coaching executives challenge

How Your C-Suite (And Yes, Even the CEO) Can Benefit from Coaching

One positive that has emerged from the pandemic is a focus on the leadership skills needed to navigate challenging situations. Organizations everywhere are taking a hard look into the how they do business in this ever-changing environment – and along with that comes a new perspective in how we train and prepare our people for the next level.

When we think of professional coaching, we often think of focusing on our emerging leaders – those high-performers who we have slated on our succession plans. We want to continue to provide these achievers with all the opportunities and resources they need to excel. But what about those who have already ascended to the top? Our C-Suite? Even our CEOs? Does the need for professional coaching just end once you reach the pinnacle of your career?

The short answer is NO. Learning should be a lifelong habit – one in which we never complete. Regardless if you are the fresh grad right out of college or the seasoned executive with countless successes under your belt, the ability to grow – mentally, emotionally and physically – is always with you.

So, how do organizations offer the caliber of coaching needed at the C-suite level? What could these accomplished individuals possibly need to learn? Well, you’d be surprised. Ascending to the C-suite takes grit, sound decision making, and depth of experience. However, as your climb that proverbial ladder, the skills and abilities needed to keep succeeding personally and for the benefit of your organization evolve. When selecting a coaching strategy for our C-suite, what you look for will differ than the program you design for those high-performers mentioned above. For your CEOs and other C-suite members, consider the following:

Coaching Cultivates New Perspective

Sometimes the 10,000-foot view creates blind spots. Things may look good overall, but when you change your perspective and really look into the working pieces, you often find areas for improvement – some of which can have a significant impact on profit and people. This is where executive coaching can take a C-suite member to the next level. Giving them greateradaptability and a new perspective into the business.

Improved Conflict Resolution

As a leader, often your role is to mediate conflict and find solutions when things are not working. Conflict resolution skills are needed at every stage of your career; however, at the C-suite level, the conflicts become bigger and more costly. Not to mention navigating these unprecedented times we are living in. Having the ability to succeed through crisis has become a central skill for leaders. When a CEO avoids conflict, that poor decision trickles down into the ranks – leading to a culture that is not adept at facing big challenges. When your C-suite models sound conflict resolution, it positively impacts your people, your culture, and your bottom line.

The CEO Sets the Tone

When you were first starting out in your career, you were part of the pack – following along while learning the ropes. As you progressed and took on leadership roles, your influence and example began to matter more and more. And now that you have earned a spot at the C-suite table, your influence and example could not be more important. In fact, when it comes to the culture and tone of an organization, it all starts with the CEO. That is a lot of responsibility to have on one’s shoulders. Fortunately, executive coaching not only helps you learn how to shoulder that great responsibility but teaches you how to define the type of organization you want to lead.

Looking to equip your C-suite with the tools and resources to keep providing real value to your organization? Head on over to our website to learn more about our Executive Coaching Services for CEOs & Business Owners – East Tenth Group. If your organization is looking for a new perspective, I encourage you to contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.

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Life in the Pandemic: 3 Strategies Leaders Need to Keep Teams Moving Forward

The challenges leaders are facing this year are unlike anything many of us have ever seen. With a global pandemic, economic fallout, and heightened anxiety and tension across the country, today’s leaders are finding themselves and  their businesses thrust into a world no one knew was coming.

As leaders, people look up to us – for guidance, support, and calm when waters get rough. So, how are you meeting the challenge? Are your words and actions bringing a sense of unity? Or are they causing further divide? One thing I have learned over the last few months, is that although we are all very much “in this together”, we are very much in it alone at times as well – each person, each family has a different story to tell about how their lives have changed. And many are looking for direction on how to move forward. Although not every situation is the same, there remain some tried and true strategies leaders can take to keep their employees and businesses not only afloat but filled with a sense of hope and optimism. If you have not already, give a few of these a try:

Focus on Inspiring Others – Not Just Managing Performance

In short, managing performance right now is tough. Whether you are constrained through video conferencing and long for face-to-face interaction or if your people are simply exhausted from the weight of pandemic and struggling to keep up, patience with yourself and others is key. Everyone right now is looking for some level of comfort and inspiration to keep them going. As the leader, you are perfectly poised to be that voice. Listen, be genuine and stay positive. Need some inspiration yourself? Check out these inspiring podcasts.

