EQ is a critical competence for leaders now more than ever before!

Michael D’Antonio author of the book “Never Enough : Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success” has delivered a scathing attack on Donald Trump’s failed leadership during the Covid19 pandemic.  As D’Antonio states “His lack of emotional intelligence and empathy,  causes him to struggle to relate to human suffering”  This lack of responsibility and accountability do not bode well in terms of how history will judge him.

A good leader accepts complete personal responsibility if the decision he has made leads to failure.  He will not “pass the buck” to his colleagues or subordinates, which is what Trump is doing by pitting states against each other and attacking journalists who ask legitimate questions about the pandemic.

History reminds us that during the second World War General Dwight D Eisenhower shouldered the responsibility of failure.  The weather conditions in the first few days of June 1944 caused his air commander to argue for further postponement of the invasion of Europe.  After consulting with his generals, Eisenhower himself took the momentous decision to take the risk and go ahead on 6 June 1944.  Before the invasion fleet set out, he wrote this press release, to be used if necessary:

“Our landings have failed and I have withdrawn the troops.  My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available.  The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do.  If any blame or fault is attached to the attempt, it is mine alone”

And history has shown that he did not fail.  That, in fact, he was a great leader.

On the other hand, Hitler,  exemplified the opposite side of the coin – irresponsibility.  He persistently blamed the failure of his military plans upon the incompetence of his subordinates or their lack of will-power, while taking for himself the credit of the early successes.  When the roof fell in, Hitler castigated the German people for letting him down.  He could neither see nor face his ultimate responsibility as leader.

As reiterated in the Harvard Business Review :“In hard times, the soft stuff often goes away.  But emotional intelligence, it turns out isn’t so soft.  If emotional obliviousness jeopardizes your ability to perform,  or to be compassionate in a crisis, no amount of attention to the bottom line will protect your career.  Emotional intelligence isn’t a luxury you can dispense within tough times.  It’s a basic tool that, deployed with finesse, is the key to professional success”

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has demonstrated real leadership at this time.  He locked-down the country before most people anticipated he would.  He has shown consistent compassion by visiting the South Africans, who returned to South African from China and were quarantined in Limpopo.  He has talked to his people in an open and honest way, demonstrating his compassion and empathy.  As many South Africans have seriously compromised immune systems due to living with HIV and related diseases, the early quarantine was essential.

Turbulent times calls for real leadership, leadership that is heart-centred and puts people at the centre of everything that you do.  Responding to disruptive change must ensure a human-centred approach to the challenges of this pandemic. Responsive and responsible leadership is called for now.  This is a time more than ever, when human values take centre-stage, values that cannot and should not be weighted only in financial terms.

 Gail Cameron is the MD of the IE Group and My Pocket Coach www.iegroup.co.za

Authentic African Leadership book launch

The IE Group announces with great pleasure the exclusive launch of Gail Cameron’s new book,

Authentic African Leadership

 

Authentic African Leadership is a compilation of compelling leadership stories written by top leaders in corporate South Africa. Their personal and professional stories reflect their unique and authentic African Leadership values, beliefs, culture…and shares their journeys to success against all odds.

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  • If you would like more information about the IE Group click on the link: IE Group Brochure

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Find your voice!

Optimal voice integration to attaining Vocal Release

–          A Holistic, Scientific Approach written by Elizna Odendaal. 

“The Human Voice is the only instrument wherein player and played upon are the same and can therefore only achieve full expression when firmly grounded in the body” (Brownell, 2001).

‘Optimal voice integration’ is the correct use of the voice in each body of work by making the one useful to the other as a basis for expressive action.  Although ‘optimal integrated vocal practice’ is desirable most of the time, it is not widely achieved precisely because of the felt and lived experiences of individuals.  When unnecessary tension in the body is at odds with the free and natural voice, working on relaxation is the starting point.

Relaxation implies feeling free, alert and ready for action without unnecessary tension.  It is a constant harmony between the muscles in the body.  Relaxation proves to be integrally part of the voice because the voice singles out the slightest feeling of unease.  When unnecessary tension is present in the body, it constricts the voice and makes it difficult for the vocal folds to produce optimal vocal sounds, however, a slight amount of muscle functioning are constantly needed to keep the body in an upright position.  Along with relaxation, a correct posture is required in order for the voice to be easily produced.  Posture is the arrangement of muscles and bones in the body which puts the body into its natural alignment.  When the spine and the muscles are in optimal relationship in carrying the body, the best vocal results will emerge.  If any part of the body is out of alignment, then another part of the body will be required to take on that burden that causes a chain reaction that will constrict the body in its optimal functioning.

