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The Power of Habit - How to Change Them

The Power of Habit

Mindful leaders know that serving others is the key to better business results, greater team involvement, happier followers and a sustainable future.

Act Mindfully

Many of the leaders I see in my emotional intelligence-based executive coaching practice of over twenty-five years are working long hours and are stressed-out.Some of my clients complain of low energy and exhaustion. They frequently are sleep deprived. Getting adequate sleep is an enormous help in restoring mental clarity and the drive to succeed.

My holistic approach to coaching is to work with the whole person, so upon request I weave into my leadership development work the importance of stress resiliency, mindfulness, daily meditation practice, exercise and proper nutrition. I recommend clients see their physician if they have specific health concerns, and make referrals to nutritionists, fitness trainers and other health experts when appropriate.

Act mindfully and savor your relationships at work and at home. Stop doing things that no longer serve you. Create the powerful habit of “pacing” yourself to restore energy, build resiliency and create well-being.

"Respect yourself and others will respect you."– Confucius

Identify Patterns

Watch this hilarious video:

Bob Newhart-Stop Ithttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow0lr63y4Mw

In his thought provoking book “The Power of Habit”, Charles Duhigg, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, tackles an important reality head on. That is, people succeed when they identify patterns that shape their lives--and learn how to change them. This idea--that you can indeed change your habits--draws on recent research in experimental psychology, neurology, and applied psychology.

Duhigg looks at the habits of individuals, how habits operate in the brain, howcompanies use them, and how retailers use habits to manipulate buying habits. The author's main contention is that "you have the freedom and responsibility" to remake your habits. He says "the most addicted alcoholics can become sober. The most dysfunctional companies can transform themselves. A high school dropout can become a successful manager."

"The Habit Loop" explains exactly what a habit is.According to the author, habits make up 40% of our daily routine. The process within our brains is a three-step loop.  First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which behavior to use. Second, there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is the reward.

Your daily habits create the foundation of your life–your health, wealth, happiness, productivity, quality of relationships, and energy level. You can become more mindful creating the intention to interrupt patterns that don’t serve you. Establish positive habits that lead to a happy and prosperous life.

Neuroscience research

You create habits as an efficiency mechanism. Neuroscience research tells us that the brain quickly transforms as many tasks and behaviors as possible into habits so that we can do them without thinking. This frees up the brain to deal with new challenges. But first, we have to integrate the new habit and that can feel challenging.

Think about when you start a new activity. Your brain works hard to integrate it into your life, processing huge amounts of new information as you progress through the activity. As soon as you understand how it works, your behavior starts becoming automatic and the amount of mental effort required to perform the activity decreases.

Positive new habits

The best way to approach creating positive new habits that will last is to take baby steps bringing them into your life one at a time. This gives you the opportunity to repeat the habit over and over until it is a part of your automatic behavior, and also allows you to focus the extra brainpower required for the habit on one or few activities so you aren’t overwhelmed. Then when your habit is automatic, you can add another one.

It might seem counter-intuitive, and that this approach will bring slow results. But, when you consider that studies show most people only make changes for a short amount of time before giving up, this approach actually brings results fast. Plus, you can say goodbye to that discouraging yo-yo cycle of starting and then breaking habits! Dieting is a good example of an intention that often goes awry, and demotivates people.

Keystone Habits

Watch this video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4H0fTwtPLfo

It wasn’t the trip to Cairo that had caused the shift, scientists were convinced, or the divorce or desert trek. It was that Lisa had focused on changing just one habit—smoking—at first. Everyone in the study had gone through a similar process. By focusing on one pattern—what is known as a “keystone habit”—Lisa had taught herself how to reprogram the other routines in her life, as well.”
~ Charles Duhigg in “The Power of Habit”

This is my favorite Big Idea in the book. The basic idea: There’s a habit that when we change it will have the greatest positive impact on our lives. It’s a KEYSTONE habit. Keystones are good.

As the Apple dictionary tells us, a keystone is “a central stone at the summit of an arch, locking the whole together.”

So...what’s your keystone habit? What’s the #1 thing you could change that would have the most positive impact on your life? Is it quitting smoking? No longer drinking? Drastically reducing your internet time? Getting your inbox to zero? Meditating every day? Think about it. And pick one.

Exercise

This is a keystone habit for me that I commit to changing: Frequency of checking e-mail

So, let’s look at my Cue + Routine + Reward.

Old pattern: Cue = Checking my e-mail first thing in the morning. Routine = Tell myself there might be something important that needs my immediate attention. Reward = Convinced myself that there are no problems lurking out there for me.

New pattern: Cue = Getting out of bed bright and early ready to get a fast start to my day. Routine = Tell myself how much more productive I will be getting some “real work” (writing a blog post or article etc.) before checking my e-mail. Reward = Honored my commitment to be more focused, strategic and productive. Stopped fooling myself that checking e-mail incessantly is helping me reach my goals for the day!

Back to you: What’s your keystone habit? And your Cue + Routine + Reward?

The book goes into more detail that will be very helpful for you as you look to re-shape your habits, but let’s take a quick inventory:

My keystone habit:_____________________________________

My current Cue:_______________________________________

My current Routine:____________________________________

My current Reward:____________________________________

My new Cue: _________________________________________

My new Routine:_______________________________________

My new Reward:_______________________________________

Well done! Practice your new habit for thirty days so that it is well established. Change your brain and thrive!

 

Healthy Eating Habits

"We don't stop playing games because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing games." ­
-- George Bernard Shaw

What high performance leaders eat is so important to their success. A number of my clients seeking better nutrition have found reading the books “Eat to Live” by Joel Fuhrman, MD, and "The Perfect Health Diet” by Paul Jaminet and Shou-Ching Shih Jaminet, and changing their eating habits very helpful to restore energy and vitality.

Jack Lallane, the fitness guru recommended mostly eating “live food”. Processed or man-made food may not have helped him in his 90’s pull all of those boats in the water!

  

“Real Age" Health Survey

I recently took the "Real Age" Health Survey and found it a pretty good indicator of my health habits, which is vitally important as we get older and hopefully healthier and wiser.
I'm really 58 not 66. My goal is to be 24. I can dream big and so can you!

A number of my executive coaching clients have found taking the health survey a real wake-up call! You can take the free survey at http://www.doctoroz.com/realage

Sustainable leaders take time for self-reflection, model healthy behaviors and flourish. They seek constant reinvention.  A bit of luck can help too! Are your health habits serving you?

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders? Sustainable leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to constantly reinvent themselves, and create a more compelling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Am I taking care of my physical, emotional and spiritual health and ending bad habits?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their leadership development programs.

Working with a seasoned cognitive executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help enlightened leaders create a sustainable future. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company.

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coaching Firm Helping Innovative Companies and Law Firms Assess, Select, Coach, Engage  and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Executive Coaching; Leadership Development; Performance-Based Interviewing; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; Culture Change; Career Coaching and Leadership Retreats

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Trusted Advisor to Senior Leadership Teams

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies select and develop emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

“Maynard Brusman is one of the foremost coaches in the United States. He utilizes a wide variety of assessments in his work with senior executives and upper level managers, and is adept at helping his clients both develop higher levels of emotional intelligence and achieve breakthrough business results. As a senior leader in the executive coaching field, Dr. Brusman brings an exceptional level of wisdom, energy, and creativity to his work.” — Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., President, College of Executive Coaching

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com 
Connect with me on these Social Media sites.

http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

© 2013 Dr. Maynard Brusman, Working Resources

Categories: 

Accountability Essentials – Employee Accountability Requires Engagement

Accountability Essentials

Mindful leaders know that serving others is the key to better business results, greater team involvement, happier followers and a sustainable future.

I recently spoke with the senior VP of Human Resources of a Silicon Valley company regarding providing executive coaching for the company CEO. She asked some very insightful questions to determine fit. She specifically wanted to know how I work with different personality styles, and my methods for initiating change in thinking and behavior.

The senior VP of HR and I spoke about my approach to coaching, and my belief that possessing a psychological understanding of human behavior based on neuroscience and emotional intelligence are important competencies for coaching executives. We also spoke of the need for her company to create a high involvement culture where accountability is practiced from the top and throughout the organization.

The senior VP of HR is interested in partnering with me in helping create a collaborative and high involvement corporate culture based on trust and respect. We further discussed how company executives can benefit by working with a seasoned cognitive executive coach.

Employee Accountability Requires Engagement

In an age of ubiquitous social media and cell-phone videos, leaders know that one careless customer experience can go viral, ruining their corporate reputations and wrecking careers. They ned to be transparent, conscientious and responsible to their global constituents, never forgetting that employees, customers and the community at large will hold them to the highest standards.

Accountability refers to your answerability, blameworthiness and liability. Leaders need to acknowledge and assume responsibility for their actions, products, decisions and policies. They need to insist on accountability at all levels of the workplace hierarchy. Employees should be expected to operate within a culture of personal responsibility and be held accountable to their peers, teams and the organization.

Transparency and Engagement

Accountability starts at the top, with an executive team that fully commits to worthy goals and objectives. With transparency, you engage your workforce to implement, support and be accountable for corporate actions.

Employee accountability requires engagement. The highest motivator is intrinsic: tapping into people’s strengths and interests, while allowing a certain degree of autonomy. Rewards needn’t always be monetary; often, simple recognition stimulates engagement. Most people work better when they know someone cares and is interested in them.

Effective Feedback

True accountability cannot exist without feedback and rewards—areas in which most organizations have weaknesses.

