Over the course of my career I have had the privilege of working with literally hundreds of leaders. One of the most enjoyable parts of this work is sitting with them, talking through the myriad opportunities and challenges, strategizing on how to tackle both. If you are a coach, consultant, or HR Professional then you can probably relate. It’s one of the reasons we do what we do.

In general, leaders have no problem learning the tools related to common management leadership topics. A process for resolving conflict? No problem. Tools for more effective communication? Easy. An algorithm for change management? Take your pick. Because leaders are almost always deeply committed to what they are doing, they naturally value the process of learning new skills. The challenge is not in the learning though. It’s in the application. You may notice this pattern in your clients.

Leaders are committed to what they are doing, they value the process of learning new skills. Click To Tweet

Let’s take conflict as an example. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard leaders described as being conflict averse, or conflict avoidant. Yet the same leaders can quite easily describe a number of alternative approaches to conflict management or resolution. So what’s standing in their way? Early on in my career (but not as quickly as I would have hoped) I realized that the solution is not in giving leaders more models or more details on the models they already have. The solution is on helping them understand why they avoid addressing conflict in the first place. That’s where emotional intelligence comes in.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence refers to how we perceive, understand, use, and manage our emotions. This emotional information influences how we feel about ourselves, how we communicate with others, and how we handle the challenges of everyday life such as getting things done, handling interactions, and managing stress. It impacts what we do, and how we do it. Just like your IQ, it’s working every second of every minute of every day. It’s even influencing how (and perhaps why) you are reading this blog.

This blog, posted every other week, will be about the application of emotional intelligence in everyday leadership situations. It will be about understanding your emotions (knowing) and reacting, or taking appropriate action, as a result.

I hope you find this blog useful. Please also consider following me on Twitter: @drew_bird , or connect with me on LinkedIn: ca.linkedin.com/in/drewbirdcls/

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Drew Bird

Drew has been helping leaders develop their leadership effectiveness for almost 20 years. Author of The Leader's Guide to Emotional Intelligence, and an EQ Master Trainer, Drew's practical approach involves connecting sound science to the realities of everyday experience. Having led teams, departments, divisions, and organizations in the past, he knows that every leader, every team member, and every work situation is different. With this in mind, he focuses on developing an understanding of self, and being 'nimble' depending on the situation. When not focused on individual and organizational development, he loves to sail, hike, and bike.

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