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Six Emotional Leadership Styles

Our emotional intelligence determines our potential for learning practical skills that are based on its five elements: self-awareness, motivation, self-regulation, empathy, and adeptness in relationships. Dan Goleman

Change is not easy and often can be uncomfortable, yet change is an essential ingredient to an organization meeting its mission. Strong leaders motivate their team members by understanding the importance of emotional intelligence.

Often considered the Father of Emotional Intelligence, Dan Goleman is the author of Emotional Intelligence, named one of the 25 Most Influential Business Management Books, by TIME Magazine. His works have gone on to help define strong leadership skills and styles. His book Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence written in collaboration with Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee, defined six Emotional Leadership Styles.

In order to implement change, it is important to understand the six leadership styles and the degree of impact they can have on an organization.

The Visionary Leader  This leader moves people forward with a new direction toward a shared goal. By sharing knowledge about the destination but not micromanaging the process to get there, the visionary leader empowers others to utilize individual innovation, experimentation, and grants permission to take calculated risks.

The Coaching Leader  This leader encourages individuals to identify strengths and weaknesses and connects those traits and aspirations with the goals of the organization. The coaching leader positively impacts the climate and helps individuals build skill sets through one-on-one attention.

The Affiliative Leader
  This leader takes a collaborative approach toward connecting people and engaging their emotional needs in a team setting. The affiliative leader creates a positive climate by alleviating stressful situations and healing differences between colleagues. In this scenario, poor performance by an individual can be masked by group effort.

The Democratic Leader
  This leader takes a consensus-building approach valuing participation, commitment, and input from all members of the team. This style relies on the group’s commitment to the goals and input on various facets of the business. While this approach draws on a variety of skill sets, it can create a crisis when urgent business demands a quick decisive response.

The Pacesetting Leader  This leader is most effective with a motivated competent team but it should be used sparingly and in combination with other styles. The pacesetter builds challenges and goals and sets high standards with very little input and guidance. The objective is to be better, faster, and more efficient. When overused or used poorly, this leadership style can create a poisonous environment that can undercut morale and set individuals up for failure.

The Commanding Leader
  This leader thrives in crisis as power and dominance are demonstrated and full compliance is expected. It creates a very rigid hierarchy much like that of a military commander issuing orders. The commanding leader maintains a singular vision and path to success and has no qualms about requiring all to conform to one unified ideal. This style is most often used, yet carries the least effect. Goleman argues it is only effective in a crisis when urgent change is needed.

Many of these leadership styles are most successful when utilized in tandem with one another. The most effective leaders pull from this selection of styles to fit the moment versus trying to fit each moment into a single style. Through proper utilization of each of these styles, a leader can move their team effectively through change.

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Developing Individuals like Crafting Fine China

The other day, a friend forwarded this lovely story; it started me thinking about how artisans see the final masterpiece from a blank piece of canvas or a single lump of clay. It also caused questions as to how leaders see the potential in individuals and begin to polish the hidden gem.

There was a couple who took a trip to England to shop in a beautiful antique store to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They both liked antiques and pottery, and especially teacups. Spotting an exceptional cup, they asked, “May we see that? We’ve never seen a cup quite so beautiful.”

As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup spoke, “You don’t understand. I have not always been a teacup. There was a time when I was just a lump of red clay.”

“My master took me and rolled me, pounded and patted me over and over and I yelled out, ‘Don’t do that. I don’t like it! Let me alone.’” But he only smiled, and gently said, ‘Not yet!’ Then WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. ‘Stop it! I’m getting so dizzy! I’m going to be sick,” I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, quietly, ‘Not yet.’”

“He spun me and poked and prodded and bent me out of shape to suit himself and then… Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I yelled and knocked and pounded at the door. Help! Get me out of here! I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as he shook his head from side to side, ‘Not yet.’”

“When I thought I couldn’t bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. Oh, that felt so good! Ah, this is much better, I thought. But, after I cooled he picked me up and he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. ‘Oh, please, Stop it, Stop it!’ I cried. He only shook his head and said. ‘Not yet!’”

“Then suddenly he put me back into the oven. Only it was not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I just knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. I was convinced I would never make it. I was ready to give up. Just then the door opened and he took me out and again placed me on the shelf, where I cooled and waited — and waited, wondering “What’s he going to do to me next?” An hour later he handed me a mirror and said ‘Look at yourself.’ “And I did. I said, ‘That’s not me, that couldn’t be me. It’s beautiful. I’m beautiful!’”