Not a Surprise – Communication is Key

While inspiring your workforce is much needed, there can be a fine line between inspiring others and promising the moon. Another lesson that has been reinforced over the last few months is that things can (and will) change – and rapidly. Communicating clearly, honestly, and adaptively will build trust within your teams. Be forthright that things are changing. Showing we are ready and able to pivot when needed – all while keeping our chins up – will be the make or break of many organizations. As the leader, it is up to you to manage expectations and that all starts with clear and honest communication.

Maybe a Surprise – You Need to be Vulnerable

The words ‘leader’ and ‘vulnerable’ do not go in the same sentence, right? Afterall, throughout the years many of us got to where we are because of our thick-skin and were even cautioned against showing our vulnerability. Well, times have changed. And we know now that allowing yourself to be vulnerable – even in front of your direct reports – is a good, healthy thing. We are all vulnerable right now – our world has been flipped upside down overnight. The world we counted on is not quite the same and we all are asking ourselves “Is it just me…Am I the only one that doesn’t have it all together right now?”. When leaders open up to their teams, it shows they are human just like everyone else. It gives the sense that yes – we are all in this together, and we will make it through together. Vulnerability shows…I see you, I hear you, and I am with you.

You’ve heard it a million times – these are tough times, and more tough times most likely lay ahead as we continue the battle against COVID-19. However, with the right leadership at the helm, your organization can weather the storm and even flourish – building a sense of unity and common purpose we could only dream about until now.

Looking to strengthen your leadership ability? Head on over to our website to learn more about our Executive Coaching Services. If your organization could benefit from a new perspective during this challenging time, I encourage you to contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.

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How to Cultivate Trust and Build Rapport as a Best-In-Class CEO

The 2019 Wild New World Report shares that trust in CEOs has reached an all-time low. Of course, this decline in confidence in CEOs is not attributed to one simple change, but rather, a more significant symptom of an unstable political climate and perceived reluctance of governments to properly regulate businesses.

It’s a challenging time to be a CEO looking to gain trust with teams, and in turn, all professionals in your organization. With Bersin reporting that only 37% of people trust CEOs, as found in the Edelman Trust Barometer, it’s time that best-in-class leaders consider what they can do to increase trust and cultivate a healthier workplace culture that all employees can thrive in.

CEOs can develop a sense of trust among teams while implementing forward-thinking strategies and protecting and growing trust that encompasses what you do each day. Here are the three areas East Tenth Group recommends and works on with CEOs to establish trust and optimise team success:

 

1. Cultivating Genuine Leadership

Genuine or authentic leadership may sound like a modern business buzz term, but in reality, it’s a trait that successful and trusted leaders carry. According to The HR Digest, genuine leaders “always look forward as visionaries and develop themselves for their team and organization.”

As a CEO are you able to differentiate yourself from typical leaders through the choices you make when navigating the challenges of daily leadership? From being transparent in your processes to providing value to all stakeholders, are you, as a CEO, confident in your capabilities and always looking for ways  you can improve your professional practices?

How to become a genuine leader: Set aside time to think about the values you want to instill into your teams and drive forward throughout your organization. To determine what matters most to your employees and business read on…


2. Invest in Your Emotional Intelligence

In 2019, it’s vital that future-forward CEOs consider the state of their mental wellbeing and how it impacts their overall ability to lead. When team members feel that they are supported by their CEOs and leaders, they often feel more connected to, inspired by, and motivated by their work.

To instill these values, you, as a CEO must focus on cultivating emotional intelligence in your  own life , and implement facets of it in how they lead their teams. When CEOs are emotionally intelligent, they are more visionary, optimistic, and self-aware of how their actions impact others.

How to build emotional intelligence: To build trust, optimize productivity, and keep employees motivated to do the best they can do every day, CEOs can work on:

 

    • Developing soft skills. By working to listen to employees and practicing empathy, CEOs can put themselves in the shoes of their employees to learn what they’re employees are looking for in their workplace while aligning themselves with the direct impact their decisions make on their teams.
    • Being proactive. In the modern workplace, it’s not enough for CEOs to make a decision and immediately expect it to be implemented throughout the organization. Rather, emotionally intelligent CEOs are proactive and carefully consider the impacts of their decisions and discussing expectations early with employees.

