The 4 Top Skills Leaders Need To Lead Their Organisations Into The Future - With Dan Goleman - eqsummit.com

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The 4 Top Skills Leaders Need To Lead Their Organisations Into The Future – With Dan Goleman

In the final part of this interview, Dan Goleman talks to Dr Martyn Newman about the top 4 skills needed to lead business in the future.

 

Dr. Martyn Newman:

I mentioned at the outset [of our discussion] that Paul Ekman spoke at one of our recent EQ Summits and I know that Paul is a dear friend of yours. I remember asking Paul over dinner at his home one day what did he consider as the key emotional skill that was foundational to all other abilities and the basis of trust. And I’m sure you can guess what he told me, he told me that it was Empathy. Why do you think it’s so relevant as a skill in the hard commercial reality of the current business climate that we find ourselves in?

 Dan Goleman:

 I think it is very simple. Empathy is the social equivalent of self-awareness. You are being aware of the other person’s reaction, their feelings, how they think about things. And if you demonstrate that you not only know how they think and how they feel and are concerned about them, you form a very strong trust and strong rapport that allows any work you do together to go smoothly. And in today’s tough business climate I would argue that it’s all the more important. Because if you are going to have a competitive team and you are going to be the group that wins the game you have got to get along well together in order to succeed. A lack of Empathy today is not a winning strategy.

Dr. Martyn Newman:

I was reviewing some research recently that asked employers what skills they felt were most needed in the next 5-10 years and interestingly the answers that came back were not about business acumen or P&L management. Instead, their top priorities included Empathy, and relationship skills along with co-creativity. And these were from really big brands. So that research aligns with what you are saying. I know that you will be presenting a lot more detail at the EQ Summit, but could you give us 3 quick tips on how people in business today could improve their Empathy skills?

 

 “if you are going to have a competitive team and you are going to be the group that wins the game you have got to get along well together.”

 

 Dan Goleman:

Number 1- Tune in.  I think Empathy starts with self-awareness, because part of the emotional Empathy which is the basis for rapport and chemistry has to do with tuning in to how the other person is feeling.

Number 2 – Show that you care. Show that you are not only able to pick up what a person is feeling but that you feel that your colleagues are collaborators.

Number 3 – Be a good collaborator. Be trustworthy. Be someone that people know will be there for them. And you do that by demonstrating Empathy.

Dr. Martyn Newman:

Recently I was listening to a presentation you gave at Google some time ago, and we know Google is famous for having implemented an Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness programme to huge acclaim. I understand that there is a 6 month wait list. Is that right?

 Dan Goleman

I hear there is. And that talk that you saw that I did at Google was used as leverage to get the first course at Google U – that’s their in-house university – on Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence. Chade-Meng Tan who was the man who made that happen has now taken it on the road and implementing it for companies all over the world.

 Dr. Martyn Newman:

 I’m sure you would be interested to know that in Europe we have been involved with the media giant Sky, for the last 2 years delivering a similar programme and in many ways, companies like Google, Sky and Amazon etc. are unlikely places for these initiatives as fast moving companies and yet the programmes are just so well received and to such huge acclaim. What do you think are the factors that are driving the interest and leading to the success of these programmes well and above other leadership initiatives that HR departments have implemented over the years?

 

martyn

Dan Goleman:

 Martyn I think the answer is very simple. The faster things move the more you’ve got to take some time to recover. The body was designed for certain levels of stress. Things have ratcheted up in the same way for so many people in business world. This is why 5 or 10 minutes of just taking care of yourself, just being with yourself and being mindful is the refresher and the recovery zone that people need more than ever.

 Dr. Martyn Newman:

 I remember when your first book came out Dan, there was a lot of psychologists that thought that Emotional Intelligence was something of a fad and that it would disappear quite quickly. And I think today there is a lot of folks that would feel the same way about Mindfulness. But I have always argued that the reason that I think these two systems have grown in influence is because underpinning them are a set of values that give them real depth, or ethics if you will. They seem to tap into the authentic passion and the things that people care deeply about. Do you agree with that?

