Emotional Intelligence

Go ahead, ask the dumb questions

March 15, 2011

Imagine the mistakes we could avoid if we would just admit what we didn’t know—or ask the necessary questions to understand it. Turn the following two tips into resolutions, suggests business management author Tom Peters:

Coach people from the inside out

February 3, 2011
When you’re coaching or mentoring, focus on removing interference. Look at the person you’re coaching in terms of what’s inside that you can help get out. Focus on where they want to go and what’s getting in the way. Ask yourself, “Am I reducing interference or increasing it?”

Wrangling your inner elephant

January 14, 2011

Here’s one way to help your inner executive wrangle your inner elephant: Stay alert for the elephant’s tendency to distort reality. “It’s one of the reasons we are so surprised when someone disagrees with us,” says Richard Daft, author of The Executive and the Elephant. Our internal elephant is extremely judgmental, about ourselves and others.

Barbara Walters’ weapon: empathy

December 3, 2010

At the center of all the advice to stop talking and start listening stands a premier example: Barbara Walters. The interviewer’s list of “gets” is a mile long and her genius has been to show her subjects she cares about them. She never engages in a battle of wits, never tries to win an argument and does not interrupt. The result is information no one has.

Leaders’ picks on leadership books

August 13, 2010

Two University of Virginia leaders weigh in on what books you might want on your leadership bookshelf. Here are suggestions from Harry Harding, dean of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, and Debbie Ryan, UVA’s women’s basketball coach for 35 years:

Don’t be buffaloed

August 13, 2010
“It is too easy to let the person with great presentation or language skills buffalo you into thinking that they are better or more knowledgeable than someone else who might not necessarily have that particular set of skills,” says Robert W. Selander, who recently stepped down as CEO at MasterCard. Lesson: Don’t let style distract you from substance.

Nice guys can finish first

July 9, 2010
Hard-driving, “results-at-all-costs” executives actually diminish the bottom line, while self-aware leaders with strong interpersonal skills deliver better financial performance. So says a recent study by organizational consulting firm Green Peak Partners in collaboration with researchers at Cornell University.

Quit hanging onto resentment

July 9, 2010
Leaders are not immune to resentment, but it’s been said that holding onto a grudge is like taking poison and hoping the other person will die. Instead of focusing on what you would change in somebody else, turn your attention to what needs to change in you. First steps:

A word to the wise on enforcing rules

June 14, 2010

Part of being a leader is the ability to sort the important from the unimportant. Case in point: U.S. Army generals’ tolerance of Harvey Gough, a colorful Texan whose patriotism and generosity are exceeded only by his tendency to flout the rules.

Go ahead, reveal your true colors

May 17, 2010

Like the color magenta? Apparently, many leaders do. Among 900 CEOs who took a one-minute online personality test based on color preferences, the purplish-pink hue arose as a part of a profile that stands out clearly from about 750,000 others who’ve tried the test.