Tag Archives: Team Building

Research Demonstrates Efficacy of Cultivating Emotional Intelligence with Nurses Through Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning

Back in 2009 we introduced, “The Emotionally Resilient Nurse”, a relationship-based, equine facilitated experiential learning program designed specifically to cultivate Emotional Intelligence(EI) competencies in nurses.  This program came right on the heels of our pro bono program, “Warriors in Transition”, designed to help combat veterans and their families wrestling with PTSD, and quite often PTSD/TBI.  For anyone participating in or monitoring our warriors program, the efficacy was remarkably apparent.  Sleep patterns improved, agitation levels diminished, and family relationships improved almost overnight.  The program, which we’ve helped to introduce in six states, was formally commended by General David Petraeus in 2010.

Having worked in the health care field for two decades, I had personally witnessed the challenges nurses face on a daily basis.  Their environment is emotionally toxic and they are constantly walking a tightrope, without a net, of expressing authentic empathy through healthy, professional boundaries.  It is not a task for the faint of heart.  Having witnessed the success of our approach with combat veterans, migrating this approach into acute care hospital settings, specifically designed for other front line professionals, seemed like a no-brainer.  Unfortunately, at the time, hospital administrators were still laying off nurses to cut costs.  In the very short term, this may have helped the bottom line, but over time, lowering staffing levels only exacerbated the costly problems of nurse burnout, high turnover rates (the Florida Nurses Association reports that it costs a hospital an average of $64,000 to backfill an open nursing position.  Extrapolated across the nation, this problem adds approximately $17 billion in hard dollar costs to the health care delivery system, adding absolutely no value whatsoever.) and perceptions of quality of care with patients and their families.

As we do with the development of all of our programs, we dove into the peer-reviewed, published research on the effects of cultivating emotional intelligence in nurses on the delivery system.  Here’s a snapshot of what we discovered:

    • Patient satisfaction is a widely recognized measure of medical care quality and a predictor of several positive consequences for organizations and patients (e.g. patient adherence to treatment regimens, fewer malpractice suits, hospital employees’ satisfaction, and financial performance).2
    • Compassionate behavior is threatened by technological concerns and economic constraints.3 “Continually, we experience situations where patients received excellent technical care but, when the emotional side of their care was not met, they believed that their care was inadequate”.4
    • By understanding the patients’ emotions, and being more empathetic, nurses are more able to understand the values, worries, and fears of patients. They are more apt to automatically connect with patients, appreciate the patients’ perspectives, understand the impact of their actions, understand and satisfy patients’ needs5 and respond appropriately.6
    • Nurses need to interpret and understand how patients feel, to ascertain their motives and concerns, and demonstrate empathy in their care. They also need to understand and manage their own emotions, not just for high quality care, but for their own self-protection and health as well.7
    • Nurses capable of a self-reflective process become aware of their own emotions.  When nurses recognize their own feelings they are more likely to manage them and communicate in appropriate ways.8
    • Non-verbal interactions play a vital role in nurse-patient perceptions.  The non-verbal interactions include patient-directed eye gaze, affirmative head nod, smiling, leaning forward, touch, and instrument touch.9
    • Emotional Intelligence in nursing leads to more positive attitudes, greater adaptability, improved relationships, and increased orientation towards positive values.10
    • Emotional Intelligence has a positive impact on nursing team cohesiveness and patient/client outcomes.11
    • Emotional Intelligence minimizes the negative stress consequences of nursing.12
    • Emotional Intelligence is important in managing stress and reducing nurse burnout.13
    • Emotional Intelligence is an important characteristic for building successful nursing leadership, enhancing nursing performance, and reducing nurse burnout.14
    • Emotional intelligence scores in clinical staff nurses correlate positively with both performance levels and retention variables. Clinical staff nurses with higher emotional intelligence scores demonstrate higher performance, have longer careers, and display greater job retention.15
    • Emotional Intelligence should be integrated into the nursing profession by a model of transformational learning for nurse education.16

It seemed as if we’d made a fairly strong case for how cultivating the soft skills in nursing could save hard dollars in health care.  Unfortunately, we were in hindsight, more that a bit ahead of our time.  With the coming of HCAHPS, and the effect these patient satisfaction surveys will have on 30% of a hospital system’s reimbursements from the Medicare, perhaps it is time to revisit the value this approach represents.  An approach that is capable of delivering an ROI that soars into the thousands of percent.

Adding to the evidence, a pilot study has just been conducted and released from the University of Kentucky that warrants attention.  The study, authored by Patricia Dyk, and Robyn Cheung, et al, entitled, “The Effectiveness of Equine Guided Leadership Education to Develop Emotional Intelligence in Expert Nurses“, demonstrates statistically signifiant improvements in Emotional Intelligence competencies with nurses employing this approach.  This comes as no surprise to us, as we’ve been traveling the United States for the past four years, conducting our evidence-based approach to Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning, seeing consistent, reproducible results in very challenging populations.

