Empathy is essential, both for leaders and for Diversity, Equality, and Inclusiveness (DEI) initiatives. The Fall 2020 CLO Symposium had a number of excellent presentations that focused on and extolled the value of Empathy. If you have a chance, it would be worth your while to view the recordings, at Videos – Chief Learning Officer – CLO Media.  But, paradoxically, focusing only on Empathy is likely to reduce the actual practice of Empathy. So, though the discussions were excellent, as an EQ professional I found two things missing.  Attention to the way other EQ (Emotional Intelligence) skills impact the use of Empathy Some presentations left the impression that Empathy and EQ are synonymous. They are not. As important as Empathy is, EQ is much broader, comprised of sixteen different skills. Empathy is just one of them, and it doesn’t stand alone. Focusing only on Empathy is like riding a three-legged…

A coaching client asked me one of those “right way” questions the other day. (I get them often.) In this case, he wanted to know the right way to lead his team. He worried that he would do it “wrong” and mess things up. Experienced coaches know that there are many right ways to lead a team. There are many right ways to do most of the complex tasks that are given to high performers. They don’t give jobs with simple answers to senior people.   Of course, as we talked, my client recognized that there were many good ways he could approach his leadership task. Factors we considered in deciding which ways might work best included his personality, the personalities of his direct reports, the mission of his team, the culture of his organization, and the interests of the various stakeholders, among others. He developed a well-reasoned approach, which included…

These days, leaders who are asked to participate in EQ workshops are far less resistant to the idea of EQ than they were when I started the EQ Leader Program in 2004. The value of EQ has become largely accepted by most leaders in the executive ranks, though in truth, many people want “that other guy” to get some EQ, conveniently overlooking their own gaps. I bet you have stories to tell that would back this up! No matter how brilliant coaches, trainers, and development programs may be, participants will resist the changes requested. They will resist them even when they want to change. This blog post talks about some ways to partner with participants to overcome that resistance.  Resistance is a part of every learning process. Don’t take it personally. It’s just the way we human beings are. Plan for it. You may even feel some resistance as you…