One of the hallmarks of a great marketer is having a positive attitude and when asked, be ready to take on new challenges with enthusiasm. It’s part of our DNA to say yes and view the experience as an opportunity to learn, grow and become more accomplished.
For some, this “yes” is followed by anxiety, fear of failure or nerves until we know what the expectations are. This was my reaction when I signed up for “The Language of Leadership,” an intensive 3 day workshop designed to help improve interpersonal skills and use words and language more effectively.
After reading the outline, I was anxious. Why three days? Couldn’t we cover this off nicely in one afternoon? I'm really busy you know. Then, to make matters worse, I got a voice mail from organizers that all devices linking me to the outside world were verboten. There were to be no distractions, no messages delivered from people trying to get in touch with me. The expectation was clear – I needed to leave all my ‘stuff’ at the door and be 100% present with the facilitator. Oh boy. Hopefully this time investment would be worth going through hundreds of emails when I returned to the office.
Now I understand what it means to be "present" and I'm glad. It makes for a quality learning environment that has momentum and meaning. Over the three days, a subject we spent considerable time on was understanding the difference between intellectual IQ and emotional intelligence or “EI.” Let me explain.
When we come into this world we have basically the same set of smarts as when we leave it – IQ is what we were given to work with. However as the course showed, we can greatly improve our emotional intelligence, and in doing so relate more effectively to others and become powerful leaders.
What is effective leadership? What does it mean? A clear understanding eludes many people and organizations. One reason is that until recently, no research had been able to uncover which leadership traits yielded the most positive results for an organization. A consulting firm in the US, Hay McBer, completed a study that comprised a random sample of 3,871 executives. They found there are six distinct leadership styles, each one springing to life from different areas of our emotional intelligence. And most importantly, effective leaders in an organization can switch effortlessly between styles depending on team members and the situation at hand.
There are four components of Emotional Intelligence (EI):
Self Awareness – the ability to read and understand our emotions and realize the impact our emotions have on others
Self Management – how to keep disruptive emotions and impulses under control
Social Awareness – Sensing other people’s emotions and taking an active interest in their concerns
Social Skill – Taking charge and leading with a compelling vision
Who knew the impact of using the word “our” instead of “your” when relating to someone? How about building more empathy with the team? Realizing that your emotions in a room are contageous and set the tone for discussions? I do now. Speaking from my personal experience the program was, in a word – transformational. There was plenty of tailored coaching, honest feedback and heightened personal awareness of where I am and where I want to be.
If you’re interested in delving more into the subject, I highly recommend Emotional Intelligence, Social Intelligence, and Working with Emotional Intelligence, all by Daniel Goleman. For information on the Language of Leadership 3 day workshop, contact Vezina & Associates (416) 466-9336.
I guarantee that the more you invest in understanding and developing your emotional intelligence, the more effective you will be as a person and a leader - no matter what your vocation is.
For any investment a marketer makes, that’s a pretty amazing return.
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