Category Archives: Communication Skills

Emotionally Intelligent Leadership


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Leadership that displays behaviors of high emotional intelligence is valuable to any company. Emotional intelligence is about your ability to recognize and react to emotions in yourself and those around you. This is a specialized skill that requires an abundance of practice. Unfortunately, as our world becomes more and more interactive through digital and online mediums, we see these skills deteriorating or simply not developing in young people. Emotional intelligence first requires a basic awareness of ourselves. The ability to recognize how we are feeling and react or manage this feeling appropriately. Jason Young details his personal experience in leadership and his quest for Emotional Intelligence.

research reveals four core EQ skills:

Personal Competence:
1. Self-awareness: your ability to accurately perceive your own emotions in the moment and understand your tendencies across situations
2. Self-management: your ability to use your awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and direct your behavior positively

Social Competence:
3. Social awareness: your ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and understand what is really going on with them
4. Relationship management – your ability to use your awareness of your own emotions and those of others to manage interactions successfully.

…More at The Emotionally Intelligent Leader by Jason Young 

Leadership is responsible for picking and periodically evaluating their team. An emotionally intelligent leader can delve deeper into a person's performance and address critical issues that do not arise with a leader who lacks insight. This is great for teams as unaired grievances are resolved before becoming huge blowups. An emotionally intelligent leader has the ability to defuse tense situations and manage interactions skillfully. Leadership that displays behaviors of high emotional intelligence is of high value to any company.


3 Elements of Effective Communication for True Leadership

[217/365] The Three Musketeers

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There are three crucial elements to effective communication for true leadership. Everyone, but especially leaders, need to have a firm understanding of effective communication techniques and these three crucial elements. An ability to establish credibility, to form an emotional connection and display expertise will give you a healthy respect from your team. Scott Edinger discusses the importance of these three elements in further depth.

What makes someone a good communicator? There's no mystery here, not since Aristotle identified the three critical elements — ethos, pathos, and logos. — thousands of years ago.

These three elements of communication reinforce one another. You may rely heavily on data and analysis (logos) to make a point and in so doing create a perception of expertise and authority on a topic (ethos). And while all three are necessary to excellent communication, improving your ability to do any one of them will help you become a better communicator and so a better leader. Combining them is the path to achieving the greatest success.

…More at Three Elements of Great Communication, According to Aristotle

Ethos, Pathos and Logos should be treated like Alexandre Dumas' Three Musketeers. All for one and one for all. That is to say, where you apply logos, you should also apply ethos and pathos. It will often make sense to improve one of the three crucial elements of communication and this will only help to enhance the others as well as you establish a firmer link between the three. A leader who can exhibit all three of these crucial elements will be a formidable communicator and one who is greatly admired and respected. True leadership will display all three elements of effective communication. 


5 Quick Emotional Intelligence Improvements for Leaders

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Leaders can use five quick improvements to develop their emotional intelligence. Everyone feels a huge spectrum of emotions on a daily basis and a well developed emotional intelligence can help to smooth out the highs and lows to keep an even keel. An ability of a leader to express themselves in all situations is the mark of a great leader. A leader must be able to lead through hectic high-paced environments as well as boost morale among their team when things get sluggish. They need to have the skill to effectively deliver difficult news and keep their emotions in check to keep from negatively affecting their team. Today we examine five ways to improve your emotional intelligence from Preston Ni at Psychology Today.

1. The ability to deal with one's own negative emotions

Perhaps no aspect of EQ is more important than our ability to effectively manage our own negative emotions, so they don't overwhelm us and affect our judgment. In order to change the way we feel about a situation, we must first change the way we think about it. Neuro-psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen developed an easy to practice exercise called “ANT Therapy- Killing our Automatic Negative Thoughts,” which helps us examine thenature of our negative experiences, and relate to it in such a way as to reduce our negative emotions. Click on this video link ( to see Dr. Amen explain ANT Therapy (from 01:04 to the end of the clip, and at the very beginning of the next sequence).

