What are the characteristics of an effective as a leader?
Can you recall a time when you felt confident, clear and effective as a leader?
This was the opening question in our professional development workshop, Legacy of Leadership, held last week on Biltmore Estate. There were 12 participants sitting around the table, all serving in various levels of leadership within their respective companies, from owners and CEO’s to first-time managers.
The question generated quite a bit of dialogue, and it was great to see that everyone had a positive story to recall. It was a good way to start a training program that was sure to reveal much more than leadership success stories. After all, this particular training is designed to gain a deeper understanding of who the participants are as leaders, what they stand for, and why they do what they do. Pretty deep stuff.
For the next two days, participants were guided through a series of exercises and discussions designed to increase their level of self-awareness in order to understand what was guiding their decision-making as leaders.
One of the biggest take-aways that day was the discussion that centered around “emotional intelligence” and its impact on leadership decisions.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize, identify, understand, and draw on your emotions and the emotions of others so you have a range of options in any given interaction or relationship. This particular theory was popularized by Daniel Goleman, and research has shown that EI accounts for nearly 90 percent of the difference between outstanding leaders and their more average peers. The Core Competencies that create the framework of EI are:
- Self-awareness – Knowing in any given moment or situation what is influencing your behavior, communication and decision-making. It’s important to know what influences you so that you can make changes if necessary. You cannot change what you don’t know so self-awareness is key.
- Self-management – Managing your emotions, thoughts, and impulses so that they inform rather than drive your interactions with others.
- Social awareness – The ability to perceive and understand the emotions, perspectives, and needs of others.
- Relationship management – The ability to make informed choices based on what you know about yourself and those around you.
The class continued to examine how behavior can be changed so as not to allow us to be hijacked by people or situations that may trigger our emotions. This is especially critical to leaders – as a level head makes level-headed decisions.
So back to the original question: Can you recall a time when you felt confident, clear, and effective as a leader? How did your EI skills impact the situation?
For information on Legacy of Leadership or other classes offered through the Biltmore Center for Professional Development, Register online or call us at 828-225-6158.