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Archive for the ‘Emotional Intelligence’ Category

Two Pre-requisites for the Good Life (A Reflection)

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on March 14th, 2013    No Comments

Whether your definition of “the good life” is childlike joy, inner peace within your own skin, monetary wealth, or abundant time for whatever your desires, having the keys to achieving the good life must fit the lock that stands between your current reality and your envisioned reality.  I see these keys for the good life as represented by the two pre-requisites of self- and other-awareness because they ensure our relationship with ourselves and others are satisfying and in harmony. No matter what other fortunes we enjoy, and no matter what uncontrollable misfortunes we may endure, these two prerequisites directly impact our acceptance of those things we cannot change and our gratitude for that which we are blessed. “If you don’t have what you want, then want what you have.”


Self-awareness and Office Renovations Part 2

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on January 30th, 2013    No Comments

Last month we said we’d report back to you regarding our last post on the role of communication/self-awareness as we went about some major renovations in our office kitchen and bathroom areas.  It was a bit of a rocky start given the right hand (electricians) wasn’t always aware of what the left hand (plumbers) was doing and vice versa, which of course was the job of project management.  How did it correct itself so quickly? Well, it didn’t correct itself, which is why communication is so pivotal. It was simply a matter of the office owner (yours truly here) taking the initiative to ask questions regarding her shared observations of the aforementioned. I first plead ignorance with the project manager when it comes to the construction industry, which seemed to remove any sense of threat. I broached the topic in an information-gathering mode (“Hey, educate me here.”) while allowing everyone to hear my concerns out of possible ignorance. It’s a communication tactic that has its place in certain situations. And there are variations of this as well. For example, anybody remember the TV series Colombo back in the olden days? He was “dumb as a fox” while taking care of business. You could say all this is related to the value of humility in effective leadership.

“Are You Sure You’re Not a Bad Boss?”

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on August 21st, 2012    No Comments

Drawing upon a submission to The Leadership Trust® LinkedIn Group from Michelle Poche Flaherty  (Founder & President, City on a Hill Consulting, Inc.), I find fascinating this recent HBR article by Zenger and Folkman on “Are You Sure You’re Not a Bad Boss?”. Sometimes when I present to audiences interested in leadership topics, I ask them if they’ve ever known a leader who ____________.  Regardless of the negative behavior I throw out there, the hands are certain to shoot up, but when I ask if anyone out there might do this stuff, there is inevitably some nervous laughter. It’s so easy to see in others what we may miss in ourselves. I’m collecting observations from your own experiences regarding damaging SUBTLE behaviors. Here’s the link to stimulate your thoughts:



Getting at Root Cause and Consequences of Anger

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on November 8th, 2011    No Comments

Anger is actually a cover-up for fear, hurt, or sadness, but we’re so caught up in our anger that we rarely connect with the soft emotions it tends to belie. Typically when someone makes us angry, we see a direct relationship between our upset and their comment or action.  Yet all of our emotions are driven by beliefs and life experiences, which can explain why some people are oblivious to the same comment that seems to unravel someone else. So what might this suggest? If I have a belief somewhere in the recesses of my mind (whether from my conscious awareness or unawareness) that I do not measure up or may not be good enough, and someone suggests my project is lagging a bit or may not be addressing all the issues, I may find myself feeling angry. However, if that is not a belief residing in my subconscious or past experiences, I may simply ask “How so?” or “Tell me more,” thereby allowing a healthy discussion culminating in my improved project. Point being, once we know our stuff, we can start to manage our anger before we react to comments that end up robbing us of the very credibility we deserve.

This is but one example of the value of self-awareness in leadership and loveship.

Family Discord and Abuse: When Disrespectful, Bullying Behaviors at Work Go Unchecked

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on September 19th, 2011    No Comments

In my first management role a few decades ago, I had a direct report who on occasion would bully me and others.  In dire need of leadership development, I made some futile attempts to manage this problem behavior before eventually firing him. It took a lot of personal work on my part since that time to get to where I can successfully eliminate bullying behaviors while salvaging the talent for which the person was hired in the first place.

When managers do not intervene bullying behaviors, including those directed at them,  they open the door for other would-be bullies to show them and others the same disrespect. I believe if weak managers as described above were to consider some documented far-reaching consequences of what can happen when bullying behaviors are left unchecked, that may be inspiration enough for them to seek coaching or leadership development.  As a clinical psychologist who has taken over two thousand histories of former clients and patients (Duke Medical Center), I can say that it is a phenomenon that the one bullied at work may end up displacing his or her anger onto innocent others at home, work, or elsewhere.

The point is this: Managers who allow bullies their free reign of terror should consider themselves vicariously responsible for a certain amount of domestic discord or abuse, both subtle and not-so-subtle.  Such “fear-of-confrontation” managers owe it to these ultimate victims to seek leadership development for both themselves and the bully in question.  Most people who engage in what others perceive as bullying behaviors tend to deny such behaviors are mean-spirited. Indeed it is often due to low-level self-awareness or emotional intelligence. It is not an IQ thing; oftentimes the reticent manager is bright but simply doesn’t know a better way to intervene, and the bully himself or herself likewise essentially doesn’t know a better way to motivate others while managing their stress. With thousands of leadership coaches and programs worldwide, abundant resources exist not only to help hone those skills essential to managing bullies but also to help bullies out of their dysfunctional patterns.