When the body is free of all tension then the breath required simply ‘drops’ and ‘falls into place’.  This process is somewhat organic – you do not need to think about it or force the process.  Normally, the individual only begins to think about breath and has a growing awareness of it when it becomes irregular or when useless tensions enters the body.  The free and lower breath gives us access to our feelings.  Individuals who do not breathe easily and who’s breathing remains low has to push for all their emotional responses and are quickly fatigued.  The amount of breath has to precisely match the thought and feeling for optimal physical stamina and vocal release.   When we are happy, our heart rate slows down, our breath is relaxed and deepens and our blood pressure goes down.  Meanwhile, when negative energy is present, everything is the exact opposite; our blood pressure is high and our breathing rapid and shallow as we get ready for the fight.  Yet we try to avoid strong negative emotions – why?  Is it because we were not taught an appropriate method for emotional release or that we believe that we do not have an outlet for our emotions?

The IE GROUP enables the client to explore with the emotional release vocally and physically in both a structured and simulated manner.  The desired outcome is to release the muscles, which make adjustments both physically and psychologically through vocalization that brings us back to freeing the natural voice, and make us realize our full potential.  The higher our emotional tension, the louder our voices become.  When we restrict our voice, it is often an attempt to cap a ‘loud’ emotion that was bubbling to the surface and ready to escape.  Casual voluntary mimicking of expressions of emotions an easily be detected as fake – something always fails, whether in the configuration of the facial muscles or tin the tone and Speech production at the IE GROUP aims at releasing various muscle tensions in the body which block the flow of breath, reduces the flexibility of the articulators, inhibit the fullness of resonance, and limits the fluidity of vocal range and expression.  This seeks to explore the nature of this action which takes place on a personal level where one’s emotions and spirituality come into play, from the standpoint of those who take part in it.  Research shows that there are tendencies, and through these tendencies, patters appear that imply that vocal simulations can be valuable to optimal vocal release and improved vocal quality.

Media lessons learnt by the Mining Industry

Engage the Media, correctly

By Saskia Synders

 

Life is like a game of chess.

To win you have to make a move.

Knowing which move to make comes with IN-SIGHT

and knowledge, and by learning the lessons that are

accumulated along the way.

Allan Rufus

Richard Boyatzis’ Intentional Change Model offers a structure for us to develop individual programmes that assist clients to move from their current “self” to their “ideal self” in the business environment. Every person seeking to understand, explore and undertake a process of personal development that is sustainable needs to do so from an individual perspective and apply those newly acquired or enhanced skills in their contextual environment.

There is a vast difference between acquiring knowledge about a skill and actually demonstrating the changed behaviour. That is the corner stone of the formulation of developmental programmes. We expect outcomes, changed behaviour, a picture that resembles our ideal selves. Therefore, each programme must be individualised and orientated around a particular individual’s needs, strengths and growth areas.

When an individual becomes aware of the dissonance between reality and desired perception, that self-awareness generates a need and, hopefully, an intrinsic motivation to learn and improve. Need manifests in a search, an exploration to find ways to acquire the wanted skills and knowledge. The most evident conclusion of Boyatzis’ Intentional Change Model is that the individual has to take charge of the change.

The model describes five criteria that an individual has to consider when intentionally changing. Whilst, for explanation purposes, it is convenient to separate the different criteria; it is important to understand that the process is not static, but organic as each individual’s process of development is fluid and unique.

Firstly, astutely determine and identify the “ideal self”. This incorporates existential question such as: Who do I want to be? What is really important to me? Where would I like to be in the future?

These questions enable the individual to focus on introspection and understand what the goal of the process is. Asking the right questions will empower the individual to actively strategize and plan constructive steps to implement and generate change.

The perception acquired through the exploration of the “ideal self” will often indicate differences from the “real self” if the individual is aware of his/her reality. There is a reason that Plato stated, “Know thyself.” This is an understanding of where the individual is currently. It incorporates identification of individual strengths and areas of development.  It is also important to take others’ opinion into consideration and this can be gathered through having the courage to ask, 360-feedback, observations and a willingness to receive feedback.