Unfortunately, most managers dread providing feedback, which seems to have such a negative connotation in our society. No matter how many negative comments are offset with positive ones, recipients always seem to obsess over perceived slights. This tendency is actually physiological: Our brains are wired to be biased toward negativity—a phenomenon that can undermine trust and rapport.

Needless to say, if your feedback is strictly positive, there’s no way for you to provide constructive input. On the other end of the feedback continuum, overly critical feedback will discourage employees’ efforts. Leaders need to strike the right balance.

The most effective managers, leaders and coaches provide high-support/high-challenge feedback, which increases employee awareness while pushing for enhanced performance. You can say, for example: “Your recent report was stellar. You covered all the basics and backed them up with research. Here’s an idea to consider: How can this report be better? I’d like to see you come up with one or two ways to make it airtight. How would you do that?”

Team Accountability and Feedback

Most management systems are so focused on individual performance that they undermine the very teamwork they hope to encourage. As a team manager, you can support desired behaviors by ensuring that everyone understands and agrees on what success looks like. Bring team members together to discuss goals and metrics. Have them answer this question: “What would it take for us to give ourselves an A?”

Once the team knows and understands its mission and how work will be evaluated, be sure to check in regularly. Pose questions that help the group assess its progress:

  • How are we performing as a team?
  • What obstacles can we remove?

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to be accountable? Resonant leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more fulfilling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Am I fully engaged and accountable for my performance?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their transformational peak performance leadership development program.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you become a more accountable leader. You can become a leader who models emotional and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company.

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coaching Firm Helping Innovative Companies and Law Firms Assess, Select, Coach, Engage  and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Executive Coaching; Leadership Development; Performance-Based Interviewing; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; Culture Change; Career Coaching and Leadership Retreats

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Trusted Advisor to Senior Leadership Teams

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies select and develop emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

“Maynard Brusman is one of the foremost coaches in the United States. He utilizes a wide variety of assessments in his work with senior executives and upper level managers, and is adept at helping his clients both develop higher levels of emotional intelligence and achieve breakthrough business results. As a senior leader in the executive coaching field, Dr. Brusman brings an exceptional level of wisdom, energy, and creativity to his work.” — Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., President, College of Executive Coaching

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com 
Connect with me on these Social Media sites.

http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

 

 

Categories: 

Leading with Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

Mindful leaders know that in serving others as opposed to treating employees as servants is the key to better business results, greater team involvement, happier followers and a sustainable future.”
- Dr. Maynard Brusman, San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coach

Leadership’s Link to Emotional Intelligence

More than anyone else, the boss creates the conditions that directly determine people’s ability to work well”.
~ Daniel Goleman, Primal Leadership

Ever wonder why some of the most brilliant, well-educated people aren’t promoted, while those with fewer obvious skills climb the professional ladder? Chalk it up to emotional intelligence (EI).

When the concept first emerged in 1995, EI helped explain why people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs more than two-thirds of the time.

In the United States, experts had assumed that high IQ was key to high performance. Decades of research now point to EI as the critical factor that separates star performers from the rest of the pack.

People have been talking about EI (also called EQ) ever since psychologist Daniel Goleman published the New York Times bestseller Emotional Intelligence in 1995. Everyone agrees that emotional savvy is vital, but we’ve generally been unable to harness its power. Many of us lack a full understanding of our emotions, let alone others’. We fail to appreciate how feelings fundamentally influence our everyday lives and careers.

"The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it." - Carl Jung

The Emotional Brain

The brain’s wiring makes us emotional creatures. Our first reaction to any event is always emotional. We have no control over this part of the process. We can, however, control the thoughts that follow an emotion, how we react, and what we say and do.

Your reactions are shaped by your personal history, which includes your experiences in similar situations and your personality style.When you develop your emotional intelligence, you’ll learn to spot emotional triggers and practice productive responses.

Emotional Intelligence and Performance

When we feel good, we work better. Feeling good lubricates mental efficiency, facilitating comprehension and complex decision-making. Upbeat moods help us feel more optimistic about our ability to achieve a goal, enhance creativity and predispose us to being more helpful.

How does emotional intelligence contribute to our professional success?

The higher you climb the corporate ladder and the more people you supervise, the more your EI skills come into play.

Your emotional intelligence is the foundation for a host of critical skills, and it impacts most everything you say and do each day. It strongly drives leadership and personal excellence.

EI and Leadership

As a leader, you set the emotional tone that others follow. Our brains are hardwired to cue in (both consciously and unconsciously) to others’ emotional states. This is particularly true for leaders. People want to know how a leader feels and will synchronize with authorities they trust.

The emotional tone that permeates your organization starts with you as a leader, and it depends entirely on your EI. When employees feel upbeat, they’ll go the extra mile to please customers. There’s a predictable business result: For every 1% improvement in the service climate, there’s a 2% increase in revenue.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you become a more resonant leader.You can become a leader who models emotional and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company.

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Trusted Advisor to Senior Leadership Teams

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies select and develop emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

“Maynard Brusman is one of the foremost coaches in the United States. He utilizes a wide variety of assessments in his work with senior executives and upper level managers, and is adept at helping his clients both develop higher levels of emotional intelligence and achieve breakthrough business results. As a senior leader in the executive coaching field, Dr. Brusman brings an exceptional level of wisdom, energy, and creativity to his work.” — Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., President, College of Executive Coaching

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com 
Connect with me on these Social Media sites.

http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

 

 

Categories: 

Mindfulness Meditation-Creating Awareness of Habit

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindful leaders know that in serving others as opposed to treating employees as servants is the key to better business results, greater team involvement, happier followers and a sustainable future.”

- Dr. Maynard Brusman, San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coach

Act Mindfully

Many of the leaders I see in my emotional intelligence-based executive coaching practice of over twenty-five years are working long hours and are stressed-out. Some of my clients complain of low energy and exhaustion. They frequently are sleep deprived. Getting adequate sleep is an enormous help in restoring mental clarity and the drive to succeed.

My holistic approach to coaching is to work with the whole person, so upon request I weave into my leadership development work the importance of stress resiliency, mindfulness, daily meditation practice, exercise and proper nutrition. I recommend clients see their physician if they have specific health concerns, and make referrals to nutritionists, fitness trainers and other health experts when appropriate. "Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality." - Thích Nhất Hạnh

Act mindfully and savor your relationships at work and at home. Create the powerful habit of “pacing” yourself to restore energy, build resiliency and create well-being.

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
- William Blake

The Power of Habit

Watch this video!    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4H0fTwt

In his thought provoking book “The Power of Habit”, Charles Duhigg, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, tackles an important reality head on. That is, people succeed when they identify patterns that shape their lives--and learn how to change them. This idea--that you can indeed change your habits--draws on recent research in experimental psychology, neurology, and applied psychology.

Duhigg looks at the habits of individuals, how habits operate in the brain, howcompanies use them, and how retailers use habits to manipulate buying habits. The author's main contention is that "you have the freedom and responsibility" to remake your habits. He says "the most addicted alcoholics can become sober. The most dysfunctional companies can transform themselves. A high school dropout can become a successful manager."

"The Habit Loop" explains exactly what a habit is. According to the author, habits make up 40% of our daily routine.  The process within our brains is a three-step loop.  First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which behavior to use. Second, there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is the reward.

Your daily habits create the foundation of your life–your health, wealth, happiness, productivity, quality of relationships, and energy level. You can become more mindful creating the intention to interrupt patterns that don’t serve you. Establish positive habits that lead to a happy and prosperous life.

You create habits as an efficiency mechanism. Neuroscience research tells us that the brain quickly transforms as many tasks and behaviors as possible into habits so that we can do them without thinking. This frees up the brain to deal with new challenges. But first, we have to integrate the new habit and that can feel challenging.

Creating Awareness of Habit

Think about when you start a new activity. Your brain works hard to integrate it into your life, processing huge amounts of new information as you progress through the activity. As soon as you understand how it works, your behavior starts becoming automatic and the amount of mental effort required to perform the activity decreases.

The best way to approach creating positive new habits that will last is to take baby steps bringing them into your life one at a time. This gives you the opportunity to repeat the habit over and over until it is a part of your automatic behavior, and also allows you to focus the extra brainpower required for the habit on one or few activities so you aren’t overwhelmed. Then when your habit is automatic, you can add another one.

It might seem counter-intuitive, and that this approach will bring slow results. But, when you consider that studies show most people only make changes for a short amount of time before giving up, this approach actually brings results fast. Mindfulness mediation can help you become aware of your habits and interrupt patterns of behavior that are no longer serving you.

Mindfulness Meditation

As Suzuki Roshi, a great contemporary Zen master, wrote in his book now classic book, Zen Mind Beginners Mind:

"When you are practicing Zazen meditation, do not try to stop your thinking. Let it stop by itself. If something comes into your mind, let it come in and let it go out. It will not stay long. When you try to stop your thinking, it means you are bothered by it. Do not be bothered by anything. It appears that the something comes from outside your mind, but actually it is only the waves of your mind and if you are not bothered by the waves, gradually they will become calmer and calmer . . . Many sensations come, many thoughts and images arise but they are just waves from your own mind. Nothing comes from outside your mind . . . If you leave your mind as it is, it will become calm. This mind is called Big Mind."

Many of my clients aren’t really sure what mediation is or how to practice it. Meditation is a very general term. It refers to contemplative practices that developed in all the world's great wisdom traditions. The practices of mindful meditation are about recognizing and liberating ourselves from our delusions, confusions, and unrealistic views of reality that lead us to act in ways incongruent with who we truly are.