…More at 5 Ways to Quickly Improve Your Emotional Intelligence | Psychology

The emotional intelligence of a leader resonates outward and affects all in their vicinity. Teams thrive off of a leader who possesses and skillfully wields charisma and passion to drive purposeful work forward. This leader doles out praise effectively which allows them to deliver criticism that their team accepts with humility. Conversely, a leader who displays random emotional outbursts while threatening and cajoling employees will only marginalize their team. This type of leader will inspire no great actions and ultimately will push people away with their erratic behavior. An effective leader is one who has a firm grasp of their own emotional intelligence. If you need a lesson, or even just a quick refresher, check out the five quick improvements to further develop your emotional intelligence.


Attitude as a Driver of Results

Here comes the sun...

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Attitude is a major driver of results. It is arguably one of the top three crucial factors to consider when making a new hire. Attitude is so important because it is all-encompassing. Attitude has an effect on the day to day functioning of the office and work environment. One bad apple can ruin the whole bunch. Attitude is also a driver of results. Someone with a positive attitude can take a seemingly insurmountable project or obstacle and break it down into manageable steps whereas a pessimistic person would take the defeatist attitude to begin with and not make any progress at all. Neil Clark talks more about the pros and cons of hiring new employees with respect to attitude. 

What is attitude? It includes such things as interest in the job, ability to work without constant supervision, ability to think ahead of the game, taking a positive view of things and wanting to contribute. Some of these things can be measured or estimated during the hiring process.

A person with a good attitude has many ideas about their job. They are constantly seeking new ways to improve things. Ask them how they improved their performance in the past. Good attitude people get a kick out of producing the results of their work. They will show a high degree of pride in what they created, or how they managed to improve their performance.

…More at Is Attitude More Important Than Skill Or Experience When Hiring New

How many times have you worked with someone who has an attitude that brings you down and kills your motivation? Working with someone who has a bad attitude is a total drag. Unfortunately bad attitudes or moods are just as contagious as good attitudes and you do not want negativity spreading around your workplace. It is important to reflect on attitude when considering someone to join your team. Important questions are: how well do they carry themselves? What in their past speaks to successes and failures and how did they react to them? Ultimately someone with a bad attitude is not someone you want to have around if you can help it because they put a damper on those around them which affects the bottom line. Ensure that your hiring process is screening for attitude because it is a major driver of results. 


Leaders Should Be Active Listeners

maybe it will help..

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Leaders need to be active listeners in order to be successful. A leader who simply dictates solutions, problems and demands to their team will find that they are continually having to deal with issues that arise because of an unwillingness by their team to communicate with them. A leader who takes a participatory role and seeks to actively engage their team in a meaningful way will gain a lot more respect and be more effective at accomplishing their goals. Ron Bonnstetter shares additional advice with us on how to be a more active listener. 

Communication is the key to success in almost every aspect of our lives. When we consider our role in this process, we far too often think about giving information, talking. But the real richness of communication lies in our ability to listen. This silent skill can make the difference in our success or failure.

Most people speak at 100 to 175 words per minute, but the mind can process up to 300 words per minutes. Because of this gap, it is easy to lose attention; before we know it, we are thinking about other things. With this in mind, it is obvious the skill of active listening is crucial to both business and our personal life.

More at The Business of Listening: Gaining… | TTI Performance, Ltd.

We can begin to understand why our attention wanders at times when we are having a conversation. Every leader should have the goal of becoming a more active listener to gain enhanced communication with their team. This will help to establish a solid relationship as well as define your leadership style as an effective communicator. Actively listening is a skill that must be practiced to keep proficient. Leaders should be active listeners to most effectively communicate with their team and achieve high results.


Leadership Skill: Asking Not Telling


sensitive noise / obvious 2

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Leaders need to ask not tell. Ideas and collaboration are greatly hindered when a relationship switches from being a partnership to master and subordinate. In order to fully tap into your resources you must be able to phrase any requests in the form of a question rather than as an order. Marvin Marshall tells us more about asking vs. telling. 

No one likes to be TOLD what to do. Think of a time when someone told you what to do or told you that you had to do something. Notice how it conjures up a negative feeling.

