Getting to the Heart of Leadership

Press Release on my new book: PR Web – At the Heart of Leadership

Web site: At the Heart of Leadership: How to Get Results with Emotional Intelligence
— a free excerpt of the book is available for download

Here’s more of the story from Six Seconds, The Emotional Intelligence Network:

New Book Teaches How To Get to The Heart of Leadership
Tools and Articles on EQ at WorkFor over a decade the concept of “emotional intelligence” has been a buzz around the world, and while many books have defined the concept, now there is finally a book which shows leaders how to apply it.In a business climate fraught with rapid change, globalization, and an elusive pool of top talent, how do leaders forge competitive advantage? The science of emotional intelligence provides critical insights into the answer, but how do leaders put the concept in action?

Whew – exciting hyperbole or what??? Cutting through the hype… I’m really proud about the book! There’s a ton of valuable ideas as well as a lot of science made practical. Not the “best thing since sliced bread,” but I am confident that leaders interested in actually USING emotional intelligence will find this to be a useful tool.

Workplace Coach: Don’t underestimate emotional intelligence

Seattle Post Intelligencer, 6/5/07

Couple quotes I liked:

You can’t change what you are unaware of in yourself. Being able to observe yourself in the heat of the moment is the first step to making a different choice versus your typical programmed emotional reaction.

This comment is key:

There is valuable information in emotions — if you can tune into that internal channel. Feelings can clue us in about the importance and meaning of an event, situation or interaction.

Would be nice to see more depth in what appears in popular media. “Emotions matter” is a good start though!

Crossing the Cultural Divide with Emotional Intelligence


Crossing the Cultural Divide with Emotional Intelligence
Joshua Freedman
Published March 2007

A few excerpts…

Is there a way to cut across cultural difference and understand one another at a human level? If we access the intelligence of emotions, are we just using another cultural filter, or does universality exist? Are some aspects of emotional intelligence (EQ) more or less influenced by culture? And how do we use this concept to improve performance?

One of the areas with the greatest difference is optimism. Because optimism is linked closely with performance, this finding has important implications for performance management. When people from the Americas and Asia work together, they often assess risk differently. Those from the Americas are more likely to see possible solutions and have an expectation they can affect the outcome. Coupled with research indicating optimism scores predict performance scores, this finding suggests managers from the Americas might under-evaluate the performance of their Asian team members. Conversely, it suggests Asians who want to excel in a multinational company will benefit by developing this learnable skill.

The cross-cultural aspect of emotional intelligence is of particular importance in a global economy. To the extent that emotions are a universal language and that people in all cultures and places share a similar view of traits such as integrity and authenticity, the ability to “read and write the language of emotions” is an invaluable asset.

EQ for Geeks?


New on 6seconds.org:

Despite their super-human capacity for making computers communicate, many “geeks” (AKA “IT Professionals”) are challenged by the traditional human-to-human interface. Yet as key players in any business unit, today’s IT experts have to get beyond their “left-brain” genius. While some think techies lack an understanding of emotions, new research by Six Seconds Consulting Group proves otherwise.

Check out the White Paper: Increasing Emotional Intelligence

Investing with EQ

Emotional Intelligence

by Joe Citarrella

It is better for an investor to know why he or she feels some way about a stock than simply to know that he or she feels this way and that this is patently “bad”. In some cases, the emotion may be maladaptive, but in others it may be telling you something important about a company in which you’ve invested. Yet, the only way to know is not to ignore the emotions.

Great point! Emotions are data (and energy). The worst way to understand data is to ignore it.

New article – interview w Daniel Goleman

I recently interviewed Dan Goleman about Social Intelligence, leadership, and emotional intelligence. Check out the full Neural Leadership article here.

“Mirror neurons are a kind of ‘neural wi-fi’ that monitors what is happening in the other people. This system tracks their emotions, what movements they’re making, what they intend and it activates, in our brains, precisely the same brain areas as are active in the other person,” Goleman explains. “This puts us on the same wavelength and it does it automatically, instantaneously and unconsciously.”

EQ in Sasso Marconi


I’m in Italy, outside Bologna in a town called Sasso Marconi. Apparently it used to be called Sasso, but after Marconi invented the radio here they changed the name to honor him.