Meditation helps us recognize and free ourselves from our patterns and habits. It opens the way to begin to discover and realize the true freedom of the mind, and allows us to awaken to and realize our true nature and our highest potential.

As we come to see the true nature of ourselves and reality more deeply, mindfulness meditation allows us to live in harmony and be congruent with the way things truly are. There is a deep compassion, kindness, non-violence, peace of mind, and a sense of reverence and devotion for the mystery of ourselves and the world in which we live.

When we awaken to a deeper sense of our connectedness to everyone and everything else, then we awaken to the realization that we are a part of a single body, and to hurt or harm ourselves is to hurt all beings. Practicing meditation helps you create a deeper sense of empathy and connection with people.

We don’t sit in meditation to become good meditators. We sit in meditation so that we’ll be more awake in our lives.” ~ Pema Chödrön from When Things Fall Apart

Are you working in an organization where executive coaches help leaders practice mindfulness meditation to improve their self-awareness and empathy skills? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to learn how to have self- coaching conversations? Enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more fulfilling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Do I practice mindfulness meditation to become more self-aware?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching to help develop mindful leaders.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders build high performance organizations. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coaching Firm Helping Innovative Companies and Law Firms Assess, Select, Coach, Engage  and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Executive Coaching; Leadership Development; Performance-Based Interviewing; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; Culture Change; Career Coaching and Leadership Retreats

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Trusted Advisor to Senior Leadership Teams

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies select and develop emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

“Maynard Brusman is one of the foremost coaches in the United States. He utilizes a wide variety of assessments in his work with senior executives and upper level managers, and is adept at helping his clients both develop higher levels of emotional intelligence and achieve breakthrough business results. As a senior leader in the executive coaching field, Dr. Brusman brings an exceptional level of wisdom, energy, and creativity to his work.” — Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., President, College of Executive Coaching

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com 
Connect with me on these Social Media sites.

http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

 

                                                                    © Copyright 2013 Dr. Maynard Brusman, Working Resources

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: 

How to Enhance Your Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

“Mindful leaders know that in serving others as opposed to treating employees as servants is the key to more innovation and creativity, greater team involvement, happier followers, creating a high involvement culture and better business results.” - Dr. Maynard Brusman, San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coach

Are you a leader who would like to improve your emotional intelligence and have a more fulfilling life and career? For over thirty years, I have been working with enlightened leaders to improve their emotional intelligence and thrive at work.

It takes self-awareness and empathy to grow and become a better leader. I have coached hundreds of people to improve their EI effectiveness. You can choose to work with an executive coach to help facilitate your emotional intelligence leadership development. 

 “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves."
 —Victor Frankel

Emotional Intelligence

Unlike IQ, which is unchanging from childhood on, emotional intelligence can be developed. In fact, it usually does become greater with age and maturity. The importance of developing one’s emotional intelligence is essential to success in the workplace. Utilizing the power and energy of one’s emotions leads to high motivation, and improves problem-solving and decision-making.

People work better when they good, and feeling good about oneself and others requires good management of emotions. Some people are better at this than others, but everyone can learn the skills.

Understanding emotions contributes toward building an emotionally intelligent organization. An emotionally intelligent organization can be imagined where:

  • Everyone communicates with understanding and respect
  • People set group goals and help others work toward them
  • Enthusiasm and confidence in the organization are widespread

EQ-I 2.0 Assessment Tool

A new and effective tool to aid in the improvement of emotional and social intelligence is the recently revised Emotional Quotient Inventory 2.0 or EQ-I 2.0. The creator of the original EQI, Dr. Reuven Bar-On created the term "emotional quotient" or "EQ" referring to a numerical score similar to what one would receive on an IQ test. John Mayer of the University of New Hampshire and Peter Salovey (now the President of Yale) popularized the term "emotional intelligence" (EI).

In his insightful book, The EQ Edge, Dr. Steven Stein explains a basic method of helping a leader increase their emotional intelligence. The following example explains the process.

The EQ Enhancement Process

George Cook, an executive vice president of sales and marketing wants to be more successful or more efficient in his duties. Or, perhaps, his superiors feel he could be, and have urged him to upgrade his skills. First, we look at his job description. What does he do, what roles does he perform? The answers to these questions allow us to figure out which of the 16 competency scales are essential to his position. 

But chances are that his position is not unique – so his executive coach constructs an EQ profile of his most successful peers within that firm, and in other comparable firms. Next, George takes the EQ-I 2.0, and his results are scored and interpreted. The executive coach then  generates  a comprehensive report outlining his relative strengths and weaknesses. 

George’s strengths and weaknesses are then compared to his successful and in some cases, less successful peers. Executive coaching then focuses on those attributes most crucial to his job, and on which he needs the most help. Eventually, his low or mediocre scores will improve, and his profile will begin to more accurately mirror that of high performers. George will have developed new abilities or been able to bolster latent ones, so that he functions more like the successful senior executive he wished to be.

The use of 360-degree surveys are also a revealing way to measure and develop emotional intelligence, because such surveys ask colleagues, boss, direct reports and even family members to rate the person on emotional competencies. The EQI 360 feedback assessment method offers a fuller picture for anyone wanting to develop a plan for improvement. Executives who work intensely with an executive coach trained in the emotional competencies for successful leadership get better with the support of the system or organization.

Summary

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to help leaders improve their emotional intelligence? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who are motivated to create organizations that flourish? Enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more fulfilling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Do I want to grow and become more a more emotionally intelligent leader?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching to help leaders grow and develop their full potential.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders enhance their emotional intelligence. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coaching Firm Helping Innovative Companies and Law Firms Assess, Select, Coach, Engage  and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Executive Coaching; Leadership Development; Performance-Based Interviewing; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; Culture Change; Career Coaching and Leadership Retreats

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Trusted Advisor to Senior Leadership Teams

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies select and develop emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

“Maynard Brusman is one of the foremost coaches in the United States. He utilizes a wide variety of assessments in his work with senior executives and upper level managers, and is adept at helping his clients both develop higher levels of emotional intelligence and achieve breakthrough business results. As a senior leader in the executive coaching field, Dr. Brusman brings an exceptional level of wisdom, energy, and creativity to his work.” — Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., President, College of Executive Coaching
For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com 
Connect with me on these Social Media sites.

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                                                                    © Copyright 2013 Dr. Maynard Brusman, Working Resources

Categories: 

Leadership Effectiveness Through Emotional Intelligence

Leadership Effectiveness

“Mindful leaders know that in serving others as opposed to treating employees as servants is the key to better business results, greater team involvement, happier followers and a sustainable future.”
- Dr. Maynard Brusman, San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coach

I recently spoke with the senior VP of Human Resources of a Silicon Valley company regarding providing executive coaching for the company CEO. She asked some very insightful questions to determine fit. She specifically wanted to know how I work with different personality styles, and my methods for initiating change in thinking and behavior.

The senior VP of HR and I spoke about my approach to coaching, and my belief that possessing a psychological understanding of human behavior based on neuroscience and emotional intelligence are important competencies for coaching executives. We also spoke of the need for her company to create a high involvement culture where innovation and creativity flourish.

The senior VP of HR is interested in partnering with me in helping create a collaborative and high involvement corporate culture based on trust and respect. We further discussed how company executives can benefit by working with a seasoned cognitive executive coach.

Leadership’s Link to Emotional Intelligence

"More than anyone else, the boss creates the conditions that directly determine people’s ability to work well." ~ Daniel Goleman, Primal Leadership

Ever wonder why some of the most brilliant, well-educated people aren’t promoted, while those with fewer obvious skills climb the professional ladder? Chalk it up to emotional intelligence (EI).

When the concept first emerged in 1995, EI helped explain why people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs more than two-thirds of the time.

In the United States, experts had assumed that high IQ was key to high performance. Decades of research now point to EI as the critical factor that separates star performers from the rest of the pack.

People have been talking about EI (also called EQ) ever since psychologist Daniel Goleman published the New York Times bestseller Emotional Intelligence in 1995. Everyone agrees that emotional savvy is vital, but we’ve generally been unable to harness its power. Many of us lack a full understanding of our emotions, let alone others’. We fail to appreciate how feelings fundamentally influence our everyday lives and careers.

Research by the TalentSmart consulting firm indicates that only 36% of people tested can accurately identify their emotions as they happen. Two-thirds of people are typically controlled by their emotions but remain unskilled at using them beneficially.

The Emotional Brain

The brain’s wiring makes us emotional creatures. Our first reaction to any event is always emotional. We have no control over this part of the process. We can, however, control the thoughts that follow an emotion, how we react, and what we say and do.

Your reactions are shaped by your personalhistory, which includes your experiences in similar situations and your personality style. When you develop your emotional intelligence, you’ll learn to spot emotional triggers and practice productive responses.

Defining Emotional Intelligence

EI is your ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships. It affects how you manage behavior, navigate social complexities and make personal decisions that achieve positive results.

EI is composed of four core skills that are paired under two primary competencies: personal and social.

Emotional Intelligence

What I See

What I Do

Personal Competence

Self-awareness

Self-management

Social Competence

Social Awareness

Relationship Management

Personal competence includes self-awareness and self-management skills that focus on your interactions with other people.

  • Self-Awareness is your ability to perceive your emotions accurately and be aware of them as they happen.
  • Self-Management is your ability to use awareness of your emotions to be flexible and positively direct your behavior.

