What Self-Awareness Really Is (and How to Cultivate It)

Self-awareness seems to have become the latest management buzzword — and for good reason. Research suggests that when we see ourselves clearly, we are more confident and more creative. We make sounder decisions, build stronger relationships, and communicate more effectively. We’re less likely to lie, cheat, and steal. We are better workers who get more promotions. And we’re more-effective leaders with more-satisfied employees and more-profitable companies. As an organizational psychologist and executive coach, I’ve had a ringside seat to the power of leadership self-awareness for nearly 15 years. I’ve also seen how attainable this skill is. Yet, when I first began to delve into the research

The Fifth Commandment Of Highly Effective Leadership: Be An Assertive Communicator

There is a famous adage that says, "Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don't say it mean." Being an effective communicator is listed as one of the top skills in almost every job description, and it's very high on rating your emotional intelligence score. When I provide leadership training, I often share insights into what I've learned about four different styles of communication: 1. Passive communication: You're a passive communicator if when someone says something that is hurtful or untrue, you say nothing. You might stay silent because the other person is your boss or someone you don't want to upset, or, by nature, you might not be as forthcoming as others. The real challenge with b

4 Reasons You Should Hire for Emotional Intelligence

You could hire someone for their résumé. You could hire them for their Ivy League degree. You could hire them for what they know, or who they know. But there’s one trait, one soft skill that trumps all of that: emotional intelligence. In the interview, listen to how the candidate answers each question. Do they take time to digest the questions in order to deliver a descriptive response? Are they active listeners? Do they seem honest? Can they openly admit their foibles? Do they ask a lot of follow-up questions? If asked about a tough decision they had to make, or about a project they worked on, do they answer the question and stop, or do they explain why they did it and how it affected the c

The Fourth Commandment Of Highly Effective Leadership: Counter Your Negative Thoughts

POST WRITTEN BY Jacob M. Engel Author and CEO of The Prosperous Leader. I help CEOs and their organizations prosper. Professor Martin Seligman is known as the father of positive psychology. In his popular TED Talk, he argues that most psychologists are fixated on finding what’s “wrong” with people, while he insists on finding what’s “right." His theory, and the theories of so many positive psychologists, are based on a study he conducted with a large group of children who were at risk of depression. In his book, Learned Optimism,Seligman shares how he taught the children to control their negative or pessimistic thinking using Dr. Aaron Beck’s cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) model. He then f

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