I am honoured to have been nominated as Kingston's Business Woman of the Year.



Thank you

MH900448478There is often one missing ingredient in successful leadership.


Intelligence is important, experience is critical and technical expertise is a must-have but pe

ople with those assets might still underachieve or actually crash the organizational boat on the rocks because those characteristics are not sufficient for exemplary leading.


So what is lacking?


Leadership is a conflict-laden responsibility and the aforementioned resume strong points might help someone rise up the ladder, all the way to the top even but it doesn't necessary guarantee desired  relational and financial outcomes when they get there where the pressure is greatest.


Thriving, much less surviving, requires a strong developed skill set beyond confidence from past success and positional expertise. 


Without that strength in emotional intelligence, leadership is going to be that in name only and not practice. 


Ethics just don't happen in the hands of broken people. Flawed people, yes, broken ones, no. An organization's players, it's potential producers won't respect ultimate authority, buy into mission statements entirely and move as one, as a team down the desired path, showing adaptability and resolve when a leader is disconnected from their people's emotions and basic human interests. The tribe will undoubtedly split.


So in what areas does a healthy leader need to be winner?


Self awareness – knowing how we are feeling and if those emotions are considered effective in working with other people, in their minds as much as ours. If they aren't then, we quickly realize our too-hot emotions need to be managed.


Social awareness – being skilled at knowing how others' emotions are driving their behavior. It is difficult to reach, engage and inspire others if we lack skilled perception, earned by sincerely caring enough to invest with curiosity, pay attention, feel sincere empathy from perspective taking (imagining and working to feel what is is like to be in their shoes) and doing this consistently. 


Empathy – even if it's “not my problem”, this is showing humanity towards our fellow human being 

and our shared human experience with our thoughts, patience and considerate-and-encouraging words. 

You don't have to agree with someone to extend empathy. This can be from giving a little of your time, asking questions, listening closely, meeting them as a fellow human being emotionally, and doing this without expectation of reward.


Emotional and behavioral regulation – we're human and our emotions are not always positive or helpful. When that happens, will we insist on controlling the negative attitudes from our thoughts, and thus our subsequent behavior in a healthy manner?


Drive – in the workplace, taking action, smart action, especially in the face of stress, is a skill. At the root of it is drive. It is emotionally intelligent when it comes from more than just the desire for profit or adulation. 


Relationship management – the manifestation of our emotional intelligence – are we skilled at effectively interacting with others, earning trust and respect so we draw people towards us and not repelling them, allowing for their willingness to become one with the mission and drive progress instead of stagnation or destruction.


Emotionally-intelligent leadership has staying power and will create more loyalty, drive and achieved objectives in the organizations which employ them. 


Hiring smarter and investing in ongoing training increases the odds of a healthier, more productive culture, with the byproduct being an attractive return on investment. 


This new culture will become the standard and self policed, allow for greater vision, idea development and implementation of those initiatives. 



About the Author:


Michael Toebe is the founder of High-Value Outcomes, a company that works closely with people one-on-one to find better outcomes in their personal or business conflicts and negotiations.


business peepsCongratulations on your move up.  When you are promoted it is because you are very good at what you do. A promotion often brings a wider sphere of responsibility, new skills to learn including the supervision of employees.  It might be easier if you didn’t have to contend with employee conflicts and performance issues, but we know that isn’t realistic.

To amp up the pressure the number one reason employees leave their employer is because of difficulties with their supervisor.  In some cases you might be thinking it would be great if they did leave. Unfortunately, many employees don’t leave even if they are unhappy. There are many reasons they choose to stay; pay and benefits, job security, job market, etc.  These individuals may be disruptive, have poor attendance or low productivity making it difficult for supervisors to juggle employee issues and meet their own production deadlines.

There are no quick fixes, but with a few consistent human resource practices you can make noticeable improvements, in morale, attendance and productivity which in turn will make your job easier.


Employees want to be heard.  Listen to their comments regardless how they are delivered be it anger, sarcasm, frustration or even silence.  Find out the underlying reason for the behaviour. Ask questions, but listen more. Take notes that you can reference later.  Spend time with your employees regardless of how busy you are, Listen to them, it will pay off and you might be surprised at what you learn.  A word of caution; don’t try to immediately fix problems/complaints.  Take the time to fact find and discuss with your supervisor and or others who might be affected, before responding. You don’t want to be in a position of having to reverse a decision.


Employees want to know what’s going on within the business.  There is nothing that isolates someone more than being the last to learn about something that affects them, or even worse to hear it from someone outside of their area.  There will be things as a supervisor you have knowledge of but cannot share, be honest and say so.  However, there are many things that can and should be shared. Make a habit of keeping your employees informed.  

Start conversations, get to know your employees; promote and support their interests by learning about their goals and needs. Develop a working relationship.  It is easier to discuss problems and find resolutions together when you know what their needs and constraints are.


Recognize good behaviours in all employees, especially those that behave poorly.  If you look for that glimmer of something well done, you will find it. When you see it; immediately acknowledge and thank them for their efforts.   Recognize day to day achievements even on days when everything that could go wrong did.  For example, I liked the way you handled that case/file/person/project. Thanks for commenting during the meeting, your ideas helped us reach a decision.

A good working relationship with your employees can go a long way to preventing or alleviating conflicts.  Your efforts over time will be reflected in a healthier and more productive work environment leaving you with more time to focus on your work.


About the Author:

Karen Matthews, CHRP, has extensive experience as a senior manager in Human Resources. She has worked in unionized workplaces at both the municipal and provincial levels.  Her experience includes labour relations, performance and attendance enhancement, policy development, training and dispute resolution.

K Matthews Consulting provides human resource services in the Kingston Ontario area.  Karen can be reached at: kmatthewsconsulting@gmail.com