THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - E

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP - E

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. 

SILENCE: FRIEND OR FOE?

An annoying habit of too many parents is the act of answering questions directed at their children. In particular, the parents who's children are old enough and capable to respond.

Likewise, leaders fall into this habit when they ask their team a question in a meeting and SILENCE falls heavy and the leader assumes the role of answering.

In both these cases we are either experiencing someone who is too accommodating or prefers the sound of their own voice. 

Whilst many leaders are following and leading the movements of collaboration, inclusiveness and mindfulness, many are not! 

We still have leaders (of adults and children) failing to provide breathing, thinking and silence spaces enabling people to build their responses and answers.

When coaching, the skill of silence can be very challenging to practise. Knowing the answer is IMMINENT, takes experience to just listen, creating the space for a thoughtful response.  

 

It's something we all experience however it takes the experienced to make it a common practice.

It's something we all experience however it takes the experienced to make it a common practice.

Silence should be your friend not your enemy.

Use silence to:

CUT TO THE CHASE -  when seeking an answer, ask the question and zip your lips. Let the other person think and be accountable for their role in the conversation

STOP THE BUSYNESS - sit for five minutes and do nothing, listen to nothing and think of nothing - it clears your head and allows you to then start to focus on what is most important

FIND A SOLUTION - often it's the quiet people who have the ideas however the noisy folk take up too much space to enable the solution to be heard

REFLECT- often the answer is held in our past. Taking time to reflect on past experiences guides us what to do or not do

ENGAGE - whilst this may sound strange, your role as a leader is to listen more than talk. Others will respect you for listening to them.

There are many powerful benefits of befriending silence. It's a tool for all leaders to hear more clearly and provide space for people to find their answer. 

There is one other benefit I have learnt from practising silence - being in tune with my body. I aim to attend the occasional yoga class and it's taken many years to see the value of lying in an awkward position in silence. I am so in tune with my body ... we are now at peace with each other - I suppose you could say we are friends!