Archive: December, 2017

Do you have emotional intelligence?

Do you have the emotional intelligence needed for leadership?

Posted on 13th December 2017 in Communication Skills Training, Emotional Intelligence

Are you able to control your temper no matter what problems you are facing? Are you easy to talk to? Do you have the total trust of your teams? Do you constantly make careful, informed decisions?

Emotional intelligence (also known as EI) is the ability to understand your emotions and those of the people around you. People with a high degree of emotional intelligence know what they are feeling, what their emotions mean and how these emotions can affect other people. This is an essential characteristic of a successful leader in today’s working world.

Self Assessment
Are you able to analyse your own abilities, emotions, strengths and weaknesses? Are you able to analyze how your actions affect other people? If you have the ability to look objectively at yourself and therefore improve yourself regularly you can increase your success rate in any part of your life.
Self Regulation
Can you calm yourself down when you’re stressed and angry and can you jolly yourself up when you are feeling low? If you have a sense of panic about you so will your teams. If you are calm and strong they will feel reassured and won’t panic. Do people respect you for being organised, calm with an assured ability to get things done effectively?
Empathy & Compassion
Empathy is more than being sympathetic to another person’s situation. Empathy is the ability to experience and relate to the thoughts, emotions and experience of others. Are you able to truly put yourself in the position of others? Can you imagine what they are feeling and thinking? If you empathise with and truly feel compassion for other people then you can truly help them and they will in turn be able to help you as they will know they are supported by you.
Relationship Management
Our working life is more enjoyable when we have good working relationships with our colleagues and boss. For leaders this means building real rapport with your team members. Would your team consider you more of a ‘friendly senior colleague’ or a ‘boss’? In order to manifest an enjoyable workplace for everyone (which essentially leads to a more innovative and more productive workplace), It is essential that you can make strong, solid relationships with everyone you work with. Take the time to find something you have in common and make the effort to create rapport with EVERYONE you meet.
Effective Communication
Ineffective communication in the workplace leads to confusion, feelings of not being listened to and under-valued and is the beginning of anything that ends up in disaster. Are you a good communicator? By that we don’t mean speaking clearly and pronouncing each syllable correctly. Are you able to communicate with people so they instantly understand what you are saying to them? This could be verbally, through tone of voice, expression or physically through body language.

If you think you have a high score on the emotional intelligence richter scale, then congrats! If like many people you are good at some areas and not so strong in others all you need to do is become more aware. More aware of yourself, your actions and emotions. If you can see you’ve upset somebody, rather than feeling defensive, thinking they are idiots, ask yourself why they could be feeling that way. What could you have said / done or communicated that made them feel upset? Ask yourself what you could do differently next time to have a more successful outcome where they feel happy and you feel happy from the communication.
Culture of hierarchy in India

It pays to be aware of hierarchy in India

Posted on 8th December 2017 in Communication Skills Training, Leadership Development

India is a particularly interesting place as it has such a vast populous encompassing many different languages, religions, cultures and identities. There are many India’s within India! This makes it very hard to make a generalisation about a culture of this diversity.

What is noticeably different across Indian and East Asian culture is the importance of hierarchy. Indian businesses have a very hierarchical structure and everyone looks up to the person at the next level to make a decision. To the West this is a pretty old fashioned concept. We live in a business world where the CEO, leaders and managers alike need to influence their teams and do their best to work alongside them. As managers in England we are taught to coach our teams, ask open questions and include everyone’s ideas and opinions. Younger generations expect respect from their managers and most certainly wouldn’t respond well to being directly TOLD what to do.

In the West a person of a younger age could get hired for one of the most senior positions in a company based on his / her knowledge and experience and people in senior positions won’t show their superiority. This would never happen in India, unless at a very progressive international company. In India people expect senior people to be the older more experienced in years and they expect to be told what to do by their managers. If you tried to coach an answer out of them you wouldn’t get anywhere and you certainly wouldn’t get much done. It is a culture of working where the boss always knows better and the higher you are in an organisation the more you count. This respect of seniority stems from the family system in India where the elders are the most revered and respected.

