Emotional Intelligence by ‘Cracky the Coaching Cockatoo’

Hi everyone, my name’s Cracky. Cracky the Coaching Cockatoo 🕊️

In a very short timeframe, I’ve managed to train my human, @Simon Smith  to trust me, feed me snacks and become my friend.

I tap on the window and sit there looking super-cute until Simon stops what he’s doing and gives me a delicious nut or 3 😊

He thinks he’s the boss and that he’s trained me…I let him think that, because it makes him feel good, but the reality is it’s the other way round! [that, my human friends, is Managing Up in action 😉].

In this and following articles I’m going to share some Emotional Intelligence tips with you on how I’ve managed to engage my human, Simon. I hope you can apply the knowledge to the humans you work with – your team, your reports, your manager, your stakeholders – and better engage and lead them.

Hopefully, as we work together, you’ll become an even better leader, build better relationships, build more trust and engagement, and ultimately build a better working environment for you and the people around you – and maybe they’ll feed you snacks too, like I’ve engaged Simon to do 😂🕊️

My trained human, Simon, sits next to the window and doesn’t always notice me when he’s focused on his work. This used to annoy me a bit, but by sitting patiently I’ve learned a lot observing him over his shoulder as he works on his – I think you humans call it a ‘laptop’ – and second screen.

I’ve sat and listened and read a fair bit, and I’ve picked up lot of very practical tips on how to engage humans through this strange thing called Emotional Intelligence, or EQ as its apparently known, made up of these 10 interesting EQ competency scales🪽

And yes, it really is true – Emotional Intelligence can actually be learned! And at any age. I’m older than you think, and I’ve learned to do it well enough to really engage Simon, build a better, more trusting relationship so now he even lets me into his office and I get even more attention and snacks! Gotta be happy with that! 😁

Also, my productivity has gone through the roof! Because I get Simon to do the hard work finding me snacks, I now have more time to myself to spend on my strategic thinking 🤔 (I have several Cunning Plans I’d like to work on🤫). Plus, I’m sure it will also help me get promoted in the flock!

I’m also keen to develop the culture in the flock so we can work better together and be more engaged as a group – and stop the petty gossip and squabbling over which cockatoo is on lookout duty each shift!

The one thing that’s taught me the most about EQ is a thing Simon seems to like a lot, called the ECR360. It’s a 360-degree Emotional Intelligence assessment tool where you take 15-20 minutes to answer questions on what you think your EQ is like, then you get your manager and senior people you work for to take 15-20 minutes to answer the same questions about you, as well as your team-mates/peers, your team who report to you and, if it’s useful, a bunch of other stakeholders.

Once you’ve done that, you then get a really practical, easy to understand report that highlights your strengths and development areas across the 10 key Emotional Intelligence competencies above ☝️🕊️.

The ECR360 is particularly good as you can understand it almost at a glance – not like some of the complicated 360s I’ve seen that even I, a super-smart Cockatoo, struggle to decipher!

Another great thing that I like is that the ECR360 breaks down what the perception of your EQ is for each of the group of people who gave you their thinking (your ‘raters’, Simon calls them).

That way, you can see, for example, what your manager thinks of your EQ compared to how you think you come across.

For example, Simon thinks he’s got great EQ, but if I rated him (as his boss 😂) I’d say he’s not that crash hot as he doesn’t always get me and what I’m trying to say, and sometimes even turns his back to me & walks away! Pah, humans! 🕊️🤦‍♂️.

You also get to understand how your peers in the flock, and others in the pecking order perceive you, like your reports and even other stakeholders. That’s great as you can understand what you do well, and also what you need to develop to become a better you and a better leader. 🕊️🕊️🕊️🕊️🕊️ And get promoted…oooh, did I say that out loud again…?

There’s another brilliant thing the ECR360 does, that’s helped me learn a lot – I’m a super smart Cockatoo, yes, but I recognise even I don’t know everything (unlike Simon’s 13-year-old son, who I nickname Google because he thinks he knows it all – Pah, humans🤦‍♂️).

What I particularly like about the ECR360 is that it gives you lots of pragmatic, real-world coaching tips that you can work through with your coach to help you understand and further develop your strengths and give you insights into areas you need to develop, learn, and grow.

I’ve learnt a lot just from reading these coaching tips over Simon’s shoulder, and I’m living, flying proof these coaching tips work – I’ve applied some of these coaching tips with Simon and his Operations Manager, Kat (who seems to work a lot harder than him, btw!), and I get snacks from both of them now 😁

Oh, one thing I need to mention – reading the coaching tips is great, but things happen SO much faster and more effectively if you get 1:1 follow up supporting Coaching.

It’s been really helpful for me – Simon’s coached me through a few behaviours that I thought were ok, but clearly weren’t (like chewing the window frame!) as I didn’t get fed or invited in when I behaved that way. I thought these things were all a-ok in my Cockatoo world, but it seems you have to change things a bit to engage people sometimes. I guess that’s the same for you humans too. Especially if you want to get promoted…dang, did I say that out loud again 🤦‍♂️🪽

I’ve heard Simon and his team say they don’t like doing any 360 assessments without follow on 1:1 Coaching. I agree with this, as I’ve needed a bit of a helping nudge (or 3!) at times, and I’ve often needed some support – Simon’s talked me through a few challenges when I’ve occasionally felt a bit lost or down about things.

So, if you’re a leader (at any level, from an aspiring or new leader to a seasoned Executive) who wants to get the most out of the humans around you, like I have with my humans, take some advice from your friendly ‘Cracky the Coaching Cockatoo’: 🕊️

Get in touch with Simon, Kat and the team at Southern Cross Coaching & Development and get yourself and also your flock (sorry, your human team!) an ECR360!

Flaps and squawks from your friendly

‘Cracky the Coaching Cockatoo’

If you’re interested in our ECR360 and supporting coaching programs, get in touch here