Social competenceis your ability to understand other people’s moods, behavior and motives to improve the quality of your relationships.

  • Social Awareness is your ability to accurately pick up on other people’s emotions and understand what’s really going on.
  • Relationship Management is your ability to use awareness of your and others’ emotions to manage interactions successfully.

Emotional Intelligence, IQ and Personality Are Different

Emotional intelligence taps into a fundamental element of human behavior that is distinct from your intellect. There is no connection between IQ and emotional intelligence. Intelligence is your ability to learn, as well as retrieve and apply knowledge.

Emotional intelligence is a flexible set of skills that can be acquired and improved with practice. While some people are naturally more emotionally intelligent than others, you can develop high emotional intelligence even if you aren’t born with it.

Personality is the stable “style” that defines each of us. It’s the result of hard-wired preferences, such as the inclination toward introversion or extroversion. IQ, emotional intelligence and personality each cover unique ground and help explain what makes us tick.

Emotional Intelligence and Performance

When we feel good, we work better. Feeling good lubricates mental efficiency, facilitating comprehension and complex decision-making. Upbeat moods help us feel more optimistic about our ability to achieve a goal, enhance creativity and predispose us to being more helpful.

How does emotional intelligence contribute to our professional success?

The higher you climb the corporate ladder and the more people you supervise, the more your EI skills come into play.

TalentSmart tested EI alongside 33 other important workplace skills and found it to be the strongest predictor of performance, responsible for 58% of success across all job types.

Likewise, more than 90% of top performers in leadership positions possessed a high degree of EI. On the flip side, just 20% of poor performers demonstrated high EI.

Your emotional intelligence is the foundation for a host of critical skills, and it impacts most everything you say and do each day. It strongly drives leadership and personal excellence.

EI and Income

You can be a top performer without emotional intelligence, but it’s rare. People with a high degree of EI make more money—an average of $29,000 more per year than those with low EI.

The link between emotional intelligence and earnings is so well founded that every point increase in EI adds $1,300 to one’s annual salary. These findings hold true for people in all industries, at all levels, in every region of the world.

EI and Leadership

As a leader, you set the emotional tone that others follow. Our brains are hardwired to cue in (both consciously and unconsciously) to others’ emotional states. This is particularly true for leaders. People want to know how a leader feels and will synchronize with authorities they trust.

The emotional tone that permeates your organization starts with you as a leader, and it depends entirely on your EI. When employees feel upbeat, they’ll go the extra mile to please customers. There’s a predictable business result: For every 1% improvement in the service climate, there’s a 2% increase in revenue.

The table that follows, provided by TalentSmart’s Dr. Travis Bradbury, contrasts the behaviors of high-EI vs. low-EI leaders:

Leaders with Low EI

Leaders with High EI

Sound off even when it won’t help

Only speak out when doing so helps the situation

Brush off people when bothered

Keep lines of communication open, even when frustrated

Deny that emotions impact their thinking

Recognize when other people are affecting their emotional state

Get defensive when challenged

Are open to feedback

Focus only on tasks and ignore the person

Show others they care about them

Are oblivious to unspoken tension

Accurately pick up on the room’s mood

CEOs Score Low EI

Measures of EI in half a million senior executives, managers and employees across industries, on six continents, reveal some interesting data. Scores climb with titles, from the bottom of the ladder upward toward middle management, where EI peaks. Mid-managers have the highest EI scores in the workforce. After that, EI scores plummet.

Because leaders achieve organizational goals through others, you may assume they have the best people skills. Wrong! CEOs, on average, have the lowest workplace EI scores.

Too many leaders are promoted for their technical knowledge, discrete achievements and seniority, rather than for their skills in managing and influencing others. Once they reach the top, they actually spend less time interacting with staff.

But achieving goals—and high performance—is only part of the formula for leadership success. Great leaders excel at relationship management, influencing people because they’re skilled in forming alliances and persuading others.

EI has a direct bearing on corporate reputation. Boards of directors recognize how it affects stock prices, media coverage, public opinion and a leader’s viability. Look at any corporate disaster or scandal. If leaders cannot genuinely express empathy, it’s that much harder for them to garner trust and support.

A 2001 study by Dr. Fabio Sala (www.eiconsortium.org) demonstrates that senior-level employees are more likely to have inflated views of their EI competencies and less congruence with others’ perceptions.

Sala proposes two explanations for these findings:

1. It’s lonely at the top. Senior executives have fewer opportunities for feedback.

2. People are less inclined to give constructive feedback to more senior colleagues.

Nonetheless, EI’s effect on business performance and senior employees’ grandiosity highlight the need for well-executed performance management systems that measure emotional competencies.

Ethical Failures

The news media have highlighted numerous cases involving failed CEOs derailed by their low EI. Press coverage has prompted boards to become more sensitive to this leadership trait.

You’re prone to ethical failures if you overestimate your intelligence and believe you’ll never get caught. Arrogance distorts your capacity to read situations accurately.

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, neurosciences journalist Jonah Lehrer discusses the contradiction of power — essentially, how nice people can change when they assume positions of authority.

“People in power tend to reliably overestimate their moral virtue, which leads them to stifle oversight,” he writes. “They lobby against regulators, and fill corporate boards with their friends. The end result is sometimes power at its most dangerous.”

How to Develop EI

Research by Goleman and other experts supports the view that EI can be learned, and it seems to rise with age and maturity.

In 2005, TalentSmart measured the EI of 3,000 top executives in China. The Chinese leaders scored, on average, 15 points higher than American executives in self-management and relationship management. To compete globally, the United States must pay attention to emotional competencies.

Developing your EI skills is not something you learn in school or by reading a book. It takes training, practice and reinforcement. The first step is measurement, through behavioral-based interviews and 360-degree feedback.

Executives with little experience in receiving feedback can find this approach somewhat threatening. Try to conquer your fears, as the process brings needed attention to gaps and development opportunities. It may be best to work with an executive coach.

Remember: Your emotional state and actions affect how others feel and perform. This trickle-down effect contributes to — or sabotages — your organization’s well-being.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to reinvent themselves? Resonant leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more fulfilling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Do I have emotional intelligence competence to reinvent myself and grow?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their transformational peak performance leadership development program.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you become a more resonant leader. You can become a leader who models emotional and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company.

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coaching Firm Helping Innovative Companies and Law Firms Assess, Select, Coach, Engage  and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Executive Coaching; Leadership Development; Performance-Based Interviewing; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; Culture Change; Career Coaching and Leadership Retreats

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Trusted Advisor to Senior Leadership Teams

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies select and develop emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

“Maynard Brusman is one of the foremost coaches in the United States. He utilizes a wide variety of assessments in his work with senior executives and upper level managers, and is adept at helping his clients both develop higher levels of emotional intelligence and achieve breakthrough business results. As a senior leader in the executive coaching field, Dr. Brusman brings an exceptional level of wisdom, energy, and creativity to his work.” — Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., President, College of Executive Coaching

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com 
Connect with me on these Social Media sites.

http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

Categories: 

Mastering Leadership Psychology

Mastering Leadership Psychology

“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”~Fred Rogers, The World According to Mr. Rogers: Important Things to Remember (Hyperion, 2003)

Whether you’re starting out, changing jobs mid-career or completing your last decade of work, leadership success depends on how well you manage yourself and interact with others.

Mastering leadership psychology is crucial for professional development. What got you here won’t get you there. Success depends on knowing, appreciating and accepting who you are.

You can turn deficits into strengths when you understand them. You can play to these strengths and avoid their inherent traps with sufficient self-knowledge and support from the right people.

Effective leaders also use psychology to understand and motivate others. As you ascend to positions of greater power and responsibility, you’ll increasingly rely on social and emotional intelligence.

"Respect yourself and others will respect you." - Confucius

A rapidly changing business environment will pose numerous challenges:

  • An increased workload as markets become more complex
  • Situations that require political savvy and exemplary interpersonal skills
  • Time and energy management
  • Unprecedented pressure and stressors
  • An increasingly diverse global workforce
  • Rapidly evolving products and services
  • Unpredictable market changes
  • Technological advances

Whether you work in manufacturing, retail or services, your understanding of human psychology will drive optimal business outcomes.

This article examines three essential psychology skills that every leader must master.

“Sustainable leaders know that serving others as opposed to treating employees as servants is the key to better business results, greater team involvement and happier followers.”
Dr. Maynard Brusman, San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coach

Psychology Skill #1:
Know Yourself Well

Knowing yourself, and knowing the forces that affect the people who work for you, holds the key to being a successful leader.” ~ Kenneth M. Settel, MD, Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, CEO Psychology: Who Rises, Who Falls and Why (RosettaBooks, 2012)

The very character traits that peg you as a high-potential leader may also prevent you from making it to the finish line. Every strength has a downside when carried to the extreme. Self-awareness can prevent self-sabotage.

You probably have a sense of your personal talents and liabilities. Learning how to leverage them at work—amplifying your strengths, while minimizing your weaknesses—sets the stage for good interpersonal relationships. You’ll become less vulnerable and sensitive to criticism. You’ll also learn more about your leadership constitution:

  • Do you have the drive, personality and desire necessary to shouldering executive responsibilities?
  • Can you cope with the associated stressors and the job’s highs and lows?

Even the strongest, most talented leaders have flaws. Each of us is driven by conscious and unconscious forces that must be channeled into positive outcomes, so it’s important to seek personal development opportunities at every stage of your career. You won’t gain self-knowledge in a vacuum, so consider working with a mentor or experienced leadership coach.

