at the big picture and the possibilities before acting.
  • South: Caring—likes to know that everyone’s feelings have been taken into consideration and their voices have been heard before acting.
  • West: Paying attention to detail—like to know the who, what, when, where and why before acting. Before you begin, post the signs on the four different walls of the room. 

The Activity: To start, draw everyone’s attention to the four compass points posted around the room. Ask team members to read each one and then select the one ‘direction’ that most accurately captures how they work with others on teams and stand under the sign. Once everyone has selected, ask participants to observe who has ended up with which groups. “There may be some A-Ha moments,” Magana says. 

Get Organized: Ask each directional team to select individuals for the following roles. The Recorder records the responses of the group. The Timekeeper keeps the group members on task. The Spokesperson share out on behalf of the group when time is called. 

Dialogue: Give each group 5-8 minutes to discuss and respond to the following questions: 

  • 1. What are the strengths of your style? (3-4 adjectives)
  • 2. What are the limitations of your style? (3-4 adjectives)
  • 3. What style do you find most difficult to work with and why?
  • 4. What do people from other “directions” or styles need to know about you so you can work together effectively?
  • 5. What’s one thing you value about each of the other three styles?

 Provide at least 2 minutes at the end of the activity for all participants to share key takeaways.

Results:  “The activity increases our awareness of our own and others’ preferences and brings increases awareness that opens the door to empathy,” Magana says. “A diversity of preference is what makes for better team work and results.” 

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