There are two ways to beat the cruelty of the environment and survival of the fittest: We become stronger or smarter. We as human beings chose the latter. We as a species are too weak to take over a planet by brute force so adding neurons to the brain is more powerful than adding muscle to our bodies.
Out of survival we as human beings had to develop powerful strategies to survive in a harsh cruel environment so we developed relationships and cooperation. Trying to fight off a wooly mammoth alone was like Bambi fighting Godzilla. However, fighting a wooly mammoth with many allies with cooperation, rapport and teamwork and the task doesn’t seem so impossible. We could outsmart the large overpowering animal like compelling it to tumble over a cliff.
This wonderful cooping strategy allowed for us to have shared goals and to develop cooperation. It was important to understand the needs, interest and motivations of our allies. You scratch my back and I will scratch yours.
This developed into what is called Theory of Mind; the ability to peer inside somebody’s mental and emotional life and make predictions. This takes tremendous amounts of intelligence and brain activity. This requires someone like a leader of an organization, a coach, teacher or a parent to be IN TUNE with their employees, clients or children. This can only come about by developing meaningful and deep relationships with others. Our ability to learn and perform is rooted in the relationships. The stronger the relationship the better others performance becomes.
A healthy emotional environment is the #1 indicator of whether an employee, athlete, student or child will succeed and perform at high levels. There is countless empirical data to support this statement. The quality of performance most often depends on the relationship between the leader and their people.
Daniel Goleman, best-selling author, PhD, Harvard University, “Found that while the qualities traditionally associated with leadership—such as intelligence, toughness, determination, and vision—are required for success, they are insufficient. Truly effective leaders are also distinguished by a high degree of emotional intelligence, which includes self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. These qualities may sound “soft” and unbusinesslike, but Goleman found direct ties between emotional intelligence and measurable business results. Business success depends on the relationship between employee and boss. As stated in a past publication, the number #1 indicator of success is the emotional stability of the home. The same can be said for the classroom, a corporate office or any organization. Where people feel safe, loved, respected and free from judgment they will thrive. If the environment is one of rigidness, stress and judgment the brain becomes stressed. Learning and performance is now secondary and the brain goes into survival mode. If someone feels misunderstood because of a leaders inability to connect, then others will not want to follow their lead. Without this emotional connection and rapport, the necessary knowledge to perform well, will not be richly encoded in the brain’s database. Bottom line relationships do not just matter but are absolutely essential to high performance! Can performance be as simple as developing better relationships with others? You bet and it is truly is The Super Glue Effect of Leadership for learning and performance!
Chad Myers, President and Co-founder. M. Ed. B.S. Ed. PCC