I grew up with a friend who, when told what to do by a parent, would find an excuse NOT to do it. Even if it was something he wanted to do, such as going outside to play, he would find an excuse to stay indoors just because he was TOLD.

Depending upon the other person’s mental frame at the time, when we tell a person what to do—regardless of how admirable our intentions—the message is often PERCEIVED either as an attempt to control or as a criticism that what the person is doing is not good enough.

…More at Telling vs. Asking

Nobody enjoys being commanded to do things. Being told to do something often feels belittling which puts us in a defensive position. Leaders need to understand this frame of reference when they approach any topic, but especially sensitive ones, with their followers so that they can avoid putting people on the defensive. A spirit of cohesion that can be brought about when people feel a part of a team where everyone works as equals can go a long way in keeping employees happy. Special care should be taken to ensure that you are phrasing your requests as questions rather than commands to make the most of your relationships with your team. Just remember: ask not tell.


10 Tips for Leadership Presence


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Leadership should follow these ten tips for leadership presence. Leaders can fail to get a message across to their team without a sense of presence. Presence is a frame of mind as much as a physical embodiment of power or stature. In order to effectively communicate with your team, you must adhere to the following ten tips from Dianna Booher on creating presence.

Executive presence may be difficult to define, but we know it when we see it. Someone walks into a room, and heads turn. Conversation opens up to include them. When they ask, people answer. When they speak, people listen. When they lead, people follow.

Wherever you want to go and whatever you want to do, personal presence can help you get there. Consider these attributes, skills, traits, habits, and attitudes with the intention to incorporate them into your life.

1. Make your body language congruent with your words to build trust and credibility. When there’s a contradictory message, remember that body language trumps.

2. Walk, move, and gesture with energy. Your passion about ideas, projects, and life in general engages others.

3. Be professional, not professorial. Strive for simplicity. Never use a long word when a short word will do. Express your core idea with strong verbs and precise nouns. Use active voice. Don’t let diction and dialect detract.

More at Executive Presence: Top 10 Tips to Create Booher Consultants

Many of us forget to align our entire body to deliver the most powerful presence we can muster. Effective communication dictates that we must incorporate the body and voice to convey as much or more meaning as the words that you speak.  Working on these ten tips will boost your ability to command a room with your presence and to manage your team more effectively. If you seriously engage and follow these ten tips your leadership presence will be greatly enhanced.


Leadership Needs Workers With Emotional Intelligence

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Workers with emotional intelligence are an asset for any leadership team. Emotional Intelligence is a buzz word heard flying around these days in the offices of hiring managers, sales leaders, and many others. People with high emotional intelligence are in great demand due to their ability to communicate effectively with those around them. Emotional intelligence can be described as the way a person perceives and interprets the emotions behind what someone they come in contact with says in order to respond appropriately and effectively. Harry Urschel tells us why employers want emotional intelligence in their work force.

For some people it’s innate. It may be a natural part of their personality, or something they’ve learned through their upbringing and their family dynamics. However, it is something that can be learned and developed whether you already have it or not.

It primarily comes down to effective listening and observation!

Too often, people don’t really listen to the people they are conversing with. They are more preoccupied with what they are going to say next, rather than paying close attention to what the other person is saying, or how they are expressing themselves with their body language. Listening, not only to their words, but also to their voice inflections, their boldness or uncertainty, their comfort or irritation, or other aspects of their tone. Observing, not only their lips, but their stance and posture, evidence of stress or anxiousness, looks of concern, joy, curiosity, anger, caring, or boredom. Paying attention to all these things and more can give clues about the persons interest, concern, or other aspects of the conversation.

…More at Employers Want “Emotional Intelligence” | Career Rocketeer

Emotional Intelligence is becoming more important to us as human beings as we transfer to a plugged-in world where it is increasingly the norm for people who work together never to speak face-to-face. It becomes very important to have a highly developed emotional intelligence to be able to reliably read auditory clues that can give hint to a person's emotions. Great leaders typically have a high emotional intelligence for people to be willing to follow them. Leadership development should focus on emotional intelligence as a learned skill if it is not naturally part of a leader's repertoire. People with emotional intelligence are more apt to succeed because leadership relies on these people to help them connect their teams.


