My copy of Working With Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman is 20 years old.

My copy of Working With Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman is 20 years old.

My use of words beginning with E, in my Leadership Intelligence Mentoring practice, is endless! I think of the enthusiasm we need to bring change alive and the effort required to adapt our approach and style of leadership if our default style isn’t effective or appropriate.

Emotional Intelligence takes the lead of the Es! The term has its roots in 80’s psychology, and today we are still experimenting with the exercise of connecting with our emotions in addition to our thinking.

Taking an extra moment to consider why people respond a way and listening to their language lifts the heavy weight of recognizing what’s going on in someone’s world. As Dale Carnegie said, when dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.

What differentiates people are those who can connect on an emotional level – those who can gauge the feelings people are experiencing and how this impacts their work and relationships. And even more importantly, it’s the ability to self-correct – to change your course of action mid-stream as you sense you’re not achieving the outcome being expected.

Experimentation is one of the most frequently used words I use. I encourage my clients to change their behaviour, to apply their learning and give it a go. We too often sit in meetings, seminars and workshops, we’re asked to change yet we don’t take it to the practice ground. Experimentation is normal, it’s expected, and it reeks accountability and leadership. Tell people that you are experimenting and seek their feedback. Maybe it doesn’t work and maybe it’s the missing link you’ve been searching for as a leader.

What can you experiment with today? Is it saying “No”, is it giving constructive feedback or is it ‘giving the work back’? Go on, experiment with a change in your leadership approach. And, report back on how you evaluate the outcome.

Evaluation is just as important as experimentation. If we don’t know how we’re progressing with our changes, adaptations and experimentation, then we don’t know how effective we are being.

Too often leadership and associated skills are the ‘soft skills. They have a lack luster following because we don’t show the impact, the difference that our personal and professional leadership does to grow business.

Self-Assessments, audits, 360-degree feedback and evaluations are all accessible and useful to lift your leadership to a new level which will have an impact on others, will help you inspire more followers and help you influence change.

What's your go to leadership word beginning with E?

You can catch up on my previous blogs on the The Language of Leadership - on this page. 




If you are achieving extraordinary results, I suspect you trust and are trusted by others. No matter what you are doing in life.

If you have the interest and agility to increase your results, consider the conversations you’ve had today; yesterday and the day before. If you deconstruct these conversations, what would you uncover about yourself? And, if you placed the results on a dashboard would the dial point to connected, productive or creative? Or would the dial move to the opposite side of this gauge – pointing to sceptic or resistor?

Judith E. Glaser, author of Conversational Intelligence – How Great Leaders Build Trust & Get Extraordinary Results, advises her readership and clients over the past 30 years that we’re probably speaking to and from the wrong brain – the Primitive Brain. (Who would have known?!)

By using your Executive brain, you’ll notice that this connection will alter everything: the way you phrase your greeting, ask your questions and how you offer or make comments. Rather than create distrust, this newish brain will build trust. And trust is the anchor in your relationships to weather all situations.

Whilst some of us might think our conversations are powerful, we may be failing to see the impact these interactions have on others. We need to heighten our awareness and increase our use of the Conversational Intelligence (C-IQ) skill which connects intentions with impact.

Judith’s goal is to help you move from operating at C-IQ ‘Level I – transactional’ (how to exchange data and information) and make the quantum leap to the learnable C-IQ ‘Level III – transformational’ (how to co-create conversations for mutual success). Put simply, change to a listener rather than a teller.

Your Conversational Dashboard ... where's your dial pointing?

Your Conversational Dashboard ... where's your dial pointing?

The new language is co-create – working together, cutting through bureaucracy, hierarchical levels, removing the need to be right all the time, in an effort to build a successful culture. This is done by influencing each other’s neurochemistry, while we express our inner thoughts and feelings to strengthen relationships while making sense of the world. Too easy!

Which brain do you operate from?

We have five brains according to the research which Judith shares liberally – each brain having an influence on our conversational ability. The Primitive brain, which hosts the fear mongering Amygdala, operates differently to our Prefrontal Cortex (Executive brain) which is activated when we feel we can trust others.