    • Practicing mindfulness. Mindful leaders and CEOs create high-performing teams through being respectful, thoughtful, and aware of all actions they take.

 

East Tenth Group works with CEOs to develop their emotional intelligence even further. Download our actionable free Insights Article “Emotional Intelligence and Smart Leadership” now or call us for a free consultation at 1-646-904-8035.

 

3. Cultivate Effective Communication Techniques

Harnessing well-rounded communication methods and rebuilding trust with employees go hand in hand. CEOs are often the face of an organization, but what is not regularly seen is that they are also the example of internal communication employees live up to.

CEOs who are looking to increase levels of trust can focus on cultivating effective communication techniques by refining how they interact with employees on a daily basis. Gone are the days of a top-down approach to leadership, and instead, there is an increasing need for holistic interactions with everyone on a team or, in small businesses, in the company.

How CEOs can cultivate best-in-class communication techniques: As a CEO, making yourself available to your employees and team is a critical aspect of effective communication. When employees feel comfortable approaching CEOs with their opinions, ideas, or thoughts, they’ll feel as though they can entrust you to effectively implement actions to overcome challenges.

When your employees do feel comfortable approaching you to chat, ensure that you’re practicing active listening. This means taking in what they’re saying, and carefully considering how you can most effectively answer their questions and provide best next-steps without making demands.


How CEOs Can Move Forward and Create Actionable Change

To move forward and reinstill that sense of trust, utilize the above tips, and implement the following small changes that can have a major impact on both your CEO work style and organization’s satisfaction:

  • Seek out opportunities for professional growth on a regular basis.
  • Strive to motivate your team by leading with intention for employee and organizational well-being.
  • Demonstrate that you value your employees daily through active listening and high-touch habits, including providing effective feedback and making time to have one-on-one chats with employees.

 

At an organizational level, it’s up to the CEO and other executive leaders to redefine and rebuild trust with employees. By working to improve individual leadership skills and communicating in a meaningful sense with employees, CEOs can make the actionable changes needed to create a culture of trust in the workplace.

At East Tenth Group, we are committed to helping CEOs and other organizational leaders create change in their leadership habits that both inspire and motivate their teams. Our Balanced Leadership™ Program is designed to help CEOs and leaders refine their skills to streamline their leadership capabilities for meaningful change.

To learn how you can start cultivating trust with your employees through high-value leadership techniques, contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.

 

 

Want to Hire Better? Use Emotional Intelligence as your Differentiator

Apply These 6 Innovative Steps for Big-Impact Leadership

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leadership impostor syndrome NYC executive coaching

Is Your Imposter Syndrome Holding You Back From Being Successful?

Have you ever received praise or a compliment for your work and felt like a fraud? If so, then you can join the growing number of professionals who struggle with Impostor Syndrome.

Impostor Syndrome is an issue that affects many professionals, including 70% of Millennials, even the most qualified and successful CEOs and other C-Suite executives. It is characterized by a persistent belief that you are not as competent as you are believed to be, regardless of any praise you may receive.

With this in mind, it’s understandable why many people in high-pressure positions such as doctors, scientists, celebrities, and even CEOs like myself and many of East Tenth Group’s clients feel these pangs of fear and panic. Even though we may accolades and success, we continue to believe that we are undeserving of our achievements.

Impostor Syndrome and “CEO Guilt”

One of the biggest challenges faced by a CEO who struggles with Impostor Syndrome is the magnitude of every decision they make. Self-doubt causes every choice to feel more serious and negative than in reality.

Let’s look at an example faced by one of our previous clients: a CEO who was struggling with the guilt of laying off a large number of employees. As a result of their Impostor Syndrome, this individual was plagued by doubts such as:

  • Would I have been able to save these jobs if I’d been a better CEO?
  • Do I still deserve to have my job when I don’t deserve it?
  • Is the company failing because of my incompetence?

