Posts Tagged ‘emotional intelligence’

Intentional Leadership

August 20th, 2015 • by Laura Scott •

railroad tracksThat didn’t go as planned…”

I was speaking to a colleague about how leaders come to feel the gap between where they are and where they want to be in terms of leadership.

They can usually point to one or two incidents when they were not at their best or things got a bit out of control and the outcome was short of what they hoped.

Self-aware leaders will take some responsibility for the less-than-ideal outcome. They will reflect on what happened and perhaps identify the point when the train started to go off the rails. They said something or did something, people reacted in unexpected ways, the morale or the mood shifted, and suddenly a well-planned engagement or meeting took a turn for the worse.

The reflection is important. That’s how adults learn and grow. But the next step is harder. How do you repair the damage? How do you ensure that it doesn’t happen again?

Repairing the damage may be as simple as a public apology. I know, it’s harder than it sounds. How do you ensure it doesn’t happen again? You can’t. We are human. We make mistakes. But we can make less of them if we are self aware and intentional and strategic about how we show up as leaders.

How do you do that?

It starts with a personal leadership inventory. An inventory that includes your vision of an ideal leadership style that reflects your values and personality and then identifies the blocks to achieving that ideal more consistently. That means having a greater degree of awareness around:
-Your triggers and hot buttons
-Your values and how you typically express them
-The quality of the energy you bring to a space
-The most effective way to earn trust in your organization

This awareness exposes where we might be vulnerable, how we can stand strong and be authentic as leaders, and it informs our choices around how we respond and how we engage positively.

It won’t guarantee that we will never again go off the rails but it will ensure that there is an engaged and conscious decision-maker at the wheel when things don’t go exactly as planned.

Learn how to craft your personal Leadership Inventory by joining us at the Emerging Leaders Development Seminar at the University of Tampa  Saturday October 10, 2015. The public is welcome!

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/emerging-leaders-development-seminar-oct-10-tickets-18153006130

The Gift of Anger and Sadness

July 14th, 2015 • by Laura Scott •

miserable kidAs an executive coach, I help my clients deal with some pretty highly-charged emotional states. And during those times I invite my clients to suspend judgment around certain emotions that they think of as “bad.” Sometimes my clients feel compelled to apologize for emotions like anger and sadness. They want to quickly move through these emotional states, deeming them unproductive or negative.

It’s true that my job as a coach is to help my clients become “unstuck” and move forward productively and strategically. However I can’t help but see the gift that our emotions bring. With awareness and with empathy we can actually learn how to use our emotions to be more authentic as leaders and to connect and engage with others more effectively.

I won’t belabor you with stats and scientific studies that back this up, but trust me they’re out there. If you want to skip the scientific literature and experience this for yourself, I invite you to see the recent Pixar movie “Inside out.” When Pixar was in development with this film, Pete Docter, the writer and director of the film, consulted with two emotion experts, University of California psychologists Dacher Keltner and Paul Ekman, to understand how the emotions of the 11-year-old character would impact her experience and her relationships, as her family made a disruptive cross-country move.

This is what Keltner and Ekman shared with Pete Docter about the science of emotions, as summarized in their NY Times article titled “The Science of ‘Inside Out'”:

“Emotions organize — rather than disrupt — our social lives. Studies have found, for example, that emotions structure (not just color) such disparate social interactions as attachment between parents and children, sibling conflicts, flirtations between young courters and negotiations between rivals.

Other studies find that it is anger (more so than a sense of political identity) that moves social collectives to protest and remedy injustice. Research that one of us has conducted has found that expressions of embarrassment trigger others to forgive when we’ve acted in ways that momentarily violate social norms.

This insight, too, is dramatized in the movie. You might be inclined to think of sadness as a state defined by inaction and passivity — the absence of any purposeful action. But in “Inside Out,” as in real life, sadness prompts people to unite in response to loss.”

When I work with clients on emotional self-mastery and resilience, we intentionally suspend judgment around the emotion and simply look at emotions as benign signals; signals that prompt us to be empathetic observers and strategic decision-makers around how we want to show up, or engage, in response to that emotion.

As the studies show, emotions can serve to unite us in empathy or in actions towards justice. In fact, all altruistic actions are birthed by our emotions, including anger at the injustice we see in our world.

So the next time you find yourself in a highly-charged emotional state, don’t judge yourself or the emotion. Instead, see this as the opportunity it is; an opportunity to use this emotion as the fire that forges the metal. And you are the blacksmith in the process a creating the person, or the leader, you want to be.

Pause. Power. Mindfulness for Every One.

November 7th, 2014 • by Laura Scott •

Excited about our first Pause Power Retreat coming up in December in beautiful Clearwater Beach, Florida!

Mindfulness for Every Day for Women, Men , and Couples

Mindfulness for Every Day for Women, Men , and Couples

When I present programs on mindfulness, people always assume I mean meditation. Well, that’s one way to practice mindfulness but it’s not the only way. In fact, when my retreat partner Mickie Brown and I teach mindfulness to our clients we rarely suggest sitting meditation as the first option because we know it’s a hard habit to get get into and an even harder to maintain over time. Instead we teach breath work, walking meditation, and brain-based mindfulness techniques that can be easily integrated into every day life.

I practice mindfulness in the car, in the shower, and while I walk from place to place. I also use mindfulness techniques when I teach emotional intelligence or mastery, and conflict resiliency.

If there was just one habit I could point to that has made me more focused, peaceful, and happy, it would be my mindfulness practice. And no, I don’t meditate every day for 30 minutes; I meditate 30 times a day for 1 minute.
Are you with me?

If you want to learn how to do this, please consider joining us for the Pause Power Retreat. Come for the whole weekend or come for the day. December 5-7, 2014.

Click here for the flier and click here for the registration form. Email info@180coaching.com for more information.

For professional coaches: 5.5 ICF CCEU’s available for this!!

How to Speak So That People Will Want To Listen

July 10th, 2014 • by Laura Scott •

Julian Treasure’s brilliant TED Talk on communicating effectively is not just for aspiring Distinguished Toastmasters!

It’s the most empowering and informative video on how to speak powerfully and how to create sound consciously.

Watch, learn, and speak–mindfully and beautifully!

 

Why Conflict is Necessary and Good

March 26th, 2013 • by Laura Scott •

Rugby ScrumAs a coach and in my private life I have had a great deal of experience managing conflict. To me conflict is not a bad word, yet I see organizations and individuals tiptoe around it as if it were a landmine. It’s not. It’s a natural expression of healthy engagement and collaboration. Recently I came across an excellent article written by colleagues of mine at the Center of Conflict Dynamics, which I thought would help us to see conflict in a more positive light, and trust that we can, and do, manage conflict to our benefit:

I have never found a high performing team that did not have moments when team members disagreed, debated, or argued. These teams all had a healthy respect for the value of not only having differences of opinions or perspectives, but for having learned how to manage themselves as they worked through the discord or tensions precipitated by their disputes. High performing teams have a high degree of emotional intelligence and recognize that they must go through a process of learning how to first listen to and understand diverging points of view before they can evaluate them and arrive at a converging consensus.

The great news is that emotional intelligence can be learned to a large degree and a small shift in energy and awareness can make a huge difference in how conflict plays out. Learning how to listen without judgment is a key skill in mastering the art of conflict. Try spending just 10 minutes a day listening without judgment to see what a difference that can make in building trust and healthy collaboration.