“The Four Channels: All You Are Is All You Need” (Excerpt 1 from upcoming Roadmap to Success)

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on June 7th, 2011    1 Comment

What are the biggest challenges that keep people from unleashing their full human potential?

The biggest challenge is FEAR—False Evidence Appearing Real. Too often we contaminate our current moment or distort our reality from past failures, criticisms, regrets, resentments, and remorse. Other than gravity and mortality, our limitations are pretty much self-imposed.

But what about fears that tend to hang over us like a cloud as we contemplate the economy or unstable job market? Because we tend to attract the very thing we fear, which is related to Jung’s “what you resist persists,” it’s time for a thought transplant. Norman Vincent Peale said you can change your thoughts and change your world. This comes from a man who learned how to consistently hold onto positive thoughts and who massaged thoughts into things. His secret was to act as if his thoughts were true. Therefore, we must be mindful to create positive energy around that which we seek.

Just as some people view the world through rose-colored lenses, others may view the world through depressive lenses. Either way may be a distortion, yet one way is certain to lead to behaviors that confirm victory as opposed to defeat. Interpretation determines the quality of our journey, given the science behind self-fulfilling prophecies. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you believe you can or can’t, it’s true.”

Emotional Intelligence and the Holocaust: Leadership at the Personal Level

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on April 9th, 2010    1 Comment

I have an 82-year old friend, Solly Ganor, who amazingly survived Dachau among many other life-threatening Nazi dangers during the early-to-mid 1940s when he was just a teenager. Although there is a part of me that believes Solly had to have had some kind of constant and consistent divine intervention and guidance, unquestionably Solly’s emotional intelligence played a huge role in his own survival and that of others.

Once emotional intelligence is well honed, there is a certain social knowingness that creates communicating under difficult circumstances almost an intuitive, spontaneous engagement that favors a positive outcome.  Without the effort of conscious thinking, one can consider consequentially the possible responses  to one’s verbal and nonverbal communication and tweak accordingly, all within the matter of seconds.  It may be either what we do or say or what we don’t do or say that determines the outcome we strive to achieve. It would be extraordinary for any of us to have such high stakes as Solly Ganor as we navigate our social world through our current skill level of emotional intelligence.  

Author of Light One Candle, Solly Ganor has already earned fame in Europe. Upon reading his book that had been recommended by one of our leadership workshop graduates, Barry Koplen, I contacted Solly, and we’ve since developed a friendship that seems to have spanned years instead of months. I asked Solly if he’d be willing to offer some examples of how his own emotional intelligence likely saved his life as well as an example of how he witnessed someone else not using emotional intelligence that resultantly cost his or her life.  This is how Solly responded to the latter, using an excerpt from his original manuscript dated July, 1944.

July 1944 – “While we were marching in the rain through the streets of Kovno, some tried to escape and were quickly shot down by the guards. I could hear the submachine guns shooting all along the marching columns. Dozens of men were killed that way; nevertheless a few managed to escape. I too was looking up and down the streets trying to find a way to escape. My parents and my sister Fanny told me that I should try to save myself when an  opportunity presented itself. At one point when the rain was coming down really heavy, and the black clouds darkened the sky, I saw a man suddenly step out of the column and turn quickly into a side street. My heart began to beat faster, and I was about to follow him when he made the mistake of his life. He started running. A Gestapo man who jumped out of nowhere saw a man running and opened fire on him. I saw him fall and lay still in a puddle of water that soon turned red. If he hadn’t lost his nerve and would have quietly walked on, the German perhaps would have thought that he was a Christian Lithuanian. Only those that didn’t look Jewish and kept a cool head managed to escape.  Had I followed the man, I would have been lying there next to him, dead in a water puddle,  or, perhaps  if I used my intelligence and didn’t panic I may have walked away to freedom.  After that incident I didn’t try to escape anymore. Had I known what was waiting for us in the Nazi concentration camps,  I would have taken the risk, come what may. (Excerpts from my original manuscript.)”

Strong emotional intelligence involves the ability to automatically consider consequentially the impact of one’s words or actions.  In all fairness, I must preface my comments with the acknowledgement that under such dire circumstances, it’s hardly fair to judge anyone who made a fatal mistake. It is highly likely that when faced with almost certain death, even those with strong emotional intelligence could send out unintended cues, no matter how subtle. However, in this instance, the running was not subtle and was furthermore certain to draw attention to himself.  Our own law enforcement personnel may question people who are drawing attention to themselves in non-criminal ways (e.g., running out of a store, driving too slowly, looking nervous while examining merchandise, etc.).

Can you think of an example in a corporate setting where someone’s communication elicited a negative response such that had they thought of the possible consequences of their behaviors, they could have avoided the negative impact?