Train the Management Brain

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There is a saying that effective leaders are born and not made. Why then do most organizations implement management training programs in order to support and promote leadership development?

It may be that there is something to be gained from ongoing leadership training, especially in the area of skill development for emotional intelligence. Among the many practical and professional requirements that are expected from individuals in managerial roles, most organizations expect their leaders to connect with, shape and motive others in positive ways. This cannot happen if the person in the leadership role does not know how to interact with others in an emotionally intelligent way.

Dr. Travis Bradbury is the co-author of ‘Emotional Intelligence 2.0’. He has provided a very good synopsis of the benefits of training for emotional intelligence in a recent article posted on the HuffPost website.

Click here to read the article.

While not specifically aimed at management development, Dr. Bradbury’s synopsis provides interesting statistical evidence that promotes this particular need for leadership training. Through the development of their emotional intelligence skills, average performers are able to see significant improvements in their level of performance and, correspondingly, ongoing increases in their level of monetary rewards.

It is ironic that emotional intelligence is not about the development of feelings. Instead, as Dr. Bradbury explains, emotional intelligence results from training the brain to ensure that we build effective ‘in-brain’ communication through the science of neuro-plasticity.  We can exercise our brains to make new and better connections between our rational and emotional brain centres. Training our brains result in higher levels of emotional intelligence. Higher levels of emotional intelligence result in leadership success.

Discussion Questions:

  1. In your opinion, what is the link between emotional intelligence and leadership success?
  2. Identify how a management development program can be implemented through the use of training for emotional intelligence.
  3. If your employer told you that you had to attend an emotional intelligence training program, how would you respond? Explain your reaction.