As leaders, we unconsciously drip-feed our teams with ‘conversational cocktails’; resulting in the team being drunk with happiness, excitement and enthusiasm, or, all too often, they start acting like angry animals.  The ‘cocktail’ is a mixture of biochemicals triggered by what you do and say. The chemicals, oxytocin (bonding), dopamine (when you’re right) and serotonin (happiness) are released if your conversation is at ‘Level III’ – when you and the team are working to achieve a mutually successful outcome.

When what we say, what we hear, and what we mean are not in agreement, we retreat into our heads and make up stories that help us reconcile the discrepancies.

So, when what we say, what we hear and what we mean are not in agreement, we retreat into our heads and make up stories that help us reconcile the discrepancies. We make “movies” and generally fail to connect.

If you were to replay ‘the movie’ of a recent staff meeting, what would you see and hear? Would you see the same people sitting in the same spots, hear the same people speak and see the agenda following a similar pattern? To make a change, Judith recommends commencing with a ‘Rules of Engagement’ activity which talks to the Amygdala, calming it down to be more fully engaged with the meeting intent. Similarly, when we host a workshop or conference – we break the ice with this style of activity to build trust in the group – we talk to the Amygdala!

The term ‘intelligence’ was brought alive with the advance of Emotional Intelligence (EQ); which is differentiated by Judith: “Emotional Intelligence is about self-regulation whereas conversational intelligence is about co-regulation”. I get this and it will be the EQ leader who will ease into becoming a C-IQ leader. One who will masterfully observe their inner world of desires whilst observing the impact of their actions on others.

I am currently reading Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s my 30th book. I’m a little behind with reviews as I found writing about Conversational Intelligence a challenge. I’m not totally sure why, the content isn’t new to me – it’s probably deciding what to share with you and what not to include!

Please take the opportunity to read this book. It’s a definite ‘must read’ to learn how to train your brain and ultimately achieve extraordinary results in your endeavours.

I have been inundated with questions about my reading project, in particular, my ability to read so many books. Well, I do read, I don’t listen to the books and I know that I am a disciplined person who enjoys learning what others are learning. I believe you must keep ahead of the amazing information and practices which others are successfully applying in their Leadership Practices.

I’m endeavouring to read 52 Business/Professional/Personal Development books in 52 weeks. Yep, that’s one a week. As I read each book, I’ll share my thoughts, learning and recommendations. If there is a book that you’ve been meaning to read, let me know and I’ll read it for us!

Service Intelligence

I think I expect too much when I'm exchanging money for service. A greeting, some gestures and gratitude are the basics I would think necessary to call yourself a 'service provider'  however I find that when these three acts occur in one service event I feel compelled to be overly thankful.

Sadly, I believe we're being conditioned to not expect too much from our service encounters!

Recently, whilst I was speed shopping, a young staff member approached me in an aisle and offered me a basket - it was very evident that my quick shop for two things had turned into 12 items which I was juggling in my arms; I felt overwhelmed with this proactive service.

The thing is ... should I? 

Service isn't too challenging - or is it?

I wonder if it's us painful customers who make it difficult with our differing expectations, quirky personalities and selfish requests. But ... if you serve so many folk in one day, repeated over a week and let's say over a whole month you would gather enough BIG DATA about us crazy consumer cashed up customers to know what we expect.


Observing people is the role of the 'service' provider person. Taking three seconds to interpret my facial expressions, hand gestures, tone of voice, body stance, all magnify messages to the DATA control centre (your brain) and tell you: if I am in a rush, not wishing to be interrupted or that I have forgotten something after waiting in the five minute queue.

So, is the prospect of SERVICE INTELLIGENCE challenging your business and your leadership?

How would you and your people rate against this SERVICE INTELLIGENCE model?

1.Self-Awareness - knowing your own motives, what drives you, enabling a better understanding of what drives you to be customer focused. 

2.Emotional Intelligence - being aware of others' emotions during service delivery.

3.Responsibility - taking personal responsibility aka accountability - it's up to you to serve.