 Dan Goleman

 Yes, I think that Mindfulness and this whole approach of Emotional Intelligence really resonates with what people know in their bones is true, is needed and is helpful. And that is why these will stick and I don’t think that they will go away.

Dr. Martyn Newman:

So if you were advising leaders in organisations today about the skills they need to be fit for the future as the world of work changes on a daily basis. What in your view are about 4-5 skills that you think leaders need to master to lead world-class organisations into the future?

 Dan Goleman

Sure. I think:

  1. Self-awareness and not just in the sense of Mindfulness but in knowing how other people see you. How you come off. This is what we pick up on in the gap between self and other rating on a 360 assessment.
  1. Self-Management – that you can handle the stresses and surprises of the day.
  1. Adaptability – the capacity to manage whatever comes your way.
  1. Empathy – tuning into other people, knowing what is going on with the people around you.

And then putting all that together as a leader who can articulate a shared mission or vision that inspires everyone, not just yourself but the people you talk to because it resonates. It’s from the heart to the heart.

Dr. Martyn Newman:

I love the way you describe leadership in your book on Focus. You talk about Big Picture leaders, so I guess these are some of the skills that lie behind the success of these people. But I know it goes deeper too. I know you are on the board of the Mind and Life Institute and people like the Dalai Lama are very close friends of yours, and values like social justice and compassion have always been central to your view of the world and have animated your behaviour. At this years EQ Summit, we’ve got some big thinkers and some of the most creative minds on the planet in the room. People like Sir Ken Robinson and Baroness Susan Greenfield.

 Dan Goleman

Wonderful. Wonderful.

 Dr. Martyn Newman:

 And I would be interested to know what are the big questions that the EQ Summit needs to discuss that would be relevant and that would potentially have a lasting value for years to come for people?

 Dan Goleman

Well I think 2 of the biggest elephants in the room in the business world and in the world generally are climate change and the fact that we are all systemically pretty blind to the way in which our operations are creating the very problem that is going to haunt our children and their children.

And I think the second is the growing gap between rich and poor. I just read that the 10 wealthiest people in the world have as much as half of the population who are the poorest. And there are many symptoms of this gap one of which I might suggest is Brexit in the UK (with people disgruntled with being ignored) and certainly in my own country that was a huge hidden factor in the election. And I think it will play a role in many ways in the future and in business and in economics generally. And we need to start thinking about it in terms of what we can do.   

 

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Dr. Martyn Newman:

 Absolutely. Certainly these things have been central to the EQ Summits in the past. I know last year we talked about Adam Smith the father of the modern economic system and the father of Capitalism and the misunderstanding that people have that Smith was a big supporter of self interest driving economic markets when in actual fact he made it very clear that it was Empathy although he didn’t use that particular wording. He called it sympathy. But he was describing Empathy as understanding the needs of people and ensuring that you are meeting the customers needs which were absolutely key to contributing value and prosperity generally.

 Dan Goleman

Yes, and Martyn I would also point out that customers’ needs operate at several levels. Some of them are catered to by products and adverts and marketing and the second is the needs they may not recognise. The needs to have their economic wellbeing addressed, the health of the climate addressed, the larger systemic questions. The big thinkers are defined by the scope of their thinking and the timeframe in which they think. So these are problems in the largest time frame. I hope they come up at the EQ summit. I look forward to engaging them.

 Dr. Martyn Newman:

Dan, that’s fantastic. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you today. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your views with us. I know you will have lots of new insights and practical strategies to share with us at the EQ Summit May 25th. And of course delegates will have the opportunity to ask some further questions during the Q&A session. So it’s going to be an extraordinary day and I’m very much looking forward to having you there.

Dan Goleman

I’m really excited and thrilled to be invited. Thank you so much Martyn.

If you missed part 1 of Martyn and Dan’s discussion read it here. 
OR
part 2 read it here.
To find out more about how to build effective teams and a culture of Innovation
Hear Dan Goleman live at EQSummit.com.
London May 25th.
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