Psychology Skill #2:
Lead through Engagement

When the best leader’s work is done, the people say, ‘We did it ourselves.’” ~ Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu (604–531 B.C.), Tao Te Ching

Engaged employees are 22% more productive, according to a new Gallup meta-analysis of 1.4 million employees. They also enjoy double the rate of success, lower absenteeism and turnover, and fewer safety incidents and quality defects.

In an engaged workforce, people want to come to work. They understand their jobs and appreciate how their specific responsibilities contribute to the organization’s overall success.

An effective leader builds integrated teams: knowledge “communities” whose members work together creatively to achieve the desired results. If you expect your people to back initiatives with focus and enthusiasm, develop five essential skills that Dr. Settel describes in his book:

1.    Maintain your focus. Don’t lose sight of your personal and organizational goals as you face the everyday onslaught of complex information and technology (yet another reason to retain an executive coach). Ask yourself:

a. What are my guideposts? My first priorities?

b. Am I sticking to my path, or am I getting distracted?

2.    Maintain your values and integrity: Regularly assess whether you’ve strayed from your personal and organizational values. Ask yourself:

a. Am I keeping to principles and standards in spite of pressures and frustrations?

b. Do I resist the lure of competition and greed?

3.  Effectively prioritize and allocate resources: Keep resources aligned with long-term goals and strategies. Strong voices, from inside and outside the organization, will place conflicting demands on you. Maintain a clear sense of what truly matters in the long run.

4.  Understand your people’s expectations: Subordinates have expectations from important parental figures, including their bosses. They count on your love, support and approval. Understanding these desires makes you a better leader, especially when expectations become irrational.

5. Serve as a role model: Everything you say and do is magnified and interpreted, often in unintended ways. Your communication and behavior carry weight, influencing others. Employees want to know that you love your work and appreciate their contributions. They closely watch how you handle challenges and achievements, and they will mirror your behavior.

Ask yourself:

  • How am I engaging my staff?
  • Do the people who work for me appear happy, or do they frequently complain?
  • Do they always ask for more time, resources or money, or can they move forward with what’s provided?
  • Who is generating new ideas? Do I encourage employee participation in planning and strategizing?
  • Can people carry out tasks without direct supervision?
  • Am I sympathetic to, and supportive of, others’ needs and concerns?
  • How resilient am I when faced with setbacks and obstacles? Do I allow my people to help me find creative solutions?
  • Am I generous with positive feedback? Do I frequently recognize progress?

Psychology Skill #3:
Manage Emotions

“In successful and emotionally balanced companies, the people working in them discuss things, no matter how bad things have gotten. They don’t run and hide, they don’t name call, and they don’t put their foot down. They’re willing and able to talk without rancor and in a straightforward manner about what is bothering them. I call this process ‘carefrontation.’” ~ Dr. Barton Goldsmith, “Carefrontation,” Office Solutions, Fall 2009

Each of us is an emotional being. For decades, business experts discouraged emotional expressions at work. These days, we know it’s impossible—and actually detrimental—to ignore or suppress them.

Awareness of emotions actually lends wisdom to our decisions and interactions. Emotional intelligence is now viewed as a hallmark of high-potential leaders.

We want to be liked, appreciated, rewarded and respected. We need friendships at work—some level of closeness and affection. We thrive when we have a work environment that allows us to safely express our opinions and feelings, including our aggressions.

If you expect your people to put aside their emotions and “just do the work,” you’re failing as a manager. Emotions are a fundamental part of what makes us humans, so you must be prepared to deal with, understand and accept them.

Regardless of your industry, you’ll encounter three common emotional needs at work:

1.  Attachment and connection: Some people’s social needs are minimal, while others are more pronounced. Some prefer to work alone, viewing social interactions as obstacles to productivity. At the other end of the continuum are people who never want to be alone. Be sensitive to people’s basic needs so you can place them in the right jobs and supervise them effectively.

2.  Dependency, independency and interdependency: People depend on others for approval, validation and love. Even when these needs are satisfied outside the workplace, people seek to satisfy them at work. A good leader is sensitive to how much direction and interaction each employee needs to thrive at work.

3.  Aggression, anger and conflict: Aggression is a primal human behavior. When properly harnessed, it can energize a team and be productively channeled into creative projects. That said, aggression can also be disruptive. Many people are embarrassed by, or uncomfortable with, anger—especially their own. It’s up to you to recognize the early signs of aggression and talk openly about people’s feelings. Channel it away from destruction and toward innovation.

“Being ‘carefrontational’ requires a willingness to take a risk and to be understanding of the person you’re talking to,” Dr. Goldsmith writes. “If you’re not willing to share something that is bothering you with your teammates, then your working relationship will be diminished.”

Debunking Old-School Beliefs

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. ~ Charles Darwin

Commonly held management assumptions are often wrong—particularly when they fail to address human nature.

Dr. Settel highlights the following counterintuitive truths that invalidate previously held business notions:

1. Organizational conflict can be positive.

2. Rewards and punishments may not effectively inspire employees to work harder or better.

3. Stressed-out employees shouldn’t be given less work. Give them more gratifying work.

4. Performance reviews can be destructive unless delivered in a development-focused, constructive way.

5. Your unconscious mind drives you more powerfully than your conscious one does.

6. Successful leadership is not about personality, but how you apply it.

You needn’t hold a PhD in organizational behavior to understand people’s emotions. You do, however, require a rudimentary understanding of their psychological needs.

"There is no such thing as a pure extravert or a pure introvert. Such a man would be in the lunatic asylum."
- C.G. Jung

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coaching Firm Helping  Companies Assess, Select, Coach and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Talent Management; Leadership Development; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; and Leadership & Team Building Retreats

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: 

Getting the Most out of Emotional Intelligence-Based Executive Coaching

Emotional Intelligence-Based Executive Coaching

“Mindful leaders know that in serving others as opposed to treating employees as servants is the key to better business results, greater team involvement, happier followers and a sustainable future.”

- Dr. Maynard Brusman, San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coach

I recently spoke with the HR Director of a San Francisco Bay Area company regarding providing executive coaching for the company CEO and other leaders. She asked some very insightful questions to determine fit. She wanted to know how I work with different personality styles, and my methods for initiating change in thinking and behavior.

The HR Director and I spoke about my approach to coaching, and my belief that possessing a psychological understanding of human behavior based on neuroscience and business acumen are important competencies for coaching executives. We also spoke of the need for her organization to create a high involvement culture where innovation and creativity flourish.

The HR Director is interested in collaborating with me to help senior executives get the most out of their executive coaching programs. We further discussed how company leaders could benefit by working with an executive development expert, and emotional intelligence-based executive coach.

"Everyone needs a coach." Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google

High performing executives perceive they are worthy of the investment of an executive coach. And while that investment can be substantial it’s more than a worthwhile investment in professional growth and leadership sustainability.

It's not that different in sports. It's the amateurs who don't have coaches while the professionals may have several. Naturally, amateurs who don't invest in a coach will progress more slowly and be much less likely to ever become a pro. 

In partnership with an experienced executive coach the benefits may be endless, but how does a leader get the most out of the coaching engagement?

Getting the Most Out of Executive Coaching

When used for the right reasons and with competent practitioners, executive coaching can provide significant and lasting benefits for both individuals and organizations. But like other innovations, coaching can become just another business fad. When not effective, it can cause harm to individuals and organizations and waste large amounts of money.

About 6 out of 10 organizations currently offer coaching or other developmental counseling to managers and executives, according to a survey by Manchester, Inc., a Florida career management firm.

In the past, executive coaching was often used as a means to keep a leader from derailing.Research by The Center for Creative Leadership found that the primary causes of derailment in executives involves deficits in:

1. handling change

2. working well with teams

3. interpersonal relationships

Coaching is seen as an effective way of helping an individual improve these so-called “soft-skills.

Recent research has found that typical outcomes of executive coaching include the following:

1.  Better management through enhancing an executive’s ability to navigate sensitive political issues,

2.  Strengthening strategic decision making skills, and

3.  Opening a window onto organizational and self-exploration

Finding the Right Executive Coach

Whether coaching services are used to explore deficits in competencies or to expand potential, there remains a challenge in finding and acquiring the right professionals to provide excellent coaching. As a newly emerging profession, there is a lack of standardization of practice. Practitioners come from fields as diverse as psychology, management consulting, training and human resources. Some have never had any coach training per se, but have adopted their own personal styles of coaching. Unfortunately, some have simply changed their professional titles and are doing consulting or counseling and calling it “executive coaching.”

Organizations seeking to employ executive coaches can turn to consulting firms or independent practitioners. There are advantages and disadvantages with both. Selecting coaches requires that an organization assess for skills, organizational fit and perspectives, a daunting task. Great coaches often come from very eclectic career paths. Two effective questions to ask in interviewing for coaches are:

  1. What particular types of clients do you work with effectively?
  2. What particular types of clients do you not work with effectively?

There are three essential competencies of the effective coach. They must be interpersonally skilled at coaching and influencing others. This requires an extreme self-awareness, excellent listening and observing skills, empathy, and ability to deliver feedback in a tough yet non-judgmental way. Secondly, they must be highly trustworthy. This becomes particularly important when navigating complex confidentiality boundaries. Thirdly, good coaches must have a sufficient understanding of business practices and organizational politics to help their clients decipher, understand, and address organizational complexities.