Of course, these questions are unfair because they place the blame and responsibility on the CEO themselves, instead of looking at larger organizational issues. This is a fundamental tenement of Impostor Syndrome: you believe that you are not as good as other people think you are.

It’s not just that you feel you’re incompetent; you feel like you’re a fraud.

Interestingly, even though Impostor Syndrome is often assigned as a “female CEO” issue, in truth these feelings are split relatively equally across the genders and all demographics. Anyone can feel like an impostor, but Impostor Syndrome may affect more women and people of color due to a lack of diversity within the modern workplace.

Managing Triggers

A report from the Harvard Business Review concluded that a lack of confidence may be a contributing factor to one’s success, so it’s understandable that many of the most successful CEOs have experienced these feelings.

Think about it this way: successful people are never satisfied and are always working to better themselves. When we expect only the best from ourselves we are often harder on ourselves as a result.

I believe that the key to overcoming Impostor Syndrome is learning how we recognize and react to our emotional triggers. Do any of the following scenarios sound familiar?

You’ve Experienced a Professional Failure

Experiencing a professional failure such as making a bad investment, mismanaging a merger, or failing to take much-needed advice, it can be easy to feel like you’ve been found out.

In this situation, we assume that failure is our default state, even if our failures have been few and far between, and we may feel like this event has been a long time coming. In this situation it’s easy to ascribe our successes to luck, and that this failure is a sigh of our incompetence.

You Feel You Don’t You Deserve Recognition

Many of us have been on stage, earned awards and accolades, and completed competitive programs. However, these successes may make you feel confused or undeserving.

You may feel as though this success is a fluke, and thoughts like: “if these people knew what a fraud I was they wouldn’t have given me this award.”

You’ve Accomplished a Major Goal

Many CEOs I’ve spoken with experience Impostor Syndrome once a large project or significant milestone has been achieved.

Many of us struggle to bask in the glow of success, instead choosing to continue the refrain that we don’t deserve what we’ve accomplished.

Managing Your Impostor Syndrome

We live in a world where many of us experience Impostor Syndrome, but as a CEO these feelings may feel crippling in a way that the average employee may not understand. CEOs and C-Suite leaders need to be especially self-aware in order to make decisions that are logical and not driven by emotion.

In order to begin managing your triggers, I suggest applying these tactics:

Talk to Others

Impostor Syndrome tells us that others perceive us in a way that is different from reality. By talking to others you can resolve the effects of Impostor Syndrome because they can help you recognize your challenges, but reassure you in your own capabilities.

Even better: by opening up and sharing you may discover that others around you also struggle with similar feelings.

Realize You Aren’t Perfect

There’s no such thing as a “perfect CEO,” and even the most qualified leaders and business experts make mistakes from time to time. Remind yourself regularly that your imperfections aren’t representative of you as a whole; they’re learning experiences that provide opportunities for growth and change.

Adopt a “Growth” Mindset

It can be tempting to focus on our shortcomings, but instead, I suggest focusing on the areas you want to improve. Whether that’s leading the business, managing teams, or investing in your development as a leader, focusing on continual growth is an excellent way to keep Impostor Syndrome at bay.

Everyone experiences moments of self-doubt. However, a truly successful leader can recognize their doubts and move forward regardless. Remember that moments of self-doubt are just that: moments.

If you’re a CEO or C-Suite leader struggling with Impostor Syndrome I recommend our Balanced Leadership Framework, which is a four-part program intended to educate and elevate CEOs and C-Suite leaders to achieve their true potential.

Visit our services page for more information, and Take.Action.Now and subscribe to our newsletter, and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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3 Steps to Bridge the Gap Between Generational Workers

In many organizations, there is a generational gap that can directly impact business results and hinder professional relationships. Typically, these generational gaps lay between Gen X/Y and Millennials, both of whom bring unique skillets and characteristics to the table. In our blog post “3 Innovative Ways to Coach Successful Millennial Leaders,” we discuss how modern leaders can view Millennial characteristics like the perceived lack of commitment or focus as positive attributes.

However, it takes more than knowing Millennial’s professional habits to help create strong leaders and an optimized business. Overcoming the generational gap in the modern workplace is attained when each generation has the means to learn from the other, cultivating a collaborative team of future-forward professionals.

