Leadership Blog

How to Build Your Emotional Intelligence

Continuing our weekly series of practical "How to..." articles, we are offering some advice on how to build your emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence (EI) can be characterised as a set of skills and competencies - such as initiative, empathy, trust-building and personal discipline - that affect an individual's ability to cope under different pressures and circumstances.  In a work context, this could mean knowing when to share a joke with colleagues, or speak out in a meeting, or the ability to handle an indecisive manager.

Best Companies To Work For Have Great Leaders

We were interested to read the results of The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies To Work For 2014.  It was good to see one of our neighbours, Kainos, an IT Services company in Belfast, on the list.

The criteria used for the award places a heavy emphasis on leadership and what has been called the holy grail, employee engagement.  We know it is hard to define engagement and it is more than job satisfaction.  It is more about individual involvement and commitment to the job, to colleagues and to the company overall.

Governance YouTube Clips for Board Leaders

The Governance Problem – How it Started

Susan Mogensen on understanding how governance grows from a new business forming to a founder wanting to retire and ensure succession and continuity.  It’s about how authority cascades from shareholders to board and executive officers.


How to Move Your Team to High Performance

If your team is not completing its tasks effectively and team members don’t seem to be cooperating well with each other, there is something you, as a leader, can do about it.  It is well recognised that all teams go through rough patches.  The real issue is to know how to respond.

How to Motivate Your Team

Every team suffers from occasional dips in energy and motivation, which can affect team performance.  There are many reasons why this occurs, and it can manifest itself in a number of different ways, whether it’s through a fall in productivity, high levels of staff turnover, a lack of buzz around the office or actual feedback from your team.   If you suspect your team members are feeling low, the following suggestions will help you form an action plan for boosting morale and increasing performance.

Who Cares About Theory - Practice Counts

We got a retweet from Leading Governance (www.leadinggovernance.com)  to other day and it made us sit down and think.  Actually it made us stand up and talk.  We had a serious discussion about leadership and whether or not we were really helping in practice.

The retweet read:

Feedback Questions Leaders Need to Ask

Tackling employee engagement is a powerful first step for organisations seeking better performance.  As professors Angelo S. DeNisi and Avraham N. Kluger have said “The positive effect of feedback on performance has become one of the most widely accepted principles in psychology". 

Third Sector Leaders Need to Be at Level 5

Research on leadership shows that whilst there is some agreement about the elements of leadership, there is no single agreed definition of what is a leader. Leadership in the third sector could simply be defined as

“a process whereby an individual influences a group or individuals to achieve a common goal”. (Hailey, 2006)

But as John Hailey also points out, it is accepted that no one definition can cover all aspects of leadership.  Taking a third sector perspective leadership also incorporates:

Become a Listening Leader

Studies have shown that listening is critical to leadership effectiveness. So, why are so few leaders good at it?  Look around you, listen up and you can guess the answer.

Try this, from a recent article by Christine Riordan, “Too often, leaders seek to take command, direct conversations, talk too much, or worry about what they will say next in defence or rebuttal.  Additionally, leaders can react too quickly, get distracted during a conversation, or fail to make the time to listen to others”. 

People Want Corrective Feedback

Would you rather hear positive feedback about your performance or suggestions for improvement?  Researchers Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman have compiled data on this question, and on people’s general attitudes toward feedback, both reinforcing and corrective.