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Avoiding “Nightmare” Hires: A Case Study

How to Employ Emotional Intelligence to Build Your Team and Boost Your Career Have you noticed that those who hire the best talent tend to have the most successful careers? Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the key: understanding and practicing the EQ skills that support decision-making increases your confidence level, gets you through the hiring process quicker, and allows you to onboard an enviable share of top talent. Here’s how one hiring manager bypassed common pitfalls and employed emotional intelligence to make a successful hire. Follow her lead to create your own dream team. Avoid Turning a Blind Eye to Red Flags After two “nightmare” hires in year, an experienced hiring executive asked for ideas on how to do a better job recognizing the red flags [...]

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How to Re-Energize Stalled Career Growth

Despite our fondest wishes, career progress isn’t always a straight, upward trajectory. For most of us, it looks more like the Colorado Plateaus, which the folks at Encyclopedia Brittanica (remember them?) describe as “dominated by high mountains … gashed by river canyons or scarred with dry gullies … great shallow basins, sunken deserts, picturesque buttes and mesas, and rare verdant sections of valley.” I don’t know about you, but that’s a pretty accurate description of the vast and ever-changing landscape of my career. Steep learning curves. Deep river canyons where powerful external forces sweep me along at a terrifying pace until a back eddy mercifully ends the ride. Feelings of powerlessness as I contemplate impossibly massive projects. Working alone in vast empty stretches of desert, [...]

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The Hurry in Your Head

A New York Times Op-Talk blog got me thinking about a common theme among my clients and friends: chronic overwhelm. The article focuses on breathing, reframing and working less as solutions, but in my experience, those can be helpful only after we’ve gone a bit deeper. Throughout my career, I created unmanageable to-do lists that at best simply paralyzed me, and at worst left me feeling lonely and inadequate.  I rushed around chasing my impossibly long list of daily goals and failed, leaving me exhausted, disappointed, and chronically late. Day by day, I created a habitual downward spiral, suffering the physical, mental and emotional side effects of living in a constant state of stress. I did this for decades. And while I blamed it on [...]

Practical Emotional Intelligence: Mindful Interviewing

For interviewers and candidates, mindful interviewing can help accurately assess the quality of the fit Long before I began making my living as an emotional intelligence coach, I was a “headhunter.” I taught candidates how to ace an interview, and to prepare to meet the hiring managers (whom I was simultaneously teaching to dig beneath candidate résumés to uncover behaviors that were likely to repeat). Unfortunately, those techniques were more about increasing the likelihood that a candidate would be hired than about mindful and authentic matchmaking. I’ve come to realize that the process of interviewing is much more rewarding when candidates and employers approach the interview without focusing exclusively on the outcome, much like those lucky few who are able to go on a first [...]

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Emotional Energy Part Two: Sowing What You Want To Reap

Once you’ve raised your awareness of what you feel, when you feel it, and where you feel it, you can take full responsibility for regulating the emotional energy you bring to the events of the day. You’ll have an opportunity to consider how you are contributing to a positive or negative environment, and can make an informed decision about how you want to show up in the world. This last part—developing a sense of how your emotional energy may be perceived by others—is critical to successful interactions with peers, managers and direct reports, not to mention spouses, siblings, parents, children, friends and acquaintances. Try this simple experiment for a live-fire exercise in emotional energy. There are two parts, and you’ll try one part each day [...]

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Emotional Energy Part One: Developing Emotional Self Awareness

In a previous post, I mentioned the importance of taking full responsibility for the emotional energy you bring into the room. Any room. Every room. Every day. But what does that mean, exactly, and how does one take responsibility for one’s emotional energy? Part of the foundational emotional intelligence skill set is emotional self-awareness, which I define in three parts: knowing what you’re feeling at the moment you feel it, understanding what triggered it, and having a sense of how your emotional state affects everyone around you. Knowing what you’re feeling in the moment isn’t always easy. We’ve all grown up with mechanisms for coping with intense feelings (which ironically don’t involve expressing them appropriately). The first step in emotional self-awareness requires an acknowledgement that [...]

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Foundational EQ Skills

In a previous post about authentic networking, I mentioned that there is a process by which we can become more grounded and clear about what we really want to do in the world. This is the key to giving others the opportunity to tell you whether or not they can help you. Your level of clarity will also make it easy for them to give you specific help in the areas you need it most. Underlying the process of developing clarity and authenticity are the emotional intelligence skills that form the basis for well-being, work performance, high emotional and social functioning, and ultimately success in your own life, on your own terms. These emotional intelligence skills are part of the skill set called “self-perception,” which [...]

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