Kevin Donohoe, age 27, works in a field that is ripe for the use of emotional intelligence; health insurance. He staffs a customer service help line for ServRx, a company that bills and collects workers’ compensation prescription claims for pharmacies. His phone conversations are usually with pharmacists who serve patients that often have chronic pain from their injuries.
How does it feel to get calls from anxious, overworked pharmacy employees who in turn have anxious, sick customers? My discussion with Kevin Donohoe sheds light on how he uses EQ to give better service and advance his company’s goals. The answers may surprise you.
Kevin first encountered EQ training when his CEO Todd Delano had all employees take workshops, Since then, he has become interested in boosting his EQ skills. He is a regular at the Arizona State University EQ Cafes hosted by organisation, and wants to explore it further for personal growth and his career.
Kevin is philosophical about his job. “I do come in contact with a lot of personalities.”
What is a typical phone call?
“Just today a pharmacy gentleman was nervous about whether he should continue with a refill for a patient given that the insurance carrier was not responding to invoices for past fills. He was relying on us to put him at ease by helping him make the right choice for his patient and his business. The mission of our company is to simplify workers compensation. This way, a pharmacist is more confident in giving pain relieving medication and some dignity is restored to an injured worker.”
How do you handle receiving a call from a stressed-out person? What EQ Skills do you use?
“What comes first is assessing my own feelings throughout the day and recognize when I need to steer my mood into a positive outlook. A call can come in at any moment and from whatever task I may be working on between calls, I strive adopt a genuine gratitude that the client pharmacy is reaching out to us for assistance. From there, the call varies by the personality or style of whomever is calling.
What’s a specific example?
“I have a client pharmacist from NY area who calls frequently. When I see his name on caller ID I am primed and ready to deliver information since I know he is looking for a brief conversation about the facts. Other pharmacists appreciate a friendship. They enjoy talking about weekends, interests, developments in their life or their business. These kinds of interactions build a relationship where they feel that attention to their concerns and they come to better trust the efforts of my company and the recommendations I make to them.”
How do you humanize the whole interaction?
“One of the best things you can do in that moment is given them the time voice their concern and repeat it back to them so they can know that they were understood. It is okay not to have an answer for them at that moment, but I give them an expectation of when I will have some solution or plan. This is how you show that you are on your client’s side.”
How did you come into contact with the EQ Training Organisation?
“Six Seconds was an organization that Todd Delano, our CEO, was already a member. He began to invite Michele to host EQ training sessions beginning in Fall of 2015 and continuing about once early quarter. The first sessions were about our individual “Brain Talent Profiles” and has since moved on to topics such as tolerance, communication between generations, and most recently applying EQ to customer service. The sessions are something that the whole staff looks forward to each quarterly and has been a tremendous for the staff to really get to know each other.“
What drew you to the topic of emotional intelligence?
“I consider myself as someone who had low EQ in the beginning of my career. I was not good at understanding my own feelings in the moment and was being controlled by those feelings instead of the other way around. I can think of a couple episodes of emotional hijacking that told me I had a problem that holding back my personal and professional growth. What it wonderful about emotional intelligence you can learn and train yourself to not have challenges anymore. “
How has EQ awareness helped you?
“It has helped me greatly in my personal relationships. It helps me to watch what I say to those I care about and fix my behavior so I can one to comfort others who are having a bad day. For me, self-awareness comes first in EQ. I try to stay mindful of my mood and behavior at all times. Once that is satisfied, the rest of EQ falls into place.”
How do you see yourself using EQ in the future?
“My hope is that I never reach a point where I think I have “mastered” EQ. My hope is that I can always how to apply EQ to new life challenges. In my professional life, I hope to use EQ in a mentorship role and in my personal life I would like use EQ in raising a family. Most of all, I hope to use EQ to distinguish myself.”