What can be done to help build relationships when working in India?

  • Follow the saying ‘When in Rome do what the romans do’ so in this case when in India do what the Indians do
  • Be aware of the cultural diversity, be cautious about generalisations and take the time to develop relationships.
  • Pecking order matters – always address the more important / more senior members first.
  • Address older people with Sir or Ma’am Mr or Mrs.
  • Don’t hug or touch women in the workplace as this MIGHT make them feel uncomfortable.
  • Be prepared to follow the rules of the bureaucracy. Fill everything out correctly, Indian’s follow policy.
  • Small talk is big and take the time to be social with refreshments throughout meetings.
  • Don’t be offended when there are no explicit please or thank you’s, Indian’s will nod their head or smile to say thank you.
  • Create relationships. Meeting and phone calls are of more value than emails.

And remember that Indians are absolute masters of negotiation so do some prep work if going in to negotiate a price and terms.

There is an Indian Adage ‘It takes two hands to generate applause.’ This is especially true when we are talking about two cultures meeting. Both parties need to make adjustments to fit in and understand the other in order to create a truly successful business relationship

The importance of mentors and key influencers

The importance of mentors and influencers

Don’t take longer than the next man to get where you want to get to!

Everybody should have a mentor, someone who offers experience, wisdom, guidance, and encouragement, and demonstrates superior leadership. Why struggle to work everything out for yourself? Why learn from your own mistakes when you can learn from somebody else’s? Why take ages doing everything the long way round when you can skip a lot of mistakes by listening to somebody who has already made them?

A survey of Fortune 500 CEO’s found that 75% cited mentoring as one of the top three key factors in their career.

‘Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.’ by John Crosby.


First of all find the right fit for you. Think about where you are in life and where you want to go. What do you want to learn? Determine the what characteristics / personality traits will inspire you? Choose somebody who is at least 10 times more successful in your field than you are.

Pay for the mentor if you have to. Most likely you will be able to find a mentor who will help you for free. Maybe you could swap / trade professional services with them and help each other.

Be willing to commit for the long term. The longer a mentoring relationship lasts the more successful it will be. There’s not a lot you can learn from 3 or 6 months of seeing someone once a month. The true value comes in long relationships where you really get to know one another and become true supports and most likely long term friends.

Great mentors can be found in all kinds of places and most likely outside of your current workplace. Looks at business associations in your area, non-profit organisations, your college or university within your family, family friends and your personal network. Remember the concept of 7 Degrees of Separation. All living things and everything else in the world are six or fewer steps away from each other. A chain of ‘a friend of a friend’ statements can be made to connect to anyone else in just six steps. Look to your personal network, talk to people and see where it takes you. You could easily find that in no time you are connected to somebody extremely successful in your field who could help you enormously.

The importance of mentors and key influencers


As well as finding one or perhaps two or three mentors each with different skills and experience there are what are now known as key influencers to learn from. These people are at the very top of their field, the créme de la créme and are writing and sharing their thoughts and ideas around all kinds of topics writing articles on linkedin pulse. Articles about family, business, politics, social, workplace, leadership, personal development. Here you can follow the likes of Bill Gates, Angela Ahrendts, Liz Ryan and Mohamed El-Erian.

Linkedin – linkedin isn’t just a place to share your cv and connect with people you’ve worked with or want to work with. Check out Linkedin Pulse where influential thought leaders share their thoughts and ideas on various topics.

10 Thought Leaders You Need to Follow Now

Here is a beginners guide to learning to be a publisher yourself on linkedin

‘I seem to arrive more firmly at the conclusion that my own life struggle has had meaning only because, dimly and perhaps incoherently, it has sought to achieve the supreme objective of ensuring that each of us, without regard to race, colour, gender or social status, could have the possibility ‘To Reach For The Sky’ ‘

Nelson Mandela