Hello! We completed Week 1 of our web-based “bootcamp” for busy executives on June 22nd. I’m happy to share weekly updates so you can follow along and learn the same things we’re covering in class.

Week 1 focused on building Emotional Intelligence, or “EQ”, which I consider to be the corner stone of effective leadership. Without it true leadership is nearly impossible.

After providing an overview of EQ, we discussed Dan Goleman’s seminal HBR articleon the subject. Goleman notes that high-EQ executives can admit that they have blind spots, and considers self-candor a strength, not a weakness.

We built on Goleman’s point to review the reasons seeking feedback is valuable, why we may resist it, and tips for doing it effectively. Key points:

  • Our resistance to seeking feedback may be subconscious, possibly relating to criticism from an authority figure in our youth.
  • The reasons for our resistance to feedback aren’t as important as learning from our past and acquiring skills for moving forward.
  • Feedback is a “gift that keeps on giving” because of its many benefits.
  • To illustrate this point, I shared a story of “Adam”, a client who moved from “micro-manager” to “strategic leader”, based on feedback from his direct reports. Results: His department became 25% more productive in 6 months.
  • We discussed times when seeking feedback went well and when it didn’t.
  • We reviewed “lessons learned” from these experiences, and considered new approaches for becoming better at seeking feedback.
  • I reminded the team that feedback is not a “quick fix” or “one and done” activity. It’s a valuable and straightforward method for evolving our leadership capabilities and increasing our EQ.

Here’s this week’s homework assignment. Feel free to do it and let me know how it goes:

  • Identify at 2 ‘safe’ colleagues who you’ll approach and ask for feedback
  • Send an email seeking their feedback (see sample) or call
  • Follow the recommended steps in your manual for seeking feedback
  • Record what you learn
  • Share in class next week

If you’re interested in joining our next “bootcamp” or have any questions about this one, please contact me at frank.rowe@cecondopinion.com.