Emotional Intelligence

Happiness and the bottom line

March 5, 2012
By fostering positive mindsets, a leader can boost productivity, creativity, engagement—just about every performance measure, according to research. Yet “happiness” isn’t well understood as a performance driver.

What’s behind a candid conversation

November 25, 2011

Leadership guru John Maxwell has put his finger on yet another truth: You should never suppress candor in the interest of caring about your employees. Before having a candid conversation, make sure you can answer yes to these:

The 26-day ultimate off-site retreat

November 18, 2011

In fall 2010, Ken Lehman, a bank investor and director of Virginia Commerce Bancorp Inc., spent 26 days riding his bicycle 1,800 miles down the Pacific coast, from Vancouver to Mexico. Alone. Why? To give himself time to think through his business strategy.

Remember the value of names

July 25, 2011
People’s names are for them the most important sound in the language. Take the case of business magnate Andrew Carnegie, who by the time he was age 10 had discovered the excessive value people place on their own names.

What Mad Men do to spur action

July 6, 2011
When we think about communicating information correctly, we think that more information is better. But it’s not, says author and behavioral economist Dan Ariely. He offers an example.

Respond to failure the right way

April 27, 2011
CEO Peter Bregman was visiting friends, when his friends’ daughter, Dana, returned from a swim meet, close to tears. “I was disqualified,” she said. Her grandmother reached out and gave her empathy. “I wanted every leader … to see that because the empathetic response to failure is not only the most compassionate, it’s also the most productive,” says Bregman.

Holbrooke’s secret: People first

March 28, 2011
Getting abducted in wartime makes life more difficult for U.S. diplomats, so when journalist David ­Rohde was taken hostage by Taliban, he expected U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke to be furious. Instead, Holbrooke expressed relief. “It is so good to hear your voice.”

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.