Welcome everyone.  My name is Linda Beck and I am extremely excited to begin my Inspiring Leaders Series which focuses on how Emotional Intelligence plays a role in developing exceptional leadership skills at all levels:  supervisor, manager, executive team.

Managing our emotions permeates everything we do and throughout this Inspiring Leaders Series, you will learn why Emotional Intelligence is important for success in your careers and life in general.  I am going to share research from numerous sources and perspectives on what makes leaders exceptional and how being aware of your level of emotional intelligence can assist you in becoming the Inspiring Leader you wish to be.

I’d like to start, by sharing a personal experience I had which I believe illustrates the idea of Emotional Intelligence and Inspiring Leaders very well. 

Earlier in my career, I worked as a District Manager for a large Canadian retail organization which was a subsidiary of a US company.  All the District Managers from across Canada, there were about 50 of us, were invited to a meeting in Toronto to hear the US President of the organization speak to us on customer service.  One of the most interesting things about this meeting occurred just before it started.  When the President entered the meeting room, instead of immediately heading to the lectern, he did something that I had never seen a C-level executive do before.  He went to all the tables and shook the hand of each and every person in the room.  Now remember there were 50 of us.   And he didn’t do this assembly line style…hello, hello, hello.  No.  He took his time and warmly and deliberately looked into each person’s eyes and welcomed each of us.   When he came to me, as he did with everyone, did not rush. He asked my name and warmly shook my hand. He had taken such a good look at my face that I felt if I saw him walking down the street in Toronto, he would wave and say “Hi Linda, how are you doing?”  He wouldn’t forget me.

The key here is that the President focused on making ME feel like I was the most important person in the room.  He focused on making each of us feel like the most important person in the room.  Instead of making us feel that HE was the important person in the room.

This is an example of an Inspiring Leader and clearly illustrates Emotional Intelligence

Inspiring Leaders connect with their audience, show empathy, show interpersonal skills, warmth and compassion.

Now what do you think the President’s greeting did for the crowd when he started speaking? 

Well we hung on each and every word he had to say.  He captivated us through this initial emotional gesture and then he continued it throughout his talk by making it personal and once again appealing to our emotions as opposed to being strictly cold and corporate. 

The President exhibited some  key components of Emotional Intelligence which are so important for Inspiring Leaders.  By shaking our hands he showed interpersonal skills, empathy, emotional expressions of warmth and compassion.  Tapping into the feelings of others and being empathetic  makes people feel important; makes them want to listen to you and allow you to influence them as a leader.  Clearly, that was an experience that significantly impacted me as it occurred over 19 years ago and I am still telling the story.  That’s what emotions do.  When you link emotions to an event, they imprint that event into your memory.

I wanted to share that story with you to begin this Inspiring Leaders series. If you have any Inspiring Leader stories to tell, please email them to me at lindabeck@pillarperformance.com .

In our next posting I will define Inspiring Leaders from different perspectives and identity the competencies that make up Emotional Intelligence.  Stay tuned.

Have an inspiring day!

Linda Beck,

Inspiring Emotional Intelligence

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Linda Beck
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