By understanding the habits, views, and needs of different generations, we can gain new insights and change our perspectives to bridge the gap between generational workers.

At East Tenth Group, we strongly believe in the power of coaching and developing Millennials to empower future leaders and the business as a whole. So much so, that we’ve created a complimentary guide on Coaching & Developing Others.

A major facet of a successful business is its ability to stay relevant and sustainable in the face of societal changes. Current organizational leaders are responsible for deciding how a business will move forward and creating future leaders for successful succession planning.

Two-way mentoring between Millennials and Gen X/Y can help yield these results, as aligning the strengths of current leaders with the creative insights of future leaders shapes a well-rounded vision of where a business is headed.

The Power of Two-Way Mentoring

When done right, mentoring is a powerful tool for cultivating an employee network that is connected, motivated, and engaged with each other, as well as the company mission. Ideally, mentoring holds benefits for not only the person being mentored, but the senior-level team member sharing their expertise and insights.

Mutually beneficial mentoring endeavors help build the confidence of the mentor by demonstrating that their knowledge and experience can help them expand the professional capabilities of their mentee, while helping them shape the future of the organization. For the mentee, two-way mentoring means that they can share their insights as to how they view the business and ideas on how to move forward more effectively and efficiently.

However, to truly mend generational gaps with two-way mentoring, there are certain aspects of the mentorship relationship that should be present for a healthy partnership, including:

1. Lay the Groundwork for Effective Feedback Sharing

When it comes to bridging the gap between generational workers, there should be a strong groundwork that emphasizes varying communicative preferences and feedback sharing opportunities.

Millennials are a generation used to regular feedback and praise for a job well done. On the other end of the spectrum, people from Gen X/Y are extremely self-reliant, often referred to as the most independent generation in the modern workplace. These preferences are on opposing ends of the professional spectrum, with many professionals struggling to identify the most effective method of mentoring and communication with members of another generation.

These different competencies and workplace expectations can lead to misunderstanding and isolation between groups. Mending these differences requires a clarification of preferences at the start of any new professional relationship, including during mentoring endeavors. If your organization has a strong mission and set of core values, identifying a common goal of portraying these values throughout a team or mentoring relationship can create a healthy groundwork for understanding each other.

Many mentorship relationships require communicating constructive feedback that will help an individual grow professional and better understand how they can When providing feedback, play to the person’s strengths and share your thoughts in the way that is most accessible to them. For example, both Millennials and people from Gen X/Y thrive with consistent feedback and praise, while Veterans typically expect feedback only when professional goals are met.

2. Overcome Generational Differences with Mutual Respect

For two-way mentoring to be successful, the responsibility of mentoring should be on both parties involved. Through rich two-way conversations that include insights from both the mentor and mentee, a C-Suite mentor can nurture the future of the organization by implementing initiatives that align them with technological advances and a youthful perspective.=

When both parties feel as though they’re gaining from a mentorship relationship, their understanding of one another can flourish and transfer into their other professional relationships as well. For the Millennial participating in a mentoring session with a C-Suite mentor, they are gaining a bird’s-eye view into the operations of the company, while the mentor can listen to the suggestions of the mentee on how they can streamline processes to align with the future vision of the company.

Many mentors enjoy the satisfaction of knowing they’ve helped someone move forward professionally while they develop their understanding of younger generations. Because of this increased awareness of the professional tendencies of other generations, C-Suite leaders can begin to view their organization and practices through a fresh set of eyes while improving their own communication and management skills.

3. Plan for a Better Future Together

As discussed above, two-way mentorship requires the full participation of both parties to truly bridge the gap between generational workers. The spider-web effect of a successful two-way mentorship can help cultivate a better future for an entire organization through knowledge and understanding of how generations can best work together.

The gap between generations in business is one of misunderstanding and a lack of information as to the social and professional experiences of generations. When common big-picture goals for an organization are a clear part of company culture, varying generations can come together to actively reach for these goals.

Best-in-class C-Suite executives can create future-forward strategies to bridge generational gaps by discussing generational differences, assessing company strategies as a unit, and cultivating communication processes that will benefit both the current and future leadership team.