A controversial article in the Harvard Business Review (Berglas, 2002) lamented the fact that too many executive coaches lack training in human psychology. Berglas asserts that some coaching professionals may come from the sports and motivational speaking fields, and do not have enough competency in dealing with the complexities of personalities and behavior. In such cases, the coaching experience can actually be harmful. It could be compared to coaching someone to change seats on the Titanic. Unless the underlying problems are addressed, the ship is still sinking.

Principles of Masterful Coaching

Executive coaching as a profession is in its early stages, so that it is impossible for any one person, group, or training school to be able to say they have the model for the most effective coaching system. However, experienced practitioners will agree there are some principles and standards that make for a masterful coaching experience.

Mary Beth O’Neill in her best-selling book Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart (Jossey-Bass 2007) takes a systems approach based on Murray Bowen’s family therapy, and suggests the following:

  • Observe patterns
  • Keep business results and human processes linked
  • Encourage a stronger relationship between the executive and his or her team
  • Build the leader’s capacities to state positions clearly (backbone) and to stay in strong relationship with the team (heart)
  • Create real time feedback opportunities

“The basic building block of any emotional system is the triangle.” - M. Bowen

Linking Coaching to Business Results

There are times when coaching does not work. To be optimally effective, coaching must be well managed and aligned with other organizational goals and processes. Many errors can be avoided when the sponsor of the coaching program (i.e., the person hiring the executive coach) recognizes this need for organizational and business strategy alignment.

However personally important the work becomes between the executive and coach, there must be alignment to business outcomes and organizational success. Otherwise, you are offering a personal perk for the executive and run the risk of no outcome or even a negative outcome for the organization.

Although coaching goes on behind closed doors, it should not happen in a vacuum, ignoring the system within which the individual operates. No amount of individual coaching will improve a situation that has its antecedents in organizational problems. What may originally look like an executive needing coaching may actually be an organizational problem masquerading as an individual issue. When an issue is organizational it calls for interventions beyond the scope of executive coaching at an individual level. Because such complexities are common in organizational life, there is often a necessity for multiple solutions.

Coaching is not a panacea for all that is wrong in an organization. There will always be a need for OD and management tools. Without them there may be individual improvements that lack the ability to link them to the improvement of organizational performance and well-being. Group interventions are still important.

Should Coaching be Mandatory?

Another reason for failure in coaching is a lack of commitment on the part of participants. Many organizations do not address this problem. Although executive coaching may sound like a great idea, many people are not open to getting feedback and coaching. The organization can risk a great deal of time and money when there is little real engagement on the part of participants. There cannot be behavioral change without effort. Effort requires that the individual be motivated. Unless this issue is addressed up front, coaching is wasted. If coaching is set up as a requirement, as in the case of remedial goals, then the outcomes should be behaviorally focused rather than concentrating on mere attendance.

In another example, the individual says they are interested and motivated, but there is a lack of attendance or a lack of participation in action steps. Lack of time is frequently cited. Worse, there is a failure on the part of the coach to hold the person accountable.

Linking Personal and Business Goals

There may be insufficient time and attention during the contracting phase in defining goals and outcomes for the coaching relationship. Surprisingly enough, many executives have trouble defining what they want out of coaching.

There are two kinds of goals for leaders to work on in coaching — business goals and personal goals. Getting external results is linked to what the leader has to do differently in order to get business results. The personal goals must follow the external business goals.

During the contracting phase with the executive, it is the coach’s responsibility to ensure that the goal-setting conversation is sequenced for best results.O’Neill suggests the following process:

Ø  Encourage the leader to name the business results needed.

Ø  Find out what team behaviors need to be different to accomplish the results.

Ø  Explore what personal leadership challenges the executive faces in improving these results and team behaviors.

Ø  Identify specific behaviors the leader needs to enhance or change personally.

The goal setting process is not as easy as it may appear. Many busy executives have a bias for action and operate in a fire-ready-aim mode. It may be necessary for the executive to slow down long enough to establish clear goals. Sometimes a business situation is ambiguous and it is difficult to clarify what work process or human relationship goals would support achieving the bottom-line result. The coach who persists in inquiring about these specific goals will help an executive toward better focus and effective action.

Moving into Action

Observation by the coach of the executive in action is another opportunity. This provides a clearer picture of the complexities of organizational and personality dynamics. Being able to give the executive real-time feedback is a valuable tool when done properly.

There are other key opportunities to provide feedback to an executive, providing the coach is acutely aware of the intricacies of communications. It requires the coach to give feedback to him or her regarding what goes on in the moment. The dynamics that occur between coach and executive often mirror those that go on with others in the work group. It is this finely tuned ability of the executive coach to observe and to feed-back information to the leader that can make for a powerful coaching experience.

Planning for Resistance: the Power of Homeostasis

Leaders can receive help from the executive coaching experience in planning for the inevitable resistance that will occur when executing a new plan. After some initial compliance, things often go back to the way they were before. Kegan and Lahey write about this powerful force of non-change in their book, How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work (Jossey-Bass 2000). They have a term for it: dynamic equilibrium.

It can be highly productive to work with a coach to preview outcomes and plan for resistance. Since many leaders are high in optimism, it may be helpful for them to look at things from another perspective. They must also be encouraged to face their own internal resistance as well. When the executive and the coach explore resistance to change in advance, they increase the chance that they will stay the course to push through the resistance.

Maximizing Resources and Coaching

A coaching program that is carefully conceived as a part of the overall organizational strategy will be cost effective. The cost of coaching can be measured against other development options such as seminars, which might involve multiple days and travel expenses. Even so, training and workshop lessons are retained more effectively with the help of a coach. When a situation calls for coaching, the most expensive coach is no coach.

One return-on-investment study on executives from Fortune 1000 companies revealed an average of almost six times the cost of coaching programs, with improvements in productivity, quality, organizational strength, customer service, and shareholder value. They received fewer customer complaints, and were more likely to retain executives who had been coached.

In another study, a coaching program produced a 529% return on investment and significant intangible benefits to the business. Including the financial benefits from employee retention boosted the overall ROI to 788%.  

Skilled executive coaches can help leaders can explore their strengths within the context of the organization, work more effectively with their teams, develop leadership skills, inspire others and be more focused and effective.The masterful coach helps link the leader’s personal goals with the business strategy of the organization.

When Coaching Goes Wrong…

To be optimally effective, the coaching program with executives must be well managed and aligned with other organizational goals and processes. Failure to do so is a primary source of problems. Organizations new to coaching may not be aware of the need to manage and oversee this activity. Even so, there are some factors that may arise no matter what. Having a sponsor or program manager can help limit damage and wasted resources.

Factors Contributing to Failure and Negative Coaching Outcomes

In Clients

  1. Serious psychological problems
  2. Serious interpersonal problems
  3. Lack of motivation
  4. Unrealistic expectations of the coach or the coaching process
  5. Lack of follow-through on homework or intervention suggestions

In the Coach

  1. Insufficient empathy for the client
  2. Lack of expertise or interest in the client’s problems or issues
  3. Underestimation of the severity of the client’s problems or issues
  4. Overreaction to the client
  5. Unresolved disagreements with the client about the coaching
  6. Poor technique (e.g. inaccurate assessment, lack of clarity on coaching contract, poor selection and/or implementation of methods)

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to grow their leadership capability? Authentic leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more fulfilling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “How do I get the most out of executive coaching, and grow my leadership capability?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their transformational high performance leadership development program.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you grow as a leader. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. Maynard is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

Categories: 

How Emotionally Intelligent Leaders Make Good Decisions

Emotionally Intelligent Leadership Decisions

“Mindful leaders know that in serving others as opposed to treating employees as servants is the key to better business results, greater team involvement and happier followers.”

- Dr. Maynard Brusman, San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coach

I recently spoke with the CEO of a San Francisco Bay Area company regarding providing executive coaching and leadership development for their senior executives. She asked some very insightful questions to determine fit. She specifically wanted to know how I work with different personality styles, and my methods for facilitating change in thinking and behavior.

The CEO and I spoke about my emotional intelligence-based approach to coaching, and my belief that possessing a psychological understanding of human behavior based on neuroscience is important for coaching executives. We also spoke of the need for her organization to create a culture where innovation and creativity flourish. As part of that effort, leaders would need to examine how they make important business decisions.

The CEO is interested in collaborating with me to help create a high involvement culture based on collaboration and trust. We further discussed how company leaders could become more resilient by working with a seasoned executive coach.

Decision-Making

Psychologist Daniel Kahneman wrote a fascinating book “Thinking Fast and Slow”, and won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his work in behavioral economics. Just as Steve Jobs who was not in the music industry revolutionized it, the non-economist Kahneman has revolutionized behavioral economics thinking.

The basis thesis of the book is simple. In judging the world around us, we use two mental systems: Fast and Slow. The Fast system (System 1) is mostly unconscious and makes snap judgments based on our past experiences and emotions. When we use this system we are as likely to be wrong as right. The Slow system (System 2) is rational, conscious and slow. They work together to provide us a view of the world around us and influence our thoughts and behavior. Unfortunately the two systems are incompatible, but shape how we make decisions and our judgment calls.

System 1 is fast, but easily swayed by emotions and can be as easily be wrong as be right. We are on autopilot with this system. System 1 is intuitive and controls an amazing array of behavior. System 2 is conscious, rational and careful but slow. It's distracted and hard to engage. These two systems together provide a backdrop for our cognitive biases and achievements.

This book serves as an antidote to Malcolm Gladwell's bestseller book “Blink”. Although Gladwell never says that snap judgments are infallible and cannot lead to wrong decisions, many readers got that impression. Gladwell's theory of cognition in “Blink” has become widely misinterpreted as a hymn to the hunch. While Kahneman does show how "fast thinking" can lead to sound judgments, he also notes how they can lead us astray.