Leaders Must Avoid These 7 Causes of People Skills Errors

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Leaders need to avoid these seven causes of people skills errors to maintain their credibility. Everyone needs “people-skills” to survive in an increasingly competitive global market. People skills can be described as what are needed for an individual to succeed in forging memorable connections with leadership, co-workers, and clients. An employee or leader who excels at making these connections will be primed for success because it opens communication channels and allows people to easily relate. Kate Nasser gives us seven common causes of error that people make with regards to people-skills. 

  • Confusing good judgment and judgmentalism. Good judgment borne of different experiences can bring valuable debate, innovation, and success. Judging people (judgmentalism) insults them and blocks opportunities for success. Remedy: See each person as a possibility for a team win.
  • Forgetting or denying that every conversation communicates and creates emotion. People-skills blunders abound in those who focus purely on their own message and never on honoring others as people. People-skills brilliance lies in the awareness of how actions impact others and in the generosity to adapt. Stay on the right road: Speed success by honoring others and avoiding the detour to the land of disrespect.
  • Fear of losing. When people fear losing and focus only on winning, ironically they often lose. Fear widens the gap between people and inconsiderate behavior emerges as their people-skills tumble. The chance for engagement, support, and mutual agreement is slim. Remedy: Spot and stop fears from driving behavior.
  • Mistaking listening and adapting for surrender. Picture a happy boorish clod who never listens or considers others’ needs. When I asked about the behavior, the clod replied, “The world belongs to those who don’t surrender.” Attention all clods, the world belongs to those who can interact, influence, and create a win for all.
  • Focusing on the stressful moment rather than a desirable outcome. Differences can cause stress. They don’t have to derail people-skills and the favorable outcome. Focus tip: When the stressful feelings surface remember your options and choose wisely.
  • Believing that confidence and humility cannot co-exist. Regardless of personality type, a person can be both confident in their message and humble in delivering it. Key thoughtHumility is flexible and open to learning and that delivers success.
  • Clinging to a comfort zone. The greater the craving for self-comfort, the greater the risk of people-skills mistakes. The comfort zones of personality type, cultural background, educational level, and occupational focus, are ripe for people-skills blunders that tumble everyone down. Gentle reminder: The comfort zone is full of sitting ducks — not as safe as it feels!

More at Leaders, Avoid The 7 Common Causes of People-Skills Mistakes

We all develop people-skills naturally as we grow. Some immediately excel and others lag behind but avoiding these seven mistakes can help to level the playing field whether you are a Fortune 500 CEO or the office lackey. Everyone can benefit by taking some extra time to extend themselves a little further, to reach outside of their comfort zone and keeping a positive outlook. Leaders especially need to avoid these seven causes of people skills blunders. 


Leadership Dictates Effective Communication at Work

Office Politics: A Rise to the Top

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Your leadership style paves the way for effective communication in the workplace. Communication is a basic facet of everyday life. An ability to effectively communicate via an array of mediums is a necessity in today's hyper-connected world. Unfortunately, people are losing touch with basic social interaction as digital communication becomes more prevalent. A guest post from Parkland Chamber gives us five benefits of great workplace communication.

Communication is central to all aspects of life. It’s a critical skill for maintaining your personal as well as professional relationships. With the encroaching social isolationism of the digital age, it’s more important than ever for businesses to actively promote and foster healthy communication in the workplace.

The Internet has changed the way we interact as a species. As a direct result of this transition, more and more graduates are entering the workforce with malformed sets of social skills. Like it or not, it’s your job to teach the skills that people used to learn in school. Helping promote open and honest communication within your workforce will create a rock solid foundation for all of your company’s operations.

More at Top Five Benefits of Effective Communication in the Workplace

Effective Communication is a true benefit to any endeavor you undertake. Ensuring that you can effectively communicate your thoughts, ideas, and feelings to others is of utmost importance to maximizing your chance of success in all aspects of your life. Workplace interactions benefit from communication by increasing connectivity and enhancing relationships that allow for efficient workflow. See if you and your workplace are benefiting from these and if you can enhance your work. Enhance your leadership to get the most effective communication at work.