Through this new self-awareness, the individual is able to formulate a “change agenda”. At this point of the process, one has to ask what is needed to move to the “ideal self”. Goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound should be set as beacons against which the individual can measure the progress. Christopher Babson wrote, “If you don’t know exactly where you are going (and why),that is exactly where you will end up.” The focus should be on development and not condemnation.

Through the revelation of the “ideal self” and the establishment of goals, the individual should break those goals down into manageable objectives and plans. A personal programme will remain an idea if it is not acted upon. Therefore, the individual must experiment and practise within an environment that is objective and safe.  It is through experimentation and practising that the individual can create opportunities for learning and be active in the learning process. As each individual has a unique brain preference and learning style, each individual will need specialised learning opportunities to benefit meritoriously.

The Intentional Change Model is grounded in strengthening and trusting relationships. This process (particularly when focusing on communicative development) is not a process that can be done in isolation, primarily because interpersonal fluency is dependent on interaction. It is vital that the individual is supported by and connected to people who can work closely with the individual to identify strengths and areas of development.

The focus remains on the specific individual throughout the process. That is why a personal programme for development is beneficial. The individual is able to explore the “real self” in an environment that is conducive to development and change. Together with a coach, the individual can identify areas of development and areas of strength. The individual can also experiment with different behaviours grounded in scientific research to find a communicative approach that is optimal for the individual. By practising in a safe environment, the individual will build confidence and will be able to apply the changed behaviour in the work environment and gauge the effectiveness of the new behaviour and the perceptions of peers, colleagues and superiors.

This worthwhile process requires time, dedication, commitment and will. These necessary qualities along with trusting relationships will ensure that the process will be beneficial and results will be a certainty. As Aristotle stated, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Group Training

In addition to personal one-on-one coaching, our specialists also design and facilitate training for groups. Workshops will not only raise awareness and improve understanding through theoretical illustration, but will also ensure the application of concepts. Our approach involves presentations and practical facilitation, through for example, interactive simulation (role-play).

Topics for customised workshop training include:

  • Winning Proposals
  • Advanced Language Elements/ Linguistic Expression
  • Impression Management: Your Personal Impact Power/ Personal Brand
  • Leadership Communication – Emotionally Intelligent Leadership
  • Women in Leadership
  • Writing Skills
  • Presentation Delivery Skills
  • Persuasive expression/ Interaction Skills
  • Assertive Communication in Conflict Settings / Interaction Skills
  • Client Service
  • Non-Verbal Expression
  • Stress Management
  • Preparing and Delivering Technical Presentations
  • Line Manager Communication Skills
  • Cultural Diversity Communication
  • Organisational Communication

Tailor-made programmes – also in ‘combination’ formats

Workshops are tailor-made to meet the specific objectives of each group of similar delegates. Groups between 10 -12 delegates ensure optimal personal attention and application. Some topics do however lend themselves to larger groups.

We also design programmes to include elements of both group training and individual coaching sessions. For example, we may do Presentation Delivery Skills in groups, but conduct individual sessions for voice training.

Where do Workshops take place?

Group training and workshops are conducted either in-house, or at our premises in Randburg.

Organisational Communication workshop

Most executives acknowledge the importance of effective communication and yet they often think all it requires is telling the right thing to the right people at the right time. The reality is that effective organisational communication is challenging and complex.

The organisational communication module will provide a broad overview and explore the importance of well managed, consistent and credible communication for both internal and external audiences.

The outcomes of the module will provide an understanding of:

  • The need to critically analyseis the possible impact of the message and the reaction from the different audience groups.
  • Ensure the message is consistent with the organisational culture.
  • How to avoid the message being misinterpreted.
  • How to tailor message to ensure relevance to each audience group.
  • The need for the communication to be credible.

Line Manager Communication Skills

This is a practical workshop developed to explore the importance of the line manager relationships, their impact on the workplace climate and the commitment of employees through improving their communication abilities or attitudes.

Course content

Setting the foundation

  • Understanding the different communication needs

Assessing the skills needed

  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving and decision making skills
  • Group dynamic skills
  • Morale building skills
  • Personal skills

Building the communication skills and competencies

  • Active listening
  • Giving instructions
  • Clarifying meaning
  • Encouraging input
  • Soliciting feedback
  • Providing constructive feedback
  • Managing conflict
  • Disclosing emotions

Managing your communication

  • Understanding the difference between different types of communication
  • Can you have too much communication?
  • How to make your message stick