Judgment: Making Great Calls

What is the fundamental essence of leadership? Is it the ability to make consistently good judgment calls?

Realistically, leaders are remembered for their best and worst judgment calls, especially when the stakes are high, information is limited and the correct call is far from obvious.

In the face of ambiguity, uncertainty and conflicting demands, the quality of a leader’s judgment determines the entire organization’s fate.

That’s why leadership experts Noel M. Tichy and Warren G. Bennis claim judgment is the essence of leadership. In their popular book, Judgment: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls (Portfolio, 2007), they write: “With good judgment, little else matters.  Without it, nothing else matters.”

Judgment has rarely been discussed in academic or popular publications. Until now, it has been a fairly murky concept. Many assume it’s an inborn trait, but Tichy and Bennis prove it’s a skill that can be developed, refined and nurtured throughout an organization.

In their book, they assert that what really matters is not how many calls a leader gets right, or even the percentage of correct judgment calls.What truly matters is the actual number of important calls he or she gets right.

Effective leaders not only make better calls, but they’re able to pinpoint the make-or-break decisions and get most of them right.

Who Gets It Right?

The framework Tichy and Bennis lay out in their book is simple and clear. But making good judgment calls when it counts is complicated. To better understand judgment, they examine the good, the bad and the ugly calls of well-known CEOs in leading organizations:

  • Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric, whose decision to grow his company through research and development transformed GE into the world’s premier technology company.
  • Joel Klein, chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, who made tough calls about teachers, students and parents, while turning around a troubled school system.
  • Jim McNerney, CEO of Boeing, whose strategic judgment helped him reinvigorate his company and restore a culture of trust and respect.
  • The late Gen. Wayne Downing, who found an unexpected opportunity amid crisis when he led the Special Operations raid to capture Manuel Noriega.
  • A.G. Lafley, CEO of Procter & Gamble, who bet $57 billion to purchase Gillette and reinvent his company.
  • Brad Anderson, CEO of Best Buy, who made the call to commit totally to a customer-centric strategy and led his people to execute it successfully.

The authors are clear: There is no one-size-fits-all way to make a judgment call. If all patients were the same, physicians could take a cookie-cutter approach to care, instead of relying on the science and art required of their profession. The same holds true for business: Every organization has distinct problems, people and solutions.

Rationality Doesn’t Always Win

Judgment and decision-making are first beginning to appear in better business schools’ curricula, but we don’t yet know enough to fully understand how good judgment occurs.

In 1957, Herbert Simon laid the groundwork on the limits of rationality when he attacked classic economics and game theory. His work demonstrated the need to take into account the real world’s messiness and irrationality when making decisions.

Psychologist and Nobel Prize Laureate Daniel Kahneman gets credit for digging the grave of rational-choice theories for writing: “Research indicates that people are myopic in their decisions, may lack skill in predicting their future tastes, and can be led to erroneous choices by fallible memory and incorrect evaluations of past experiences.”

Neuroscientists’ research also provides proof that, more often than we realize, our brains are influenced by subconscious emotional reactions from their more primitive centers. We’re not in control of our rationality and reasoning as much as we’d like to think.

Nevertheless, Tichy and Bennis use their extensive experience in working with major organizations’ CEOs to extract some basic frameworks for the process of making good judgment calls.

A Framework for Leadership Judgment

Above all, a judgment call should not be viewed as a single-point-in-time event. At some juncture, leaders do make the call, but this is only one moment in the middle of the judgment process.

The process begins when leaders recognize the need for a decision. They consequently frame and name the issue, align people and continue through successful execution. Leaders are said to have “good judgment” when they repeatedly make calls that turn out well, largely because they’ve mastered a complex, constantly morphing process that unfolds in several dimensions.

There are three phases to the process:

  1. Time: This includes what happens before the leader makes the decision, framing and naming the issue, what the leader does during the moment of the call, and what he/she must oversee to ensure the call produces the right results.
  2. Domains: The three critical domains are judgments about people, strategy and leadership during crises.
  3. Constituencies: Leaders make judgment calls in relation to those around them. Relationships are crucial sources of information, and they must be managed during all phases of the process to achieve a successful outcome. Leaders must  use their knowledge of self, social networking, the organization and the decision’s context.

Three Judgment Domains

People: Leaders cannot set sound direction and strategy for their enterprises or deal with crises without smart judgment calls about the people on their teams. This is definitely the most complex domain. Sound judgments about people require leaders to:

  1. Anticipate the need for key personnel changes
  2. Specify leadership requirements with an eye toward the future — not the rearview mirror
  3. Mobilize and align the social network to support the right call
  4. Make the process transparent so it can be deemed fair
  5. Make it happen
  6. Provide continuous support to achieve success

Strategy: When the current strategic road fails to lead to success, the leader must find a new path. The quality and viability of a strategic judgment call is a function of:

  • The leader’s ability to look over the horizon and frame the right question
  • The people with whom he/she chooses to interact

Crisis: During a crisis, leaders must have clear values and know their ultimate goals. Crises handled poorly can lead to an institution’s demise.

The Process of Making Judgment Calls

In all three domains, good judgment calls always involve a process that starts with recognizing the need for the call, with steps that facilitate effective execution.

  1. The Preparation Phase: This phase includes sensing and identifying the need for a judgment call, framing and naming the judgment call, and mobilizing and aligning the right people. While these steps may seem obvious, many factors can contribute to faulty framing and naming, which can result in a bad judgment call. It’s important to allow “redo moments” and continually adjust to get it right.
  2. The Call Phase (Making the Judgment Call): There’s a moment when leaders make the call, based on their views of the time horizon and the sufficiency of people’s input and involvement.
  3. The Execution/Action Phase: Once a clear call is made, execution is a critical part of the process. Resources, people, capital, information and technology must be mobilized to make it happen. During this phase, feedback loops allow for adjustments.

Unlike decision-making, judgment is a continuous process, from inception to execution. During all three phases, there are moments when adjustments can be made (“redo” loops). With feedback and continually adjusting parameters, calls can be revised to maximize results.

When it comes to judgment, the only measures of success are results and outcomes.

Resources and Constituencies

The quality of leaders’ judgment depends on their ability to marshal resources and interact well with appropriate constituencies. Four types of knowledge are necessary for making judgment calls:

  1. Self -Knowledge: Leaders who exercise good judgment calls are able to listen, reframe their thinking and give up old paradigms.
  2. Social-Network Knowledge: Leadership is a team sport. There must be alignment of the leader’s team, the organization and critical stakeholders to create the ongoing capacity for good judgment calls. This is why cultivating solid relationships is crucial.
  3. Organization Knowledge: Good leaders work hard to continuously enhance the team, organization and stakeholder capacity at all levels to make judgment calls.
  4. Stakeholder Knowledge: Good leaders engage customers, suppliers, the community and boards in generating knowledge to support better judgments.

Leaders’ Storylines: Teachable Points of View

How a leader works the judgment process depends to a great extent on who he/she is. Winning leaders — the ones who continually make the best judgment calls — have clear mental frameworks to guide their thinking. They tell visionary stories about how the world works and how they envision results. They energize and enroll people through stories.

Winning leaders are teachers, and they teach by telling stories. They develop a teachable point of view: valuable knowledge and experiences that convey ideas and values to energize others.

This teachable point of view is most valuable when it’s weaved into a storyline for the organization’s future success. As a living story, it helps the leader make the judgment call and makes the story become reality because it enlists and energizes others.

Winning story lines address three areas:

  1. Where are we now?
  2. Where are we going? (The inspirational storyline boosts the motivation for change and defines the goal.)
  3. How are we going to get there?

The storyline is never complete, and it’s always being modified by the leader’s judgments. But without a solid storyline, the leader’s judgments are disconnected acts that may not mean anything on an emotional level. That’s why storylines are necessary to motivate and energize the organization so everyone can move forward and make things happen.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to change bad habits? Authentic leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a sustainable future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “How do I make decisions and judgment calls?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their transformational high performance leadership development program.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you increase awareness of how you make decisions and judgments calls. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company.

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coaching Firm Helping  Companies Assess, Select, Coach and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Talent Management; Mindfulness-Based Leadership Development; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; and Leadership & Team Building Retreats

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com  

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

Categories: 

How Leaders Make Decisions – Emotionally Intelligent Judgment Calls

How Leaders Make Decisions – Emotionally Intelligent Judgment Calls

“Sustainable leaders know that in serving others as opposed to treating employees as servants is the key to better business results, greater team involvement and happier followers.” - Dr. Maynard Brusman, San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coach

I recently spoke with the CEO of a San Francisco Bay Area company regarding providing executive coaching and leadership development for their senior executives. She asked some very insightful questions to determine fit. She specifically wanted to know how I worked with different personality styles, and my methods for facilitating changes in thinking and behavior.

The CEO and I spoke about my emotional intelligence-based approach to coaching, and my belief that possessing a psychological understanding of human behavior based on neuroscience is important for coaching executives. We also spoke of the need for her organization to create a culture where innovation and creativity flourishes. As part of that effort, leaders would need to examine how they make important business decisions.

The CEO is interested in collaborating with me to help create a socially intelligent corporate culture based on openness and respect. We further discussed how company leaders could become more resilient by working with a seasoned executive coach.

