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Link Network Newsletter 2023 Series - Vol 2: Emotional Intelligence

05 September 2023

Link, DWF's early careers networking group, welcomes you to their summer 2023 newsletter. We hope you enjoy this month's edition which is packed full of blogs, interviews and educational content based around the theme emotional intelligence.

This month we feature blogs on why emotional intelligence is so important for career development, diversity and DISC personalities, why recieving complaints should make you happy, plus a 7 day cold plunge challenge to see whether ice baths really help with mood and motivation.

We put the spotlight on the Chief Operating Officer of DWF Group Plc - Matt Glenville in our 'Inspire Interview' feature where we hear from high achievers - what their professional journey has been like so far and their top tips, advice and inspirations. 

Also, look out for details of our next training programme session from The Career Development Lab with Zing365, plus recording links to the previous sessions.

As ever, we are always on the look out for guest authors/bloggers so please do get in touch if you would like to contribute to our next global Link newsletter.

Get in touch if you want to feature!

Why is Emotional Intelligence so important to career development

Why is Emotional Intelligence so important to career development

That’s the million-dollar question, right?! Before we can answer that question, it’s important to realise that EI is the start to self-discovery, and being aware of how you present yourself to the world, and how the world then interprets you. But we must remember that how the world interprets us, is in our control. 

To paint a picture to what I mean, think about the last time that you interacted with someone where the expected reaction wasn’t what you anticipated. Are you having trouble trying to remember? If you can’t think of that, then that may be a good sign. If the reactions that you are getting or expecting could indicate that you have high levels of emotional intelligence. If you can think of time, it’s not to say that you don’t have high levels of emotional intelligence, but I do want you to take a step back and think about why the reaction wasn’t what you wanted. Think about how you were feeling at the time. Did that feeling come out in your facial expressions and/or body language? If you can’t remember, let me ask you this question: how many times do you actively think about how you want to portray yourself during an interaction with another? One tip that I personally can advise you is to sit and plan your interactions and meetings with others; don’t go in blind. Not only what you’re going to say / outcome / goals, but think how you’re going to present that information. How do you want the other person to see you?

There are ways to help you improve your emotional intelligence, and if you’re interested in finding out more, of course, please view the recording of the recent webinar that I delivered (if you didn’t attend live). If you’re still wanting more, there are tips provided from Indeed and how it links to career success, to which you can read by viewing the content through this link.

At Zing365, we are able to provide an array of training solutions around this particular subject, whether that is an hour webinar or a full day course. One particular topic that I find very interesting and relevant to the steps of self-awareness (one of the five key domains of Emotional Intelligence) is the powerful psychometric tool of Insights Discovery. It’s a tool that is made based on the work done by Dr Carl Jung. If you’re interested in understanding more about Insights Discovery and how we can provide training solutions to help you, please get in touch with me through Matt@zing365.co.uk

Good luck on your journey of discovery, and I look forward to seeing you soon on the next webinar, 'Effective Negotiation' on 14 September.

Matt Owen-James, Zing365

“We need diversity of thought in the world to face the new challenges.” - DISC Personality Testing & Emotional Intelligence

“We need diversity of thought in the world to face the new challenges.” - DISC Personality Testing & Emotional Intelligence

Improving your emotional intelligence has many benefits but never is it more important than when you are wading the murky waters of team dynamics. We have all grumbled to ourselves at some point and wondered why a task cannot be done our way. We might think our way is the "right way" but that is not always the case. By embracing our differences and seeing things from another point of view we can discover new and exciting ways to complete a task and sometimes something new about ourselves. 

The first step to avoid conflict in a team is acknowledging that we are all different and we all have our own ways of working. By understanding that each individual is unique we can learn to embrace these differences building long lasting relationships on a foundation of trust and respect. Most of us will have heard of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson and how their dynamic relationship makes for an effective crime-solving duo - Holmes' methodical attention to detail complimented by Watson's empathy. These two perfectly combined opposites are what makes Sherlock Holmes' stories as popular as they are today. Although of course fictional characters, they demonstrate how potentially conflicting personalities can actually get the best out of each other.

One of the tools that we have available to help us with understanding ourselves and others is the DISC Personality test. This test looks at the type of thinker you are, Fast vs Methodical, and whether you are task focused or people focused. It is important to remember that although a very useful tool, we all have the ability to flex as the situation requires and the person we are at work may not be the same person we are at home.  

