How Jerry Seinfeld’s Simple Structure Helped One Executive Get Results
My husband’s a Jerry Seinfeld fan and so too is one of my clients, Mark. A few weeks ago Mark decided it was time to retake the Social + Emotional Intelligence Profile® (SEIP) because “It was extremely helpful and got several balls rolling in a good direction.” We set out see what changed for him over the course of the year.
As it turns out a great deal changed for Mark. And that Jerry Seinfeld helped him make the most of his SEIP® results.
Jerry Seinfeld’s Simple Structure
A year ago Mark decided that by leveraging intentionally, he would be able to enhance his service orientation and communication. Intentionality, thinking and acting on purpose, is one of 26 skills measured by the SEIP®, as are service orientation and communication. To structure to his approach Mark took a cue from Jerry Seinfeld, creating simple handwritten calendars to track his efforts.
Mark first focused on his personal life because that's where he has the most control, however, he was “fairly certain that these habits would spillover into my professional life.”
This turned out to be just the right combination of strengths to build and structure to use.
A Narrow and Deep Focus on Opportunities
Service Orientation was the skill that had the most opportunity for growth for Mark. He started by aiming for an act of service a day. One day he might reach out to a friend with whom he’d not been in touch with for a period of time. An other day, he’d focus on spend time with his son. Soon he was more likely to reach out to professional colleagues to offer or ask how could help them. Over the year it’s been easier for him to think of how to anticipate, recognize and meet other people’s needs.
Communication was a second opportunity for growth. “I loved that the SEIP definition of communication involved listening. Specifically, ‘listening attentively and fostering open dialogue’." Mark knew he could draw on that as way to support his personal goal of making the adult Sunday School class he teaches an engaging exchange for all. It must be working, weekly attendance has doubled and the level of exchange between classmates is up as well.
What’s Personal IS Professional and Gets Results
Mark thought that the habits he encouraged in his personal life would cross over to his profession life and he was correct. “I got a nice raise. I have access to outside resources and experts that I never had before. I'm having a bigger organizational impact with less frustration and turmoil. It's been a good year.”
Mark’s SEIP® score went up 25% putting him well into the strong social and emotional intelligence range. A nice return on investment in part because he’s an Executive in an IT firm. Mark is bright, funny, and caring man who’s not always had effective and authentic people skills, like many people with a technical background. This could have been a hindrance because up to 80%- 90% of success for leaders and managers is related to social and emotional intelligence. For Mark it’s been an opportunity for growth.
Simply focusing on one or two narrow slices of a larger landscape can lead to substantial and positive changes across the whole landscape. You, me, all of us, have the ability to do what Mark did. Focus on what you can directly influences like how well you listen to other people and eventually this can impact what you hope for or worry about, like getting a raise.