Decision-Making

Psychologist Daniel Kahneman wrote a fascinating book “Thinking Fast and Slow”, and won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his work in behavioral economics. Just as Steve Jobs who was not in the music industry revolutionized it, the non-economist Kahneman has revolutionized behavioral economics thinking.

The basis thesis of the book is simple. In judging the world around us, we use two mental systems: Fast and Slow. The Fast system (System 1) is mostly unconscious and makes snap judgments based on our past experiences and emotions. When we use this system we are as likely to be wrong as right. The Slow system (System 2) is rational, conscious and slow. They work together to provide us a view of the world around us and influence our thoughts and behavior. Unfortunately the two systems are incompatible, but shape how we make decisions and our judgment calls.

System 1 is fast, but easily swayed by emotions and can be as easily be wrong as be right. We are on autopilot with this system. System 1 is intuitive and controls an amazing array of behavior. System 2 is conscious, rational and careful but slow. It's distracted and hard to engage. These two systems together provide a backdrop for our cognitive biases and achievements.

This book serves as an antidote to Malcolm Gladwell's bestseller book “Blink”. Although Gladwell never says that snap judgments are infallible and cannot lead to wrong decisions, many readers got that impression. Gladwell's theory of cognition in “Blink” has become widely misinterpreted as a hymn to the hunch. While Kahneman does show how "fast thinking" can lead to sound judgments, he also notes how they can lead us astray.

Judgment: Making Great Calls

What is the fundamental essence of leadership? Is it the ability to make consistently good judgment calls?

Realistically, leaders are remembered for their best and worst judgment calls, especially when the stakes are high, information is limited and the correct call is far from obvious.

In the face of ambiguity, uncertainty and conflicting demands, the quality of a leader’s judgment determines the entire organization’s fate.

That’s why leadership experts Noel M. Tichy and Warren G. Bennis claim judgment is the essence of leadership. In their popular book, Judgment: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls (Portfolio, 2007), they write: “With good judgment, little else matters. Without it, nothing else matters.”

Judgment has rarely been discussed in academic or popular publications. Until now, it has been a fairly murky concept. Many assume it’s an inborn trait, but Tichy and Bennis prove it’s a skill that can be developed, refined and nurtured throughout an organization.

In their book, they assert that what really matters is not how many calls a leader gets right, or even the percentage of correct judgment calls. What truly matters is the actual number of important calls he or she gets right.

Effective leaders not only make better calls, but they’re able to pinpoint the make-or-break decisions and get most of them right.

Who Gets It Right?

The framework Tichy and Bennis lay out in their book is simple and clear. But making good judgment calls when it counts is complicated. To better understand judgment, they examine the good, the bad and the ugly calls of well-known CEOs in leading organizations:

  • Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric, whose decision to grow his company through research and development transformed GE into the world’s premier technology company.
  • Joel Klein, chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, who made tough calls about teachers, students and parents, while turning around a troubled school system.
  • Jim McNerney, CEO of Boeing, whose strategic judgment helped him reinvigorate his company and restore a culture of trust and respect.
  • The late Gen. Wayne Downing, who found an unexpected opportunity amid crisis when he led the Special Operations raid to capture Manuel Noriega.
  • A.G. Lafley, CEO of Procter & Gamble, who bet $57 billion to purchase Gillette and reinvent his company.
  • Brad Anderson, CEO of Best Buy, who made the call to commit totally to a customer-centric strategy and led his people to execute it successfully.

The authors are clear: There is no one-size-fits-all way to make a judgment call. If all patients were the same, physicians could take a cookie-cutter approach to care, instead of relying on the science and art required of their profession. The same holds true for business: Every organization has distinct problems, people and solutions.

Rationality Doesn’t Always Win

Judgment and decision-making are first beginning to appear in better business schools’ curricula, but we don’t yet know enough to fully understand how good judgment occurs.

In 1957, Herbert Simon laid the groundwork on the limits of rationality when he attacked classic economics and game theory. His work demonstrated the need to take into account the real world’s messiness and irrationality when making decisions.

Psychologist and Nobel Prize Laureate Daniel Kahneman gets credit for digging the grave of rational-choice theories for writing: “Research indicates that people are myopic in their decisions, may lack skill in predicting their future tastes, and can be led to erroneous choices by fallible memory and incorrect evaluations of past experiences.”

Neuroscientists’ research also provides proof that, more often than we realize, our brains are influenced by subconscious emotional reactions from their more primitive centers. We’re not in control of our rationality and reasoning as much as we’d like to think.

Nevertheless, Tichy and Bennis use their extensive experience in working with major organizations’ CEOs to extract some basic frameworks for the process of making good judgment calls.

A Framework for Leadership Judgment

Above all, a judgment call should not be viewed as a single-point-in-time event. At some juncture, leaders do make the call, but this is only one moment in the middle of the judgment process.

The process begins when leaders recognize the need for a decision. They consequently frame and name the issue, align people and continue through successful execution. Leaders are said to have “good judgment” when they repeatedly make calls that turn out well, largely because they’ve mastered a complex, constantly morphing process that unfolds in several dimensions.

There are three phases to the process:

  1. Time: This includes what happens before the leader makes the decision, framing and naming the issue, what the leader does during the moment of the call, and what he/she must oversee to ensure the call produces the right results.
  2. Domains: The three critical domains are judgments about people, strategy and leadership during crises.
  3. Constituencies: Leaders make judgment calls in relation to those around them. Relationships are crucial sources of information, and they must be managed during all phases of the process to achieve a successful outcome. Leaders must  use their knowledge of self, social networking, the organization and the decision’s context.

Three Judgment Domains

People: Leaders cannot set sound direction and strategy for their enterprises or deal with crises without smart judgment calls about the people on their teams. This is definitely the most complex domain. Sound judgments about people require leaders to:

  1. Anticipate the need for key personnel changes
  2. Specify leadership requirements with an eye toward the future — not the rearview mirror
  3. Mobilize and align the social network to support the right call
  4. Make the process transparent so it can be deemed fair
  5. Make it happen
  6. Provide continuous support to achieve success

Strategy: When the current strategic road fails to lead to success, the leader must find a new path. The quality and viability of a strategic judgment call is a function of:

  • The leader’s ability to look over the horizon and frame the right question
  • The people with whom he/she chooses to interact

Crisis: During a crisis, leaders must have clear values and know their ultimate goals. Crises handled poorly can lead to an institution’s demise.

The Process of Making Judgment Calls

In all three domains, good judgment calls always involve a process that starts with recognizing the need for the call, with steps that facilitate effective execution.

  1. The Preparation Phase:This phase includes sensing and identifying the need for a judgment call, framing and naming the judgment call, and mobilizing and aligning the right people. While these steps may seem obvious, many factors can contribute to faulty framing and naming, which can result in a bad judgment call. It’s important to allow “redo moments” and continually adjust to get it right.
  2. The Call Phase (Making the Judgment Call):There’s a moment when leaders make the call, based on their views of the time horizon and the sufficiency of people’s input and involvement.
  3. The Execution/Action Phase: Once a clear call is made, execution is a critical part of the process. Resources, people, capital, information and technology must be mobilized to make it happen. During this phase, feedback loops allow for adjustments.

Unlike decision-making, judgment is a continuous process, from inception to execution.During all three phases, there are moments when adjustments can be made (“redo” loops). With feedback and continually adjusting parameters, calls can be revised to maximize results.

When it comes to judgment, the only measures of success are results and outcomes.

Resources and Constituencies

The quality of leaders’ judgment depends on their ability to marshal resources and interact well with appropriate constituencies. Four types of knowledge are necessary for making judgment calls:

  1. Self -Knowledge:Leaders who exercise good judgment calls are able to listen, reframe their thinking and give up old paradigms.
  2. Social-Network Knowledge:Leadership is a team sport. There must be alignment of the leader’s team, the organization and critical stakeholders to create the ongoing capacity for good judgment calls. This is why cultivating solid relationships is crucial.
  3. Organization Knowledge:Good leaders work hard to continuously enhance the team, organization and stakeholder capacity at all levels to make judgment calls.
  4. Stakeholder Knowledge:Good leaders engage customers, suppliers, the community and boards in generating knowledge to support better judgments.

Leaders’ Storylines: Teachable Points of View

How a leader works the judgment process depends to a great extent on who he/she is. Winning leaders — the ones who continually make the best judgment calls — have clear mental frameworks to guide their thinking. They tell visionary stories about how the world works and how they envision results. They energize and enroll people through stories.

Winning leaders are teachers, and they teach by telling stories. They develop a teachable point of view: valuable knowledge and experiences that convey ideas and values to energize others.

This teachable point of view is most valuable when it’s weaved into a storyline for the organization’s future success. As a living story, it helps the leader make the judgment call and makes the story become reality because it enlists and energizes others.

Winning story lines address three areas:

  1. Where are we now?
  2. Where are we going? (The inspirational storyline boosts the motivation for change and defines the goal.)
  3. How are we going to get there?

The storyline is never complete, and it’s always being modified by the leader’s judgments. But without a solid storyline, the leader’s judgments are disconnected acts that may not mean anything on an emotional level. That’s why storylines are necessary to motivate and energize the organization so everyone can move forward and make things happen.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to change bad habits? Authentic leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a sustainable future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “How do I make decisions and judgment calls?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their transformational high performance leadership development program.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you increase awareness of how you make decisions and judgments calls. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company..

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coaching Firm Helping  Companies Assess, Select, Coach and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Talent Management; Leadership Development; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; and Leadership & Team Building Retreats

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

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