Often, two-way mentoring relationships can provide mutual benefits for both the mentor and the mentee, providing an expansion in confidence, knowledge, and experience for all. When we take the time to practice empathy and cultivate understanding between generations, the journey forward as an organization can begin to look more streamlined and achievable overall.

Our team at East Tenth Group is dedicated to providing quality leadership development, people strategy, and executive coaching services tailored to your unique needs. Take action now and subscribe to our newsletter for the latest actionable insights from East Tenth Group, and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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Using Mindful Leadership to Enhance Team Performance

Mindfulness gets talked about a lot, but the truth is, it’s hard work to be completely present, to operate from a place of true decision-making instead of by habit or on autopilot, to choose measured responses over reactions, and to accept what is instead of what you expected it to be. As you use mindfulness to strengthen your ability to lead effectively, the next logical step is to implement those practices more broadly within your company’s organization – to take actions that have a direct and powerful impact on team performance.

[Tweet “Mindful leadership has a direct and powerful impact on team performance.”]

You can use mindful leadership to enhance team performance by:

Being mindful of workplace stress. Work consciously and intentionally to be mindful of employee health. Demonstrate true leadership by taking vacation time and encouraging employees to do the same.

Seeking and providing clarity. Clarity – in communications, expectations, feedback, information sharing – is essential for fostering a sense of engagement and ownership in the organization.

Providing development opportunities. The people on your team need to know that you care about their futures, that you not only want to know what they want but that you’re willing to help them get there.

Sharing your vision. Openly, enthusiastically, and regularly share your vision of the organization and the role your team plays in achieving it. And when achievements happen, share the credit, too.

Mindful leadership results in high-performing teams that have better overall job satisfaction and higher levels of well-being. Being a mindful leader means being aware; it means being respectful of people and differences; it means being thoughtful in everything you do.


East Tenth Group is a boutique consulting firm providing people strategy, leadership development and executive coaching services. We are fiercely committed to helping leaders and their businesses thrive in today’s complex environment. We partner with growth enterprise and middle-market businesses that need strategic leadership and human capital insight, perspective, and experience to grow and sustain their efforts. Michelle Tenzyk serves as the President of East Tenth Group, Inc.

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Using Mindfulness to Strengthen Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence allows you to manage relationships with – and awareness of – others. Leaders without strong emotional intelligence tend to be less empathetic. They don’t pick up on the individual nuances of their team members, which results in a more stressful environment for everyone.

Leaders can strengthen their emotional intelligence by employing mindfulness. Mindfulness is a state of active, conscious focus on the moment; it improves our ability to have big ideas. Dan Goleman refers to mindfulness as being a focused leader. You can strengthen your emotional intelligence by employing mindfulness to:

Reduce Negative Emotional Responses

Do certain behaviors, personalities, or actions cause you to react unprofessionally? Build awareness by recognizing when negative emotions are impacting you, and learn to pause before responding. A pause will give you time to breathe, think through your response, and provide a measured, professional response rather than lash out. Having blogged before about the importance of pausing, I am a big believer in this skill. Think about a pause as the quickest way to reset.

[Tweet “Reduce negative emotional reactions and improve your leadership skills with #emotionalintelligence.”]

Reduce Stress

Having the ability to better manage stress not only improves your emotional intelligence but also your executive presence. How we manage stress and behave in stressful situations will impact how we are perceived as leaders. Mindfulness helps you learn to identify when you are feeling stress, helping you to better manage your behavior and your interactions with others. And once you identify your stress, you can use techniques such as breathing exercises, meditative practices, or simply sitting still to bring down your stress level.

Improve Interpersonal Skills

Instead of becoming irritated or avoiding people who are more difficult for you to engage with, practice interacting with them. Be completely present, listen more carefully, and pause to formulate responses. The more effort you put into working on interpersonal skills, the stronger they will become.

Take. Action. Now. to improve your emotional intelligence by employing mindfulness to:

  • Reduce negative emotional responses. Focus on self-awareness. Pay attention to your thoughts and emotions; pause and formulate controlled responses.
  • Reduce stress. Be gracious and grateful. Say thank you. Share credit. Help others succeed. Celebrate your colleagues’ milestones.
  • Improve interpersonal skills. Take pause. Listen more. Instead of thinking ahead to the point you want to make, truly listen to the other person, reiterate what they communicate, and acknowledge their point of view.