Quietly he spoke: ‘I want you to remember,’ then he said, “I know it hurt to be rolled and pounded and patted, but had I just left you alone, you’d have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I know it hurt and it was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn’t put you there, you would have cracked. I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn’t done that, you never would have hardened. You would not have had any color in your life.

If I hadn’t put you back in that second oven, you wouldn’t have survived for long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product.

Now you are what I had in mind when I first began with you.”

~ Author Unknown ~

How many pieces of fine china have you helped to create in your career and lifetime? How many people have you taken the time to help mold and develop?

When you encounter a young intern or new employee who has been assigned to your team, how do your actions impact their future? Do you take the time to speak with them, learn about their goals, guide them on their way, and contribute to their future success? Or do you consider yourself too busy and important to give them any of your time?
Do you recognize them as individuals? Or do you treat them like they’re ‘just like everybody else’?

When you see the small flicker of something wonderful and new, do you take the time to cultivate that spark into the brightly burning flame it can become? Or do you snuff it out with harsh words and a cold shoulder?

Do you think back to those who spent time molding and shaping you?

So again I ask….how many pieces of fine china have you helped to shape and mold?

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Leadership Development and Gandhi’s Seven Social Sins

In 1925, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi wrote the Seven Social Sins, sometimes called the Seven Blunders of the World. He published it in his weekly newspaper, later giving the handwritten list to his grandson, shortly before his assassination. His social sins consisted of a list that can be applied in today’s world when implementing leadership development and training for teams and organizations.

Gandhi’s belief was that without awareness and purposeful resistance to these pitfalls, these sins could damage both individuals and countries. In this day and age, it is important to see that several of these principles can be applied as cautionary tales to businesses and organizations as well.

In order for organizations and teams to function with a high level of productivity while maintaining a valued work environment for employees, managers, and teams, there must be:

Strong work ethics and standards
Individual and organizational integrity
Characteristics of virtue
A well-defined company culture
Attention to cultural diversity
An eye toward the greater good within the organization
Company values

These principles, as they relate back to Gandhi’s original social sins, can help shape a productive organization. When conquering and defining these ideas through strong leadership and training, organizations can be set on a path toward their highest productivity and success.

Organizations that emphasize attention to these ideals and train to cultivate the right tools and team development create a win-win for those participating in the workplace.

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The Impact of Tragedy

“If each man or woman could understand that every other human life is as full of sorrows, or joys, or base temptations, of heartaches and of remorse as his own…how much kinder, how much gentler he would be.” – William Allen White

As the images of the horrendous tragedy in Japan continue to bombard us on the various news channels, I am struck by the humanity with which the Japanese people continue to treat each other. I see this not only in the absence of looting but also in the manner in which they look out for each other and share the dwindling food supplies. There is no rush to get the very last morsel for oneself; rather people look to their neighbors on either side to ensure that each person has a share of the offerings.

One particular image on the news has become etched in my mind, that of a group of terrified people running up the hill to safety from the rapidly approaching tsunami. Within the group were a few who were desperately trying to carry others who appeared unable to walk. The waves rushed at them and although those ahead were clearly able to make it up the hill on their own, they turned and went back to try and ensure that the others made it to safety as well. That type of selflessness is an example of true humanity.

How will this tragedy change the way that each of us conducts our daily lives? Will we take the time to communicate with our family, friends, colleagues, and strangers in a way that shows we care about each other? Will we look them in the eyes and use words that indicate we truly heard what they were saying and recognized the importance their situation played in their lives?

Will we make the time to smile and say hello to a co-worker or client who looks like they are having one of those days? Will we even notice they’re having a bad day or will we just continue to avert our eyes and push past our offices so we can ‘take care of those files and get out of here’, all the while complaining our way down the freeway?
I viewed a segment about one particular survivor, an elderly gentleman who had lost his entire family: his wife, his sons, and all of his grandchildren. Yet despite the immeasurable grief in his heart, he still had the spirit and compassion to work with the rest of the search teams to look for possible survivors.

Considering that, it makes the traffic on ’95 seem pretty inconsequential.

So I ask you to consider – how will this tragedy impact you and how you communicate with others.

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