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Develope Relationship Skills

Leadership is a relationship between those who aspire to lead and those who choose to follow. Sometimes the relationship is one-to-one. Sometimes it's one-to-many. But regardless of the number -- whether it's one or one thousand -- leadership is a relationship. If leaders are going to emerge, grow, and thrive in these disquieting times, they must become socially competent. We can't have positive face-to-face interactions if we don't have competence, and competence is crucial to our personal and organizational success.
Daniel Goleman has generated widespread awareness of this set of abilities, which he and others refer to as emotional intelligence (EI). He describes it this way: "Emotional Intelligence -- the ability to manage ourselves and our relationships effectively -- consists of four fundamental capabilities: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social skill."
Emotional intelligence is no passing fad, and because of the vital importance of this competency to executive success, Egon Zehnder International has become a leader in applying emotional intelligence to the world of work. That effort has been spearheaded by Claudio Fernandez-Aråoz, EZI partner and a member of its Executive Committee, Claudio knows from personal experience the significance of this burgeoning field, having conducted hundreds of senior executive searches and supervised a number of studies on EI. "This experience has left me with no doubts," he says, "about the relevance of emotional intelligence to senior management success. . . . The classic profile organizations look for in hiring a senior executive (relevant experience and outstanding IQ) is much more a predictor of failure than success, unless the relevant emotional intelligence competencies are also present. In fact, serious weaknesses in the domain of emotional intelligence predict failure at senior levels with amazing accuracy."
What Claudio is saying is serious stuff. Senior executives can graduate at the top of the best business schools in the world, reason circles around their brightest peers, solve technical problems with wizard-like powers, and have all the relevant situational, functional, and industry experience -- and still be more likely to fail than succeed, unless they also possess the requisite personal and social skills. Mastery of any vocation requires skill-building efforts. You can't paint without skills, you can't write software code without skills, you can't sell without skills, and you can't lead without skills. Mastery of
leadership requires mastery of those skills central to developing and maintaining positive relationships with others. This is no time to cut training and coaching budgets. This is no time to skimp on teaching people the skills that will enable them to listen, to communicate, to resolve conflicts, to negotiate, to influence, to build teams, and otherwise to strengthen the capacity of others to excel. Organizations serious about leadership will make the appropriate resources available, and individuals who recognize the opportunities for greatness inherent in today's challenges will make the time available to improve their leadership skills.

Have a positive day!

Mohamad Yunus, CHT, MNLP



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