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Emotions - The Secret Sauce of Leadership

Emotionally Intelligent Leadership

I’m often surprised when I walk into a client’s organization by the eerie silence. Employees are busy working on their computers, but there is very little interaction.

One of my lawyer executive coaching clients confided in me this week, that when she brings her little girl to the office hardly anybody even says hello to her child. The law firm mission statement touts the value of work-life balance if there is such a thing, but it’s not practiced. My high performing client is beginning to think that the grass may be greener with the law firm down the street.

Emotionally intelligent leaders know that creating a workplace culture and climate where emotions are appropriately expressed increases productivity. In order for employees to be fully engaged, they need to feel they can bring all of themselves to work.

Emotions are critical to business success because they drive behaviors. Companies that achieve an emotional buy-in from consumers and employees will have a competitive advantage in a world of increasing commoditization.

Business has a long tradition of ignoring emotions in favor of rationality. Feelings are disregarded as messy, dangerous, inferior and even irrelevant to day-to-day operations. In marketing and in managing, the emphasis has been on appealing to the rationality of people.

But a growing body of scientific evidence reveals that subconscious feelings drive decisions, up to 95% of which are made through the brain’s emotion centers and only then filtered into its cognitive parts. Psychologists, neuroscientists and behavioral economists now agree that leaders who fail to understand how emotions drive actions will ultimately fail.

Emotionally astute leaders leverage feelings to gain employee commitment, engagement and performance, according to Dan Hill, CEO of Sensory Logic and author of Emotionomics: Leveraging Emotions for Business Success (Kogan Page, 2008). Similarly, experts featured in a Time magazine cover story (January 17, 2005) confirmed the link between satisfaction and productivity, citing a 10 percent improvement in job performance among fulfilled employees.

A company’s emotional climate may account for up to 30 percent of job performance, according to case studies that Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee reviewed for their book, Primal Leadership (2002). CEOs, they note, are responsible for creating more than 50 percent of this climate.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for high potential leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders develop an emotionally intelligent business environment?  Enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “How can I improve our company’s emotional climate?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who are curious about creating sustainable businesses.

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 create a happy and prosperous business where everyone is motivated and fully engaged. 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. 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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