How can I Develop EQ for better Leadership?

How can I Develop EQ for better Leadership?

Tomorrow is my second public EQ Class for those committed to developing their EQ skills in the context of leadership. I am so excited about these regular monthly classes that offer an opportunity that is time effective (2-hours out of the office), offers real value to grow EQ (R300 a person) at a great Durban venue,  The Belaire Suites Hotel.  The classes are currently small as this is a new way of offering development ‘training’.

For all of you’re who not in Durban I thought I’d share 3 ideas that can really help you take the time to notice and reflect on your own leadership.



Talent-leadership-alignment Top Business Issues 2012




1. The key to leadership is influence not authority. – Kenneth Blanchard

Kenneth’s quote is an important lesson if you want to be a leader who others willingly follow.  I have found the power of influence so true both in leading myself and others.  Regularly when my mind-talk uses an authoritative tone a part of me rebels, kicks against what is being prescribed.  It’s like a part of me never grew out of being a teenager.  A brief example: I battle to get out of bed in the early morning.  The other day I posed two questions to myself, inspired by something my brother said:

  1. How will I feel if I stay in bed an extra half-hour or hour? I feel like a slob, a little useless and frustrated with myself.
  2. How would I feel if I did get up immediately? I feel happier, I’m proud of sticking to my word and I feel satisfied that I can follow through on what I want.

Just taking the time to notice this has influenced how I get up in the morning. This for me illustrates the power of influence.  Talking to people and helping them to see the results of their choices and noticing which serves them best.

It also impacts on intrinsic motivation a great deal more than just being told or prescribed what must be done.  There are obviously exception to each rule and emergencies or certain circumstances require authority however many places do not.   The power of influence is that it empowers others to use the skill when you’re not around.  Better for you, better for them and better for business.

2. Hard on Standards.  Soft on People. – Walter Blore

It’s been my experience that many people think emotional intelligence means soft and fluffy and it’s just not true.  Walter who does amazing work with farms and factories (full story here) around developing the EQ of management and labour sums it up beautifully in this one line. “Hard on Standards.  Soft on People”  Listening, seeing the other side, offering empathy and understanding, upgrading communicating does not mean ‘getting away with things’.  It means having the skills to develop and hold people to the highest standards while ensuring they feel felt.  Coach Wooden, one of my most admired teachers’ and coaches says ‘a coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.‘  I believe the same is true of a leaders. Can you find examples of people in your life who have been gentle with you and yet never expected less from the task, skill or business at hand?  How did they do it?

3.  Long-term change takes patience and perseverance.

Finally, I feel like a broken record, as I always bring it back to this.  Long-term change takes patience and perseverance.  Developing good leadership skills takes time.  It’s the reason so many of the best leaders are older.  The more practice and feedback we get the better we become.  It’s the reason I am offering an on-going monthly class.  Concerted effort, regular feedback and check-ins are key to developing empathy and powerful leadership.

  • How committed are you to developing these skills?
  • What difference would it make if you had these skills? In your business, your team, your family?
  • What one small actin step could you commit to, to help grow your skill?

The next EQ Classes for leading business teams is Tuesday 5 February, 7.30am – 9.30am at The Belaire Suites Hotel.  Click here for the full timetable.