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Emotional intelligence

Qualifications or people skills - what matters most?

This BBC Radio Five panel discussion explores changing selection processes and approaches for recruiting young talent.  Some employers are moving away from academic requirements as a means to an end and focusing instead on broader capabilities.

It features Stephen Isherwood from the Association of Graduate Recruiter (AGR) and is well worth a listen. Go to 02:35 for the full discussion.

Is 'Mindfulness' the new black?

It’s fair to say that the popularity of ‘Mindfulness’ has gathered considerable pace in the last couple of years. In fact it’s hard to move these days for Mindfulness articles, guides, books and discussions. 

However, with this rise in popularity comes a danger that some of the fundamentally sound (and ancient) principles and practices of ‘being in the moment’ (either in traditional/formal meditation or by means of an approach/state of mind) become less clear, or diluted in their value. This is something that Oliver Burkeman tackles in a recent article in the Guardian - and is well worth a read.  

Within organisations there is some great work being done to integrate Mindfulness in to wider employee well-being programmes, as well as in day-to-day practices to reduce stress, improve communication and ultimately improve productivity.  There’s also plenty of evidence and articles to suggest that the proliferation of technology and communication places considerable challenges on our ability to ‘focus’ - and this is an issue that’s here to stay - hence why ‘mindful working’ is required.. 

Linked to this is some of the ground-breaking research that’s being done to understand Mindfulness in tangible business terms.  Of note is the amazing work by Cranfield University, which recently hosted the sell-out ‘Mindfulness at Work Conference’ in 2014. Here’s hoping they run another one in 2016.

If you can find your way through all the bells and whistles, it’s still a subject and ‘approach’ that merits our time and energy either to explore for yourself or your organisation - just don’t believe all the hype!

Tomorrow's leaders - at the CIPD

What are the specific challenges facing the next generation of leaders, given the pace and complexity of organisational life? What’s being demanded of, and demanded by, the millenial talent pool? Yesterday at the CIPD Learning Arena, Cathy Harris used insights from behavioural science to shed new light on leadership. Using David Rock’s research on ‘Building Executive Wisdom’ from the Neuroleadership Institute, together with Daniel Goleman’s ideas on developing Focus, the audience were invited to reframe their expectations of what a good leadership programme might include. Watch this space for more talks and tips on how to use experiential learning and behavioural science to help enable tomorrow’s leaders. 

Peak Performance up in the Peaks!

Last week we ran a development programme for graduates in the Peak District which had ‘community’ as its theme. Participants took part in a range of challenging exercises designed to stretch them both physically and psychologically. Activities ranged from film and ‘time capsule’ projects on behalf of local residents to navigating Mam Tor in an orienteering exercise. These and other learning experiences facilitated the development of greater self-awareness, the sharing of insights and feedback – and allowed participants to focus on strengthening their EQ – the strongest predictor of peak performance and long term career success. 

Principled leaders get results

This week we’ve been asking the questions; what do good leaders actually do? And what does emotionally intelligent leadership mean? We’ve headlined the abilitites to inspire trust, practise empathy and make people feel secure as critical for today’s managers. So it’s good to finish the week with some hard evidence to prove that pincipled leadership is not only the right thing to do - it gets results. This month’s Harvard Business Review showcases new research findings by Minneapolis-based leadership consultancy KRW International, which reveal that highly principled leaders consistently outperform their less ethical counterparts. In the study of CEO’s, those who received high marks from their employees against four key character traits - integrity, responsibility, forgiveness and compassion - sat at the healm of businesses which were on average 5 times more profitable. Click on this link for a stimulating read about how moral fibre makes you money