[Tweet “Employ #mindfulness in your everyday #leadership to strengthen #emotionalintelligence.”]

Today’s leaders need to be globally savvy, culturally aware, flexible, and visionary. We tend to measure success in terms of intelligence – or IQ – which does help when fledgling leaders are trying to climb the corporate ladder, but a high emotional quotient – EQ – is even better. In fact, highly emotionally intelligent leaders are more productive, motivate their teams more effectively, and make better decisions. Employ mindfulness in your everyday leadership, and you will no doubt raise your emotional intelligence.


As the CEO & Founder of East Tenth Group, Michelle leverages 25 years of business and experience as a strategic advisor and executive coach to help drive actionable people solutions and provide practical insights on business strategy to senior leaders. she and her team and are fiercely committed to the development and growth of people and companies because we believe that when people thrive, business thrives.

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Why Emotional Intelligence Is Not Enough: The Mindfulness Connection

Team members are more motivated, more willing to work hard, and more loyal to leaders that they feel connected to, inspired by, and appreciated by. To be that kind of leader requires you to be connected to your own emotions and to leverage your own self-awareness, thereby building stronger relationships with others. And building stronger relationships is the core of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) is that aspect of self-awareness that allows you to identify your emotions and emotional triggers and to understand their influence on your behavior and decision-making.

In Daniel Goleman’s book, Working with Emotional Intelligence, he defines EI as “the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships.” Strengthening emotional intelligence creates better leaders who build stronger relationships, make better decisions, and have the ability to motivate others. Leaders with high EI are:

  • Optimistic and visionary
  • Self-aware and disciplined
  • Assertive and decisive
  • Curious
  • Confident
  • Empathetic

But emotional intelligence alone is not enough. Developing and strengthening emotional intelligence requires mindfulness. Mindfulness is a state of active, conscious focus on the moment; it improves our ability to have big ideas.

[Tweet “Developing and strengthening emotional intelligence requires mindfulness.”]

“Where we have strong emotions, we’re liable to fool ourselves.” – Carl Sagan

Strengthen emotional intelligence by using mindfulness to practice these four steps:

  1. Develop awareness.

People with high EI are acutely aware of their own emotions and how they are being impacted by their emotions. Start by being more mindful of your emotions and work to more specifically identify what you’re feeling instead of generalizing in broad emotional terms.

  1. Pause.

When your emotions are getting the best of you, pause. Take a breath. Walk away. Do anything but react or make a decision when you’re not clearheaded enough to do it.

  1. Develop soft skills.

Listen more carefully. Speak with kindness. Use empathy. Communicate with others more effectively.

  1. Walk the talk.

Be a better leader by setting the right example. Instead of seeking glory, seek to help others. Inspire, manage conflict, and motivate through enthusiasm and positivity.

When you employ and practice mindfulness, you are immediately more capable of recognizing emotions, emotional triggers, and emotional responses, so that you can improve your emotional intelligence. The competencies go hand in hand. Take.Action.Now.


As the CEO & Founder of East Tenth Group, Michelle leverages 25 years of business and experience as a strategic advisor and executive coach to help drive actionable people solutions and provide practical insights on business strategy to senior leaders. she and her team and are fiercely committed to the development and growth of people and companies because we believe that when people thrive, business thrives.

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Want to Hire Better? Use Emotional Intelligence as your Differentiator

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the average cost of a bad hiring decision can equal 30 percent of the individual’s first-year potential earnings. Your team plays an integral role in defining your company’s culture. So what can you do to make sure the people you bring in to your company contribute positively to your culture, your team, and your future?

Hire for Emotional Intelligence.

Daniel Goleman’s 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence, grew out of “What Makes a Leader,” which was named one of HBR’s ten “must-read” articles, making Goleman’s idea of emotional intelligence “a revolutionary, paradigm-shattering idea.” So emotional intelligence is not a new concept, and it’s often discussed in terms of leadership development – creating better and strong management teams. I believe that emotional intelligence should be a top priority with every new hire, too. There is a strong connection between hiring people who already exhibit a high level of emotional intelligence and overall success.