4.Value Focused - offering more value than the price paid.

5.Impact - understanding that your choice of behaviour has a predictable consequence.

6.Change - being prepared to adapt to keep relevant and ahead of your customers' needs.

7.Evaluate - mindfully reflect, review and improve self performance and the customer experience.

Customer Service has changed. People expect more. I definitely expect more. There's no excuse when Service Intelligence is available to be learnt.

What about you? Do you expect awesome or average service?

When your people are transacting a product or service ... including government and no-fee exchanges, it's paramount that they see you role-modelling these skills, actions and behaviours. You must take the lead.

The only way to increase the performance of your service team is to increase your leadership performance.

Let's connect to explore my SERVICE INTELLIGENCE model.



a Necessary Leadership Skill - Presenting

A necessary skill for every leader ...


We can survive a leader who has low Emotional Intelligence, extreme doses of extroversion or introversion, some grumpiness and we can even forgive those leaders who send 30 emails at midnight!

BUT, we cannot cope with a leader who cannot engage, inspire and move us 'to do' - yep, I'm identifying the ability to communicate in front of a group of people.

One of the necessary skills of a leader, is their ability to present. It's one of those skills which can easily be developed - in other words - there are no excuses for standing in front of a group, using a monotone voice, waving notes of paper, killing us with PPT and going on for more than 30 minutes without stopping and involving us.

Last week I worked with a group of self titled (confident) Geeks - yep, the IT guys of a big biz and we explored everything there is to know about getting started in presenting to audiences. 

This week - I'll share some of the components we covered - quick lessons for the leader who needs a boost of 'presentation skill'.


A simple way to immediately gain an insight to this still is to reflect on who is great at Presenting.

Activity One:

Consider people who you've seen present and identify what specifically they've done to positively capture your attention. Was it the message, the way they conveyed the message or their personal style?

One person who is respected by many is Sir Kenneth Robinson. His TED talk is very interesting however it's his style and approach to his subject which grabs your attention. Check it out.

Three Tips to get you focused:

  • Know what  you want your audience to do at the end of the presentation - make it clear & obvious.
  • Write the full script or record what you want to say - it's a test of your content and your approach to communicate.
  • Warm your voice up - use tongue twisters, hum and avoid coffee, tea, dairy and drink water.

If you're hosting a meeting this week, using Skype, launching new information spend some time making it purposeful and engaging, 

The next installment available Tuesday 18th August.

How To Be An Agent For Change

I type fast. My mind dictates messages and my fingers attempt to keep up with the words, grammar and punctuation!  

I need this speed to capture the plethora of data for the design & development of programs, articles and even these leadership thoughts.

Today I'm creating a 60 minute interactive workshop for 60 people who want to be Change Agents in their organisation of Volunteers. Yikes - my fingers have frozen!

I have too much data and I need to eliminate some great stuff and decide which bits are the best to share about being an Agent!

What do you think of these three skills?

Emotional Intelligence:  Agents need to have EQ to understand the dynamics of any resistance to change they encounter. To do that, they need to practise and role model the seven skills of EQ (Genos Model). Ranging from being emotionally self aware to the extent of the emotional management of others - the ability to influence the moods of others; skills sought after in leaders today! 

Story Telling: Agents tell stories to influence change. Good memorable repeatable stories which enable the listener to immediately connect with the story intent, it's learning message and call to action. A story of mine is quoted in the new book 'Hooked ' by Yamini Naidou & Gabrielle Dolan - I liken the neglect of checking pockets for tissues before completing a 'dark wash' to the irresponsibility of sending emails without checking them for mistakes and incorrect data! A quick task vs a time consuming clean-up.

 Coaching: Agents guide people. They ask purposely prepared questions to help people be more accountable for their actions and inaction. They help people identify what they fear underlying their observed resistance and help people establish their own goals & actions to take a more productive and realistic approach to the changes in their world.

Yes, only three. I only have 60 minutes with 60 people!

Which Skills would you have on your Top Three for Being an Agent For Change? 

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