If you are the kind of person who likes to make fast decisions and is constantly on the move you could benefit from the calming influence of a more methodical thinker. They could nudge you out of your comfort zone, making you take a step back and look at the bigger picture. This could help you potentially avoid complications you might have over looked in your initial enthusiasm. Equally, a methodical thinker may need help making time sensitive and difficult decisions. 

Sarah Stewardson & Frances O'Connor

Inspire Interview with Matt Glenville

Inspire Interview with Matt Glenville
  1. What was your journey to becoming a Chief Operating Officer?
    1. Physics and Philosophy at university. Then working for my parents' vitamin and mineral health company. Then investment banking. Then COO for the company that rescued LIBOR and other financial benchmarks. Then COO and CTO for a financial clearing house. And now COO for DWF law. It's almost as if I didn't really have a plan …
  2. What is the best thing about your job?
    1. Trying to connect all the pieces of the business to create a great service or product for the customer. Getting everything joined up and delivering quickly and to high quality is super hard and almost no-one gets there, but if you get it right, no-one can compete with you.
  3. What was the biggest challenge you faced at the beginning of your career?
    1. Having to get things done and create change without any formal authority. I had to learn how to influence and persuade some really difficult people!
  4. Who is your biggest inspiration?
    1. Warren Buffet for a long time (integrity and rationality). Now Ed Catmull (CEO of pixar – the perfect example of what it really means to build great teams and lead without ego). (He's basically Ted Lasso).
  5. What is your biggest tip for staying on top of market trends and changes?
    1. Find a few trusted sources and then try to tune out the noise and see what's really going on.
  6. If you could go back in time to the start of your career and change one thing, what would it be?
    1. Just to trust the process more. Difficult decisions look easy in hindsight and I wish I'd done various things quicker – but it takes time to figure things out, and you normally don't have all the information (if you did, the decisions would be easy, not difficult).
  7. Where do you get your motivation from?
    1. Trying to do something with a great team that makes others say 'wow!'.
  8. What does success look like to you?
    1. Achieving no. 7
  9. What is your top tip to an aspiring Chief Operating Officer?
    1. Find ways to get expertise across the different functions of the business – different projects, different jobs, working closely with different departments.
  10. What's the best piece of advice you have ever received? 
    1. Success is good ideas plus great execution

Ice, Ice baby… How well do Ice Baths & Cold Plunging help with maintaining mood, focus and motivation?

Ice, Ice baby… How well do Ice Baths & Cold Plunging help with maintaining mood, focus and motivation?

If you've been scrolling through social media in the past year or so, you may have noticed the growing trend of cold plunges and ice baths - the Wim Hoff (the self-proclaimed 'ice man') method gracing your screen. I've dabbled with ice baths, cold plunges and wild swimming on and off over the past couple of years and for me, there's no denying that freezing your tush off in cold water does leave you with a buzz and rush of energy that lasts for a good few hours. 

I have ADHD, which means that I can struggle (amongst other things) with motivation, memory and productivity, so anything that boosts my mood, cognitive function and energy levels definitely perks my interest and is a winner in my eyes! Although I've dabbled in the past, thanks to the ADHD symptoms of difficulty establishing routines and being consistent, I haven't challenged myself (or let's face it, even remembered) to cold plunge every single day. So, I set myself the challenge of cold plunging every day for a week. 

Ice Bath Benefits

Before we get to how I got on… apart from social media clout, why exactly are people submerging themselves into icy water? In the short-term, cold plunges can increase levels of dopamine and endorphins, which can contribute to a feeling of euphoria and heightened mental clarity or focus right after. Dopamine is known as the “feel-good” hormone because of the key role it plays in regulating mood, the neurotransmitter that is involved in motivation and learning, feelings of pleasure and the regulation of attention. 

Another study found that immersion in cold water raised people’s blood levels of the neurotransmitters noradrenaline (by 530 percent) and dopamine (by 250 percent). People like me with ADHD have a gene that makes it difficult for neurons to respond to dopamine. Although people with ADHD have a 'dopamine deficit' increasing dopamine levels can benefit everyone. 

Some research suggests that noradrenaline helps counter anxiety and depression, and dopamine plays a key role in feelings of motivation and reward. Other research indicates that higher levels of noradrenaline could reduce inflammation. Other benefits of cold plunging include: improved sleep, reduced stress, help remedying aches and pains, boosting injury recovery, reducing swelling, lymphatic drainage promotion, regulating hormones and accelerating metabolism. 

