Personal Mastery: Leading with Emotional Intelligence

7 key practices of emotionally intelligent leaders

More and more leaders are recognising the connection between successful outcomes and the impact their own patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving have on people and situations around them.

Emotions percolate through every aspect of our lives. They affect how we think, who we are and how we live. They exert a powerful pull on how we behave and how we cope with change and stress. They dictate how well we manage our relationships and they ultimately determine how productive, happy, satisfied and effective we are.

About this program...

How well leaders work with emotions not only has a direct effect on productivity, teamwork, culture and performance: developing EI skills like perseverance, resilience, self-confidence, self-motivation, connectivity, empathy and social intelligence is critical to both work and life success. Skills like these are essential for happy, productive workplaces. When they’re not there, we notice.

Leadership starts from the inside out. As we point out in our leadership clinics: “Before you lead outwards, you need to look inwards.” You need to understand and manage yourself first, before you can take on the task of leading others.

Repeatedly, research shows that what sets successful leaders apart from the rest is their ability to ‘tune into’ and manage themselves effectively, and be mindful of and responsive to the needs of others — in other words, their level of personal mastery and emotional intelligence. These are not just optional extras anymore – understanding the benefits of leading with emotional intelligence and knowing how to apply key practices of EI leaders is a ‘must-have’ capability in today’s leadership environment.

Whatever your leadership roles or goals – whether it’s to be more visionary, to manage relationships better or to inspire superior performance –- the critical factor to begin with is inside yourself.  And that’s where The Change Forum’s EI clinics come in…

Do you want to...

  • Energise people you lead and create constructive emotional climates?
  • Connect with your people better and get in tune with them?
  • Diagnose the impact your emotional style has on others?
  • Manage your moods and handle conflict, anger and hostility better?
  • Boost your leadership performance and bring out the best in others?
  • Work more diligently on your level of self-awareness and self-mastery?
  • Develop personal strategies to be a more emotionally intelligent leader?

Purpose and Profile...

Personal Mastery: Leading with Emotional Intelligence is highly interactive coaching clinic giving down-to-earth insights into the critical leadership practices of Personal Mastery and Emotional Intelligence, and opportunities to try-out collection of practical tools for applying 7 key Practices of Emotionally Intelligent Leaders to energise your leadership, help create more connective team relationships and bring out the best in yourself and others.  It will help you:

  • Explore the role EI leaders play in creating constructive emotional climates
  • Assess the impact your emotional patterns have on your effectiveness as a leader
  • Be more alert to how feelings affect work performance and workplace well-being
  • Manage your own emotions, maintain emotional balance and cultivate a more resonant and connective style of leadership
  • Deal more effectively with feelings and reduce the effects of disruptive emotions
  • Develop connectivity skills such as empathy, rapport and compassion
  • Stock-take your EI skills, identify strategies and set self-coaching goals to be a more emotionally intelligent leader

About the 7 Practices...

The 7 practices of EI Leaders form the framework for Leading with EI. The practices don’t purport to be all-encompassing or comprehensive. They evolved from workshops, coaching conversations and personal experiences people shared with me, about what actions and choices seem to enhance a leader’s ability to leverage emotions positively for getting better outcomes and bringing out the best in themselves.

7 EI Leader Practices
© 2005-19 The Change Forum

AUTHENTICITY – I express my feelings…

EI leadership starts with knowing yourself – the practice of emotional self-awareness. EI leaders are authentic, direct, honest – they don’t delude themselves about their feelings, they know them and control them. They’re in close thouch with their emotional patterns and how these affect their own actions and behaviour, as well as others around them. They say what they feel clearly and cleanly without blaming others. They also recognise how important it is that they, as leaders, model being open about feelings and the role they play in good work relationships so others in their teams feel safe to do so too.

CONNECTIVITY – I connect with other’s feelings…

EI Leaders are connective – this is what makes them more approachable. Even in difficult situations, when hard messages have to be delivered, they stay connected with other’s feelings and keep one eye on the relationship. They can read and respond to other people’s feelings with sensitivity, authenticity, respect and care. They use empathy to build and maintain relationships and handle tricky team moments. This empathetic connection is what enables them to keep in touch with what others are thinking and feeling.

RELATIONSHIPS – I build and maintain positive links…

EI Leaders know they get things done through others. They place a premium value on relationships, and on developing positive links. They offer encouragement and support without being asked, look for opportunities to be of service to their teams, and play the role of networker and team facilitator. As Daniel Goleman says, “Managing relationships skilfully, boils down to handling other people’s emotions.”  Some relationships are resonant; others are dissonant. EI Leaders seem able to work a bit of emotional alchemy even in teams where things are tense, uneasy, troubled or anxious. 

MOOD MAINTENANCE – I manage my moods…

Because they’re in close touch with feelings, EI Leaders can manage their moods and control disruptive emotions. They’re aware of their feelings in the moment and are mindful in situations that are likely to emotionally hijack them. They’re careful to maintain emotional balance and regularly self-reflect on events that destabilise them, or lead them to behave in ways that are nonconstructive for them and their teams. As well as managing your own emotions, this Practice also deals with how EI Leaders handle and contain disruptive emotions in other people too.

