Oasis Solutions had the distinct pleasure of participating in the 2018 ITA Fall Collaborative in San Diego, California. The conference unites leaders of the IT profession, offering interactive sessions about leading industry trends and successful business practices. For their breakout session, Annette Manias, President & Founder, and Aaron Rosenberg, Partner & Senior Vice President of Business Development, presented on the importance of leveraging emotional intelligence in the workplace to elevate your organization’s level of success.
Reflecting on the experience, Aaron Rosenberg provides his key takeaways from the event.
“What is the ITA Collaborative and what led Oasis to participate?”
“ITA always provides a great opportunity for value-added resellers, like ourselves, to come together and exchange information while having comfortable, confidential conversations about their businesses. But it extends beyond the discovery of new ideas. ITA allows competing VARs and software manufacturers to meet on common ground and rally around their shared commitment to enhancing the way they and their clients do business. This year, we were privileged to present to a group of respected peers about best practices we’ve established to continue being a Best Place to Work in Greater Louisville.”
“What were some of the highlights for you?”
“It was an overall great conference that included memorable and rewarding sessions, keynote speeches, and networking events.
One that specifically stood out was a breakout session hosted by Bob Green of SingerLewak. He provided the group with information about his business processes and explained how he assists clients in setting up their ERP implementation projects for success. Bob offers consulting services to organizations that are interested in changing systems, helping them evaluate software providers and partners by building requirement documentation and selection criteria to enable them to achieve the maximum value out of their conversion project.
It opened up a great dialogue among attendees on how we market our services and attempt to provide successful outcomes to our customers. Bob provided great insights into the right way to approach a new implementation project and purchase of our services. The good news is that his process closely aligns with the Oasis Analysis process. It is comforting to know that we are providing a comparable service to our clients, helping them understand the importance of great people and great processes prior to purchasing software.
There was an informative Q&A panel with Gartner Analytics providing content revolving around the growth and state of the cloud ERP marketplace, segmented by industry. It was enlightening to see the statistics supporting our everyday experience of witnessing how businesses of all sizes in varying markets are leveraging cloud-based software to improve operational efficiency and boost productivity.
One of the most impressive aspects of the event was the spectrum of participants involved, which was diverse and wide-ranging. The collaborative format allowed partners to ask candid questions and collect candid feedback from software publishers without the constraint of competition. Among those in attendance were Craig West, Senior Vice President of Channel Sales at Oracle NetSuite, Sean Chatterjee, Vice President of Partner Sales at Acumatica, partner relations leadership from Epicor, and representatives from Sage Intacct and Blackbaud.”
“What topic did you choose for your breakout session and why?”
“We explored the concept of emotional intelligence and how it can be a key determinant of your company’s success. Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is having an awareness of how your emotions drive your decisions and behaviors so you can effectively engage with and influence others. It’s being smart about how you recognize and act upon your feelings. EQ is broken down into the following four core skills:
Self-awareness is being acutely aware of your emotions as they are happening and recognizing how they affect your actions. Self-management is using that awareness of your emotions to positively manage your behavior, deciding when and how to act. Social awareness is picking up on the emotions of others, perceiving what they are thinking and feeling and how that might affect them. Relationship management is using your understanding of personal emotions and the emotions of others to manage connections over time.
We’ve been studying this area as a company and have used our strategies to great effect in enhancing our interactions and relationships with fellow partners, employees, and customers.”
“Why is emotional intelligence important in business?”
“As a small but growing firm, we’ve found culture fit to be paramount in identifying the right talent to fill positions. We believe it’s not just what we bring to the table. It’s who. A synergetic and cohesive team is the foundation supporting the quality of service that we are able to provide to our customers. Beyond our own experience, emotional intelligence has been linked to performance. Companies with employees demonstrating higher EQ interactions have better retention rates and higher engagement which can lead to increased revenue. Those who exhibit lower scores are often less efficient and experience turnover. An understanding of emotional intelligence is not a fix-all solution but should be equally considered when implementing your organization’s strategies for employee training and development.
Retaining the best talent for your business starts with hiring the right individuals to begin with. EQ offenders in the workplace can negatively affect other employees’ levels of commitment, creating situations of avoidance and disruption, eventually leading to disengagement or resignation. Avoiding crucial recruiting mistakes reduces costs and headache, saving you time and money. Evaluating emotional intelligence can be a key factor In helping you determine whether an individual is a right fit before devoting additional resources and bringing them into the folds of your organization.
Emotional intelligence is an essential part of the person alongside IQ and personality, the latter of which are stable. The great news is that EQ, on the other hand, is a flexible set of skills that can be acquired and honed with practice. Managing relationships judiciously and empathetically is an important job requirement no matter your position or title.”
“How do you think EQ will tie into the future state of business?”
“The requirements of the future workforce are constantly evolving. We’re witnessing major shifts in the types of employment businesses are seeking as they adapt to the changes brought on by emerging technologies of The Fourth Industrial Revolution such as advanced robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Emotional Intelligence is predicted to be a top ten skill needed by employees for businesses to thrive in 2020. Innovation and change are inevitable, and employers must be proactively assembling the right teams equipped with the right skill sets to secure the brightest future for their organization.”
“What actions can leaders take to introduce emotional intelligence to their organizations?”
“From our conversations at ITA, we gleaned that most people were familiar with concepts such as self-awareness and relationship management, but weren’t actively implementing EQ assessments into the hiring process. A candidate’s degree of emotional intelligence can be a powerful predictor for how they will interact and ingratiate with the rest of your team.
Leaders should consider introducing related interview questions to evaluate levels of competence in the four core skills. We learned that one particular firm attending the session was already prioritizing EQ in this way. They asked behavioral questions to determine how an individual dealt with situations such as an unhappy customer or a colleague not holding weight in a project. Their observations showed the more a candidate had to rely on hypothetical reactions for their responses rather than recalling actual instances based on personal experience, the higher the possibility that they weren’t self-aware enough to recognize when it happened to them.
Other red flag possibilities were that they didn’t have the experience of encountering and overcoming interpersonal challenges or simply weren’t willing to reveal when they may have made a mistake. Probing to uncover these potential issues can boost the effectiveness of your hiring process in identifying the right talent for your organization.
Current employees can also take individual EQ assessments to identify their proficiencies and areas of improvement. Our introduction to the topic began at a company meeting where a group of well-studied employees presented to the rest of the team. Everyone was asked to come prepared with their emotional intelligence test results as we acted out scenarios and discussed common workplace challenges. We found further success in having employees meet with managers and mentors to co-create their EQ roadmaps in alignment with their personal and professional development strategies and goals. It has been an important demonstration of our commitment to helping each other invest in ourselves while investing in the organization.”
About Oasis Solutions
Since 1991, Oasis Solutions has been serving businesses throughout North America with software consulting, development, training, and support. Oasis is an award-winning business management software partner for Sage software, NetSuite, and Adaptive Insights.
Oasis has been around since before technology was a buzzword, assisting businesses in assessing, attaining and supporting business management software.
With more than 300 years of combined industry experience, our team of software specialists offer expertise in accounting, human resource management, and custom software development.
Oasis Solutions has offices in Louisville and Lexington, KY, and Nashville, TN.
It’s Not Just What We Bring To The Table, It’s Who.