The North American division of a large multinational company wanted to develop a leadership development program that would bring together its leaders across the US and Canada. This would be the first program of its kind for the division and was a significant endeavor in bringing together over three hundred leaders which included leaders in its field operations.
The overarching objective of the program was to support the global mindset that was central to the company’s business and organizational strategies. This global mindset and the culture of the company required its leaders to work collaboratively as they worked across regions and cross-functionally.
Perceptive was brought in by the VP of HR to help design a custom Leadership Development Program that would achieve their objectives.
Custom Leadership Development Program
With empathy as a core value in the organization’s culture, and a competency model that includes collaboration and personal effectiveness, Emotional Intelligence (EI) became a cornerstone of the Leadership Development Program.
We met with the VP of HR and select leaders on the senior team in the US and Canada to better understand their objectives for the program.
The company had an established leadership competency model. Three of its core leadership competencies were personal effectiveness, empathy, and collaborating with others. These three inter-related leadership competencies would be central to the program.
Emotional Intelligence as a Cornerstone of the Program
Effective leadership requires the ability for leaders to connect well with others and maintain positive relationships across the organization.
We recommended that Emotional Intelligence (EI) be a cornerstone of the program. With an emphasis on self-awareness and self-management combined with social awareness and managing relationships, EI would be an effective underpinning to achieve the goals of the program. This would be aligned with their competency model and their culture in which empathy was a core value.
The Emotional Intelligence component of the program would create a shared understanding of EI, help the leaders gain insight into their own emotional intelligence, and build their competence as emotionally intelligent leaders.
The Emotional Quotient Inventory (or EQI-2.0) was selected as the instrument that would be used in the program. The multi-rater component of the tool would be utilized to provide participants with key stakeholder feedback specific to emotional intelligence.
Building self-awareness for personal effectiveness
The Berkman self-assessment instrument was selected to support cultivating self-awareness. This instrument provides impactful data and yields insight into personal motivations, behaviors, and potential blind spots when working with others. At Perceptive, we have found that the Berkman links well to, and integrates well with, with Emotional Intelligence.
Core learning elements
Personal reflection and action planning would be integral to the program to support individual learning and the application of that learning. Peer-to-peer learning was integral to the program. Experiential exercises were included to move from theory to action. Everyone had the opportunity to have a learning buddy who would also serve as an accountability partner.
At Perceptive, we believe that these core learning elements are the ingredients that create a good learning experience and achieve meaningful and sustainable results.
Perceptive facilitated the Leadership Development Program in multiple cohorts. The company had contemplated an application process to narrow the number of participants, but in the end decided that they wanted all their leadership to become emotionally intelligent leaders for the organization.
Peer-to-peer learning and experiential learning exercises alongside personal reflection and action planning were key ingredients in achieving its goal of developing emotionally intelligent leaders.
The VP of HR reported that the feedback she received from the program participants, both anecdotally and using a feedback survey, was equally strong across the cohorts.
When asked to share their Key Learning Takeaways the participant feedback included:
- Hearing that emotional intelligence can be learned and the ‘start where you are’ approach
- Seeing the differences between how I see myself and how others see me
- Exercises that helped us understand other areas of the company and each other better
- Going from collaboration, as a word, to learning how to be collaborative
- Learning how to personally self-manage when my emotions are running high
- Learning how to be more empathetic in working with other people
- Walking away with a good action plan and a buddy to support my learning going forward
- Feeling more motivated to change because I have the resources to help me
Note: To honor confidentiality and protect the privacy of our clients we do not use names and have altered possibly identifying details in this Case Study.
About Perceptive Leaders LLC
Perceptive is a boutique leadership development and professional transitions consulting firm based in Denver, Colorado serving clients in the US and Canada, since 2005. We have worked with over 1,000 senior organizational leaders and accomplished career professionals to help them recognize opportunities for impactful and substantive change and how to realize that transformational change. For more than 15 years, Perceptive has been helping leaders and their teams transform their leadership. For more information, visit perceptiveleaders.com.
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