Marconi didn’t do well in school and his father saw him as a failure. He worked for years to figure out how to send sound through radio waves — before people even really knew what radio waves are! He ended up discovering how an antenna works by accident!

So was Marconi crazy and obsessed — or brilliant and determined?

I’m enjoying working with another wonderful international group attending the emotional intelligence training certification. Mostly people from Italy, and 5 from beyond. Today we’re working on the “Give Yourself” part of our EQ model and considering how to align our daily choices with a larger sense of purpose.

Did Marconi have a Noble Goal, or was he working on the radio for some other reason? Was he Giving himself, or indulging himself? No idea! But intriguing. What does it take to change the world?

With Age Comes Wisdom? Emotional Intelligence Through the Years


More about this…

The new White Paper by the Six Seconds EQ Network found that there is a correlation between age and emotional intelligence — but it’s slight and not true for all parts of EQ. Previous research by BarOn and Salovey & Mayer also showed that EQ increases with age. What’s new here is that on the Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Assessment there were some areas that did not increase.

Researcher Lorenzo Fariselli of Six Seconds Italia (www.6seconds.it) conducted the analysis,

“The finding suggests emotional intelligence is a developing ability; it is likely that accumulated life experiences contribute to EQ.”

The study also challenges many popular beliefs about “with age comes wisdom” and the widespread perception of a “generation gap” in motivation and altruism. The relationship between EQ and age is very slight – meaning there while a majority of older people are higher in EQ, there are many young people with higher EQ scores than their older counterparts. In addition, some of the aspects of EQ can only be developed through training. So in an era where emotional intelligence is a critical competence for success, this finding shows that young people committed to their own development have a edge.

Massimiliano Ghini is President of Six Seconds Italia and a leading authority on using emotional intelligence to improve business results. His hypothesis of the link between “Give Yourself” and age comes from the responsibilities of adulthood:

“For many people, adulthood and aging introduce increased need and opportunity to connect with and lead others – for example engaging a team or developing an organization’s vision. As people age they have more opportunities to practice these skills.”

Again, the link between age and Give Yourself is modest – so age is no guarantee for vision and wisdom.

Read the White Paper: Emotional Intelligence and Age.

Training Hotel Employees

Fascinating article on new trend in training for hotel employees — the point is that old “follow the script” approaches don’t really work. To create a great hospitality experience workers need to notice their guests, think, and respond authentically.

This is a major shift and challenge for training. Most training I’ve seen, especially in hospitality, is totally behaviorally oriented. Follow the script. Problem is, people are a lot more complex. Instead in our emotional intelligence trainings, we get people to look inside and understand how to connect in a way that’s authentic for them.

Hotels train employees to think fast
By Barbara De Lollis, USA TODAY

Excerpts…

The new-style training programs aren’t limited to how to check in a guest or how to stack dishes in a pantry. Instead, they’re aiming to build distinctive organizational cultures that will add to the bottom line by keeping guests satisfied and loyal for years to come. Out of favor are scripted lines that hotel workers utter regardless of whether the customer appears happy, angry, tired or rushed. Now, hotel workers are being trained to speak for themselves, and to help guests in more meaningful and less conventional ways.

The new training pushes employees to understand who their guests are and why they’re at the hotel, and to anticipate what they might need.

[JF: sounds like emotional intelligence!] “Our guests value the design of our hotels, but what they really remember are the people,” says Michelle Crosby, human resources chief at lodging giant Starwood (HOT). “Their loyalty was often to a specific (employee) who’d gone out of their way for them.”

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Starwood decided to focus its training on its workers’ emotions after examining training practices at customer-service leaders like Disney (DIS), Nordstrom, Southwest Airlines (LUV) and JetBlue (JBLU). Crosby, the Starwood executive, says that for too long the industry has been too insular, resisting good customer-service ideas from other industries.

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In other words, emotionally intelligent employees connect at a “heart level” with guests and meet their needs in a way that’s authentic and memorable: The result is customer loyalty.

The missing link is emotionally intelligent leaders who foster a context where people like this can work that magic.