To be emotionally intelligent is in many ways a prelude to understanding deeper motivation. – Dan Pink

Hire for More than Imminent Need

It’s easy to end up in a place where you’re hiring to fill an unmet need, and of course, you need a certain skillset to meet that need. But the ideal candidate will be able to handle the mechanics of the position while also adding something more. And that something more is a combination of emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and soft skills that create an ideal candidate. Research at Brandeis University revealed that:

  • 90 percent of top performers are also high in emotional intelligence
  • Emotional intelligence accounted for 58 percent of success in jobs – the strongest predictor of success when tested alongside 33 other workplace skills

Emotional intelligence is a set of competencies that are part of the overall skillset required for building successful teams – and it’s one area where you should not compromise when choosing team members. Emotional intelligence is a far more critical skill to long-term success of the employee, team, and culture than are traditional skill sets.

[Tweet “#Emotionalintelligence is critical to the long-term success of the employee, team, and culture.”]

Take.Action.Now. – Hire with Emotional Intelligence in Mind

  • Ask the right questions – Fast Company offers a list of seven questions to ask
  • Obtain referrals from existing team members
  • Utilize behavior assessments to evaluate candidates
  • Employ people analytics to improve the selection process
  • Request and talk to references

Procedures can be taught. Skills can be gained. But hiring for emotional intelligence will ultimately make the difference in the long-term success of your new hire and the overall success of your entire team.


As the CEO & Founder of East Tenth Group, Michelle leverages 25 years of business and experience as a strategic advisor and executive coach to help drive actionable people solutions and provide practical insights on business strategy to senior leaders. she and her team and are fiercely committed to the development and growth of people and companies because we believe that when people thrive, business thrives.

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Leaders, Love and a Lesson about Success

The ease with which we genuinely love others is directly proportional to our commitment to loving as a priority in our lives. To love is a decision first, an action second, a value next.  – Karen Casey

I loved reading Jeff Haden’s recent post on marrying the right person to be more successful. It made me reflect on my own life. I have always prided myself on being an independent, successful executive woman. It is what I stand for – and I actually love it. I boldly stepped into my career right after getting my MBA with a firm stance of independence and success on my mind. I was married right before my 29th birthday, divorced at 33 and single for another 15 years. I was proud of my career accomplishments, which have been fortunately many and equally entrenched in being such a brazenly independent woman.

Then it all changed. In 2010, I met my now husband, Joe. We were married in 2012. About a year into the marriage, I realized that I had been missing the deep, unconditional love of a contented relationship. I didn’t know I was missing it because I hadn’t had it for so long. I was happier, more relaxed, more at ease, and more confident.

What does this have to do with the success that Jeff writes about?  For me, as a business owner and executive woman, it has made me more successful. Not just by the measure of our revenues, which have grown substantially, but in the way I show up for my clients.

[Tweet “As a business owner and executive woman, marriage has made me more successful.”]

These are the three things I now know, and they all contribute to my success and our company’s success:

  1. Having my back. Joe always has my back. I am always sure that Joe will be there, encouraging me, cheering me on, believing in the business and mostly, believing in me.
  2. An objective view. Joe provides an objective view. I am fortunate that my husband has a business background, so I can run things by him. He is very balanced and has a clear sense of what might work and not. I get emotional at times; he rarely does in business matters. This is priceless counsel.
  3. Changing priorities. Most importantly, I have learned to be ok that my career is very high on my “most important” list. I love being in business and being an executive. However, having a deeply meaningful relationship has allowed me to pause and take stock. Simply put, my marriage is number one and for me, it is a game changer that allows me to put less pressure on myself in an odd way.

Who knew?! I consider myself a lifelong learner, but this is one lesson that took me awhile to learn – and it was oh so worth waiting for. And by the way, I am still brazenly independent and in love!


As the CEO & Founder of East Tenth Group, Michelle leverages 25 years of business and experience as a strategic advisor and executive coach to help drive actionable people solutions and provide practical insights on business strategy to senior leaders. she and her team and are fiercely committed to the development and growth of people and companies because we believe that when people thrive, business thrives.

Learn More About Michelle

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