Principals should train up in emotional intelligence: expert

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By James Wells

May 23, 2016: A leading business coach is urging principals to develop and flex their emotional intelligence muscles so they can alternate between being a leader and being a manager.

Jeremy Carter, managing director of the Australian branch of multinational leadership coaching firm Rapport Leadership International likened emotional intelligence to learning an instrument; you have to use it to be good at it. Principals should train and professionally develop their emotional intelligence, anywhere, anytime, Carter said.

They should then develop their leadership skills likewise. All this is essential to recognising and being able to switch between the roles of  leader and manager.

“Leadership and management are diametrically opposed, because management is very much about looking down on the organisation and looking at the people and the processes and [asking] ‘how do we drive better efficiency out of the organisation?’ Carter explained. “Whereas leadership is really looking forward to the future and saying where are we going and are we doing the right things and how do we develop the capability within our people to create the team to take us to where we want to go.

“One of the things that can work well is allocating days to work in those different roles. One of the things about the human brain is that we’re either naturally more focused on task or naturally more focused on people. When we’re focused on task, which is very much what management is about, very often we lose that focus on people. It’s a little bit like the logical and creative side of the brain. If you’re working on something that’s logical, it’s difficult to quickly switch into a creative thinking mode.”

Carter is due to speak more on this at an upcoming conference 'In Pursuit of Playfulness, Curiosity and Innovation' on August 13th. 

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This article was first published in Education Review

Topics: thought leadership

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