intelligence, and one of those is empathy, and that isn’t just feeling for somebody, it’s accurately reading them. TK: So that is something that you need to develop over time and is a skill set that will differentiate you from other people? AM: It does. The one set of skills that will lead to success is being able to read people accurately, to be able to manage your emotions so that you stay positive when things are challenging, and knowing yourself so you can manage yourself in both stressful and good times. It takes work. TK: You talk about how competitiveness in the workplace leaves us empty, unfulfilled, poor leaders and makes us no fun to be around. What if you have corporate goals set for you—how do we manage our own hyper- competitiveness and even others in an environment where we have these goals? AM: A lot of managers and a lot of organizations make the mistake of pitting employees against each other. While good-natured competitiveness can be fun, it often gets out of control. Rather than supporting one another to meet goals, we start undercutting and stabbing each other in the back. Once you have that in the workplace, frankly our brains shut down because we feel threatened, we feel scared, we feel frustrated, so it’s counterproductive. If we’re working towards a goal, we don’t necessarily need to be competitive. We can focus on doing the job well, on reading our customers, on having fun with our colleagues in creating an environment that attracts customers to the counter. TK: Having been on both sides of the counter, how would you say we can both express and read authenticity? AM: Good question. When we’re in an environment where we are working with customers and clients, there is an expectation of a certain kind of behavior, a certain look depending on what the product is—but we do have to figure out what those expectations are.
Within that set of rules, we must find a place where we can be unique, we can be a little bit different, and be ourselves. Push against the boundaries a little bit. I find that people don’t push against those boundaries enough. TK: So how do you “own it”? AM: You’ve got to read your environment well, another emotional intelligence competency— we call it organizational awareness. You have to recognize what the absolutes are. The absolute rules that truly must be followed. Then, recognize what the guidelines are that aren’t really rules and make choices about what you do. If you’re in an environment where you feel like you have to cover up really important things about yourself, you’re probably in the wrong environment. TK: Retail environments are different now. Customers aren’t even shopping the same way. You may not even have to work on the floor to work in retail. You can work at a call center and be the best salesperson you can but maybe you’re not on your feet. There’s a range of ways to participate. AM: Especially with the movement of working at home, a lot of people are taking jobs that require work from home. TK: So, you need to identify if this environment is right for you and if it’s not, to realize you have other options. We are fortunate that you can sell and love beauty in so many ways, to find the best fit for you. AM: I think that that realization will be able to free a lot of people up to think differently about the industry and be happy in their roles. TK: There are so many opportunities where if you find what’s right for you, you’ll meet those goals in your sleep. Because it will fit. AM: Exactly. Exactly. TK: So, to summarize, it sounds like it’s all about connecting. Connecting to people, connecting to the larger company that you are working for, the products you are selling, the people you are working with. AM: Well said, absolutely. ✹
LIPSTICK IS MY SUPERHERO CAPE–IT MAKES ME FEEL LIKE I CAN ACHIEVE ANYTHING. – Poppy King
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