MEANING-MAKING – I help others make meaning…

EI Leaders play a key role as meaning-makers and perspective-takers. They help team members make sense of things that go on in their work-lives – whether it’s clarifying feelings, unpacking an issue, conveying why something is important, or helping people step back and see what’s going on in the big picture. They’re also aware that clear goals and shared visions are major motivational contributors to good moods and good work, and they constantly work on inspiring and engaging their team through these.

CURIOSITY NOT CONTROL – I am curious, not judging…

EI Leaders realise that being critical and judgemental does not motivate people, and creates unsafe emotional climates. Rather than blame, criticise, judge or offer harsh comments, they learn to adopt a stance of curiosity tempered with compassion and understanding. Faced by challenging behaviour or ‘problematic’ people, EI Leaders remain balanced and even-minded. They wonder what’s going on for others, how they can understand or help, rather than act out of a space of condemnation, criticism or control. Curiosity – the ability to put aside your story and want to know more about theirs – allows you to connect.

COMPASSION – I’m caring, tolerant and understanding…

We define compassion as “caring enough to emotionally identify with the plight of others and want to do something about it”. Most managers are conditioned to lead with head, not heart; to put business before benevolence. We convince ourselves we can’t make space for compassion or connection. Yet that’s exactly what EI Leaders do make time for. Because they empathise and connect, they can instill hope, optimism and energy in others. This takes compassion. In fact, connectivity (2nd Practice) and compassion coincide – and compassion is often described as ‘empathy in action’.

Personal Mastery: Leading with EI - what we cover...

This targeted 2-day clinic and its supporting self-coaching Guide look at what EI is and why it matters for managing yourself and leading others well. It expands on the role of leaders as emotional care-takers and delves deeper into the discipline of Personal Mastery by looking at its close connection to 7 essential practices for EI Leaders.

A preview of what we cover in Personal Mastery: Leading with EI...

DAY 1: Connecting with YOU

  • PM and EI: Key dimensions and definitions
  • EI – what it is & the part it plays in leadership
  • Emotional circuitry – the brain basis of EI
  • Handling hijacks and emotions mapping
  • Leaders as emotional amplifiers/caretakers
  • EI Leadership styles: resonant or dissonant
  • Hidden costs of toxic workplace climates
  • 7 Practices of Emotionally Intelligent leaders
  • “F” words: finding & expressing your feelings
  • Emotional imprinting: what are your patterns?
  • Mood control: emotional self-management
  • EI in play: the conversational connection

DAY 2: Connecting with OTHERS

  • Empathy: reading your emotional radar
  • EI in play: the conversational connection
  • Mindfulness – connective moments matter
  • Connecting – the power of 2nd position
  • Dealing with hostility & defensiveness
  • 5-step plan to deal with disruptive emotions
  • EI, leader-stress, burn-out & wake up calls
  • EI – the teamworking connection
  • Unpacking the components of compassion
  • EI stock-take of skills, practices & habits
  • Personal vision & 5 step self-coaching model
  • Develop personal plans to put EI into action

We like to be flexible to the needs of individual groups, but here's what we aim to cover in each session of this clinic...

What EI is and why it matters for inspirational leadership
We start with a rapid review of what EI is, why it matters for leaders, and a few guiding ideas and practices that underscore the program…
Self-Awareness – tuning up your emotions
Picks up the EI Leader Practice 1 – being authentic and fair-dinkum by knowing and naming feelings and tuning into your emotional behaviour patterns
Connectivity and compassion – at the heart of leaders relating well
Focuses on EI Leader Practices 2, 5, 7 and how central connectivity and empathy are to build good supportive relationships and cultivate compassion
Dealing with Disruptive Emotions – emotional self-management

Explores the 4th Practice of EI Leaders – being better able to handle toxic workplace climates and use our 5 step plan to deal with disruptive emotions in yourself and others

5-Stage Self-Coaching Model for EI Leaders – putting it all together
At various intervals during the program and at its end, you complete activities to get you started on setting your own goals and self-coaching plans
And after the program finishes, your real leadership work begins…

No-one builds better EI just by attending a 2-day program. It takes consistent practice, discipline and application. After this program you will decide initial goals and try-out actions and refine your self-coaching plan

More Themes for Learning

  • Coaching & Mentoring
  • Conversational Mastery
  • Facilitation Skills
  • Culture & Change
  • Learning to Lead
  • Building Better Teams

Is this course for you?

This 2-day program has evolved into one of the most powerful and practical tool-based events you can do to master the things that really matter in leading well. People from all walks of leadership life use this clinic to mindfully manage moods and enrich their relational and emotional self-awareness skills – managers, team leaders, executives, school principals, social workers, clinicians, administrators, customer-service officers, teachers, facilitators, trainers… public, private and community sector professionals.

Reading about EI...

For more on Emotional Intelligence, see our range of Articles, FactFiles and seasonal e-zine Newsletters and recommended Sites & Readings — all available for free download to read and share with colleagues and friends.

Upcoming Courses & Events

Find out what public programs are currently on offer for 2019. If you’d like to arrange an In-House event tailored to suit your needs, get in touch below.

Start a conversation with us
Contact Bill Cropper on

(+61) 07-4068 7591

(+61) 0429 687 513

(+61) 0429 687 591


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