Planing the future with confidence

The expression “to be in the right place at the right time” gained a whole new meaning for me last week.
A few days ago, in the lobby of a hotel in a European capital, I was surprised by an elderly lady. She had a polished appearance and a look of self-assurance.
To my surprise, she approached me and politely asked me  if I could offer her something to eat. I was caught totally off guard! Here was this lady, a beggar at heart, who had strategically chosen the atrium of a hotel to satisfy her need for food. Brilliant, I thought. On weekdays, late afternoon, hotel atrium’s are usually crowded with educated, professionally successful people, and therefore with money.     
I couldn’t resist the disarming approach, the confident posture and the total focus on the goal. It had never occurred to me that excellence in performance can also be witnessed with the underprivileged, in situations of need.  
What I observed in that situation was a calm and gentle lady, with remarkable emotional and social intelligence, creativity, and focus on her goal.
Despite her disadvantaged situation, this lady was aware … that presenting herself in line with the space where she was in terms of appearance, posture, and language was a means to achieve her objective.

This immediately led me to the following reflection:
How well are the leaders of organizations using their emotional intelligence and creativity, and of those staff to prepare the future of their companies?
First of all, what are emotional and social intelligence?
It is an individual’s ability to understand and manage their own emotions and to read those of the people around them. People with a high degree of emotional and social intelligence understand what their emotions mean and how they can affect other people.
It is a very important characteristic for anyone in any position in an organization, but it is particularly important for those in leadership positions.
A leader’s emotional and social intelligence can have a wide influence on relationships, management, and interaction with their teams. This also helps in the setting and achievement of organizational goals.
1. Self-awareness
2. Self-regulation
3. Self-motivation
4. Empathy
5. Relationship management with others (social skills)
How can each of these points will help you be a better leader?
Self-awareness – Being a self-aware leader means that you are permanently aware of how you feel and how your emotions and actions can impact those around you.
Self-regulation – A leader who is able to self-regulate is a leader who has developed the ability to quickly identify their emotions and regulate them so that they do not influence their actions. There are 3 emotions that people have particular difficulty in balancing: anger, anxiety and sadness. Those who have this ability rarely attack other people verbally, make hasty decisions driven by strong emotions, stereotype people or compromise their values.
Self-motivation – A leader’s ability to focus on goals, stimulates optimism, commitment and drives everyone in the company to self- motivate.
Empathy – Having empathy is fundamental for leaders to manage a successful team or organization. Leaders with empathy have the ability to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. They encourage constant team development, give constructive feedback and listen to those who need to be heard.
Social skills – Leaders who have an aptitude for the social skills of emotional intelligence have the ability to accept good news and bad news naturally, which boosts their employees’ confidence. This leads to the team being supportive and excited about a new mission or a new project.
Having leaders and managers with emotional intelligence and social intelligence is vital for the success of an organization. Think about this: who is more likely to succeed in pushing the company forward?  A leader or manager who shouts at their team at the slightest setback, or someone who keeps control of their emotions and those of other people, calmly assessing the situation?


Cristina Ferreira da Costa
President & Founder
CDCConsulting Partners, LLC

+1 (404) 528 9792