Leadership, Management, Emotional Intelligence and The Power of Conversations

Leadership, Management, Emotional Intelligence and The Power of Conversations

Leadership: Anytime you try to influence the behaviours of a person or group. Leadership is not positional.

Management: includes all the stuff of leadership but with a more focused attention on day-to-day, week-to-week outcomes.

Operating principle #1 of both leadership and management: Keep the desired outcome in mind. If your influence is not working, shift your style until the person responds effectively.

Operating principle #2 of leadership and management: What I get is what I am teaching people how to behave.

OP #3: Emotional intelligence is the oxygen of leadership and managing people.

OP #4: Leading and managing people means we have to be good at one-to-one supervision in order to consistently get the performance we want.

Supervision is working in close with your direct reports.

Coaching people to maintain and improve their performance is part of the deal.

Setting clear expectations for a job well done, checking that people understand what they are supposed to do, plus following up to make sure the behaviours are translating into performance is what we get paid to do.

Being in charge of a group’s performance means you have at least two key objectives. Carry out the mission. Invest in your people to help them develop their capabilities and a better sense of self.

Supervision is about “sweating armpits” one-on-one conversations with regular team accountability sessions to focus everyone on the end in mind.

On the front line a manager works with team members to improve her/his performance on specific tasks. Sometimes the leader spends time with a team member to create a personal development program.


I was managing a team of six people. We, I thought we were doing well. But my boss – the V.P of Business Development had a different opinion.

He pulled me aside, face-to-face, in a one-on-one, respectful “sweaty armpit” conversation.

He let me know that my performance was not good enough and what the consequences would be if things did not change. He showed me to lay out a plan for improvement.  He asked me what I thought I could do to improve things.

He gave me a timeline to work with. He instructed me on how to work with my people to implement the plan.

His intervention was a clear, definite example of leadership, management and emotional intelligence in action — all wrapped up in one conversation.

I knew what I had to do. I did it because I wanted to keep my job. I did it because I also wanted to feel better about myself professionally.

Sometimes a little fear is a good thing.

Give your people effective leadership by shifting your style to fit their context.

In one-to-one, respectful conversations, help your direct reports to understand what you and they are doing, and why.

Give people structure and timelines to hang their behaviours on so the work is done well and efficiently.

Give them supervision in the form of crucial conversations to help them become more competent. Help them to feel about themselves as people.

On a scale of 1 to 10 how well do you do this?

How well does your manager do this?

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