Cold Plunge Diary

  • Day 1 – I decided to start off strong (and wholesome) and opted to meet a friend for a dip in Hampstead Swimming ponds, followed by a sunbathe on the heath). This was definitely a fun way to ease myself into challenge week as the ponds were a balmy 15 degrees. The swim was exhilarating, boosted my mood, and set me up for the week ahead.
  • Days 2-6 Not as snazzy as the swimming ponds, most of my week I ran an icy cold bath at home that took my breath away each time. Even on days when I really didn't want to do it or I felt particularly lethargic or sluggish, the effects were awesome – I was way more productive, motivated and in a great mood that lasted for hours!
  • Day 7 - This morning I was working from my fiances work as we had house viewings scheduled. I had a morning full of back to back teams meetings and I didn't fancy them being interrupted with streams of hopeful renters. My partner is a manager of a woodland so the office is snazzy log cabin vibe (a far cry from my usual haunt, DWF's ultra-modern London digs in the Walkie Talkie building). To my disappointment, there wasn't an option for wild swimming here, unless I fancied a dunk in the pond, but I wasn't feeling picking duck weed out of my hair all morning (and I dread to think what else!) So I opted for a stroll amongst the pine trees in the rain (major Twilight vibes) before having an icy cold shower at the office. I felt fab afterwards! Maybe because it was a Friday, or being surrounded by nature… but I like to think perhaps it was the 7 days worth of higher dopamine and noradrenaline coursing through my veins/transmitters!

Conclusion - Fad or fab?

F-A-B! In conclusion, I felt GREAT after the challenge and now having a cold bath or shower is part of my morning routine every day. Like forcing yourself to do a HIIT class, choose the healthy food option or taking a break from work and going for a walk in nature… it can feel like a lot of effort to take the plunge (pardon the pun) but you *always* feel so much better afterwards. Viva la cold plunge!

If you want to start cold plunging, read about it from the horse's mouth - the cold plunge king Wim Hoff here. 

Georgina Conner

Embrace the Complaints: Why Receiving Complaints Should Make You Happy!

Embrace the Complaints: Why Receiving Complaints Should Make You Happy!

Complaints – just the word itself can send a shiver down our spines. We often associate them with negativity, conflict, and discontent. However, what if I told you that receiving complaints can actually be a cause for celebration? In this blog post, we're going to turn the tables and explore why people should be delighted to receive complaints. So buckle up and get ready to embrace the world of complaints with a smile!

1. Feedback is a Gift:

Complaints are not mere grumbles; they are valuable feedback in disguise. Think about it - when someone takes the time to voice their concerns, they are providing you with a golden opportunity to improve. Complaints shed light on areas that need attention and highlight areas where you can enhance your products, services, or processes. So, instead of dreading complaints, cherish them as valuable gifts that help you grow and evolve.

2. Build Stronger Relationships:

Receiving complaints shows that people trust you enough to share their grievances. It means they believe you are approachable and open to resolving issues. This trust is a foundation for building stronger relationships with your clients, colleagues, or even friends and family. By actively listening to complaints and taking steps to address them, you demonstrate your commitment to their satisfaction and well-being. Embrace complaints as opportunities to deepen connections and foster trust.

3. Continuous Improvement:

Complacency can be the enemy of progress. When everything appears to be going smoothly, it's easy to overlook potential areas for improvement. Complaints act as wake-up calls, shaking you out of complacency and prompting you to re-evaluate your processes or offerings. By embracing complaints, you create an environment that values continuous improvement, innovation, and learning. So, welcome those complaints with open arms and let them drive your quest for excellence.

4. Stay One Step Ahead:

Complaints can be early warning signs of larger issues brewing beneath the surface. By actively seeking and welcoming complaints, you can identify problems before they escalate into full-blown crises. This proactive approach allows you to stay one step ahead, making necessary adjustments and preventing future complaints. Think of complaints as your secret weapon for maintaining a well-oiled machine and avoiding potential pitfalls.

5. Turn Lemons into Lemonade:y

Complaints often come with a negative connotation, but they offer a golden opportunity to turn a negative experience into a positive one. By handling complaints with empathy, professionalism, and a genuine desire to resolve the issue, you can transform dissatisfied individuals into loyal advocates. When you listen, understand, and take appropriate action, you not only salvage relationships but also create positive word-of-mouth. So, seize the chance to make lemonade out of those sour complaints!

Complaints may not be everyone's cup of tea, but they are worth celebrating. They provide valuable feedback, help build stronger relationships, drive continuous improvement, keep you one step ahead, and offer opportunities to turn negatives into positives. So, the next time a complaint lands on your doorstep, put on your happy face and embrace it with open arms. Remember, by welcoming complaints, you are fostering growth, cultivating trust, and setting yourself up for success.

Aaron Chapman


Further Reading