Monthly Archives: May 2013

Put Emotional Intelligence to Work

Put Emotional Intelligence to Work: Equip Yourself for Success, 2007, by Jeff Feldman & Karl Mulle, ASTD Press.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) has been one of my favorite topics to teach and learn about for years. So when I saw this new book at the recent ASTD Technology Conference, it was a “must have”. Now I’m reviewing it in preparation for a big training I’m giving this month. It is excellent. For anyone in a leadership position (manager, supervisor, executive) this gives you a wonderful comprehensive guide to using your emotional energy and skills to influence others and to skillfully handle many workplace challenges such as change, conflict, team building etc. An excellent addition to your library.

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Being EQ Smart is 80% of Leadership

Are you eager to take your career to a new more fulfilling level? Since the early 1990’s, research has consistently shown that being EQ smart is twice as important an ingredient of outstanding leadership performance as both ability and technical skill combined. And the higher you go up in your organization, the more important EQ is. At the highest leadership levels, EQ accounts for almost 85% – 90% of a leader’s success! So, if you are ready to fast-forward your professional career, think carefully about your own emotional intelligence – how would you rate yourself?

Here’s where you start . . . become a master of self-awareness. Know what you are feeling and why throughout the day. Teach yourself to check-in with your emotions several times a day. Know when you are feeling frustrated, angry, pleased or discouraged and why. The “why” can be difficult to identify but that is key to choosing how you will respond. You are in control and that ultimately works in your favor. Don’t let yourself be blindsided and/or let yourself be “emotionally hijacked”.

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Tips for Team Coaching

As a leader in your organization, you are tasked with bringing out the best of your employees for the productivity of your company. Sounds easy but it’s tougher than it looks especially in these economic times when everyone feels stretched. But it can be done both with your direct individual reports but also your project teams or department staff.

Lifting Together Makes the Difference 

Here’s how . . . use a strengths based coaching approach with powerful questions. One piece of the executive coaching program that I offer is an intensive hands-on training and practice on how to use basic coaching skills to engage and motivate employees.  We start with individual one-on-one practice with employees doing their annual reviews or wanting to take their careers to that next level within the company.  Coaching may also be appropriate for employees struggling with performance expectations, communication problems or interpersonal conflicts with their colleagues.

With this practice behind them, leaders move to a more complicated coaching challenge – working with their designated teams around specific outcomes.  There are more moving parts including difference in personalities and communication styles that can make leading a team successfully much more challenging.

You Don’t Have to Do All the Work 

But here’s the trick . . . know and use the same coaching philosophy, collaborative approach and basic powerful questions that work so well with individuals and just expand them for the larger group.  Listen closely and concentrate on giving your team the space and support to contribute their ideas and strengths.

You don’t have to say much in the beginning – just get out of their way and let them do what you hired them to do.  Acknowledge their wisdom with the result that you may be pleasantly surprised that with a coaching approach you’ve opened up a wealth of possibilities, creative thinking and some excellent options. And you didn’t have to do all the work!

It’s a very fast paced competitive work world. Just like this great picture of the Army moving the Red Cross tent in the pouring rain.  Everyone needs to contribute their best strength, lift together and move forward to the designated goal or vision. It can work really well with the right kind of leadership – do you have what it takes?


Posted in Career Tips & Strategies, Communication Tips, Emotional Intelligence, Inspirational Leadership, Navigating Change | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment