Why you can’t develop Emotionally Intelligent leaders in a day

Nov 21 2019 | Tags: Emotional Intelligence

Why you can’t develop Emotionally Intelligent leaders in a day

Unfortunately, we do have conversations like this:

HR Department: “I’d like a day’s training for 150 senior leaders on Emotional Intelligence, please”

RocheMartin: “And what’s the objective of that day?”

HR Department: “I need to be able to tell our CEO that we have “done” Emotional Intelligence”

Now we don’t mean to pick on the hardworking HR Department but that was a real conversation and one that can happen more than you think.

And we have those comments above because of some common misconceptions. So let’s highlight and deal with them:

  • EQ is a magic bullet – There is no magic bullet and real change only comes with commitment, development, time and support. The Emotional Intelligence framework is a great multi use tool but there are no short cuts.
  • I can learn all about it in a day – Educating staff, challenging preconceptions, presenting evidence, displacing cynicism, and creating enthusiasm are what you do in a day. It’s an important part of development, but it is only the first phase.
  • The expert speaker will teach us – Listening to Sir Edmund Hilary will be awe inspiring and will give you an insight into his resilience and determination. But it won’t change you into a better leader or mountain climber, for that matter.
  • Attendees will take away valuable lessons – They might, but life and work then gets in the way and trying to implement something that was covered in a matter of minutes into everyday work is next to impossible.

EQ Development is a great thing with dozens of different ways in which new insights can be applied to help achieve positive business outcomes across Leadership, Cultural Transformation and Attracting and Retaining Multi-Generational Talent. But all of those objectives require change. And to change individuals, teams and entire companies is a hard thing to do. Developing people’s social and emotional skills is a great way to do that, but there are always two important variables which will influence whether that is successful or not; the individual’s commitment to change and how much support they get.

And that, as much as we’d all like, can’t be done in a day.

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