The fact is, we’ve crossed a threshold into a period of adaptive challenges.  Unprecedented challenges that require unprecedented solutions.  The complexity of the challenges institutions and enterprises face today will require the integration of seemingly disparate disciplines and methodologies in order to find sustainable solutions.  One thing’s for certain, investing in our nurses would be a major step forward in improving the health care delivery system in the United States.

Copyright 2013, Terry Murray.

 1.)  Daniel Goleman, (1995).  “Emotional Intelligence”, Bantam Books, New York, NY.

2.)  Gesell, S.B. & Wolosin, R.J., (2004).  Inpatients’ Rating of Care in 5 Common Clinical Conditions. Quality Management Health Care, 13(4), 222-227.

3.)  Godkin, J. & Godkin, L., (2004).  Caring Behaviors Among Nurses:  Fostering a Conversation of Gestures. Health Care Management Review, 29(3), 258-267.

4.)  Kerfoot, K., (1996).  The Emotional Side of Leadership:  The Nurse Manager’s Challenge.  Nursing Economics, 14(1), 59-62.

5.)  Ibid., 59-62.

6.)  Vitello-Ciccui, J.M., (2003).  Innovative Leadership Through Emotional Intelligence.  Nursing Management, 24(10), 28-34.

7.)  McQueen, A.C.H., (2004).  Emotional Intelligence in Nursing Work.  Journal of Advanced Nursing, 47(1), 101-108.

8.)  Ibid., 101-108.

9.)  W. Caris-Verhallen, (1999).  Effects of Video Interaction Analysis Training on Nurse-Patient Communication in the Care of the Elderly.  Patient Education and Counseling, Volume 39, Issue 1, 91-103.

10.)  Kristin Akerjordet & Elisabeth, (2007).  Emotional Intelligence: A Review of the Literature with Specific Focus on Empirical and Epistemological Perspectives. Journal of Clinical Nursing. 16(8); 1405-1416.

11.)  Quoidbach & Hansenne, (2009).  The impact of trait emotional intelligence on nursing team performance and cohesiveness.  Journal of Professional Nursing, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp. 23 – 29.

12.)  Montes-Berges & Augusto, (2007).  Exploring the Relationship Between Perceived Emotional Intelligence, Coping, Social Support and Mental Health in Nursing Students.  Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. 14 (2);163-171.

13.)  Linda Gerits, Jan J. L. Derksen, & Antoine B. Verbruggen, (2004).  Emotional Intelligence and Adaptive Success of Nurses Caring for People with Mental Retardation and Severe Behavior Problems.  Mental Retardation: 42, (2); 106-121.

14.)  Vitello-Ciccui, Joan M., (2002).  Exploring Emotional Intelligence:  Implications for Nursing Leaders.  Journal of Nursing Administration.  32(4):  203-210.

15.)  Codier, Estelle PhD, RN; Kamikawa, Cindy MSN, RN, NE-BC; Kooker, Barbara M. DrPH, APRN, NEA-BC; Shoultz, Jan DrPH, MPH, (2009).  Emotional Intelligence, Performance, and Retention in Clinical Staff Nurses.  Nursing Administration Quarterly:  October/December, Volume 33, Issue 4, 310-316.

16.)  Dawn Freshwater & Theodore Stickley, (2004).  The Heart of the Art:  Emotional Intelligence in Nurse Education.  Nursing Inquiry. 11(2); 91-98.

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Coming Full Circle ~ From Naval Intelligence to Business Intelligence

Thirty-two years ago this month, I began a long, circuitous journey by raising my right hand and taking the oath to defend the Constitution of the United States.  So began my entree into the world of Naval Intelligence.  Little did I know at the time how formative the experiences that were about to unfold before me were going to be over the next three decades.

800px-USS_Ranger_(CV-61)_conducting_an_underway_replenishment_of_the_Dutch_frigate_F812_Jacob_Van_Heemskerck_during_Operation_Desert_Shield_2Naval Intel imparted strategic skills and a particular way of thinking that still serve me to this day.  First and foremost, was a sense of accountability to the lives of the pilots we worked with on the aircraft carrier.  We were responsible for mission planning, and it was our job to get them into the strike zone and home again, safely.  This sense of accountability to our fellow shipmates was remarkable and unshakeable.  I’ll give you a minor, yet hard to fathom example.  We conducted man overboard drills continuously while at sea.  The drill would often occur in the middle of the night, with the shrill of the bosun’s whistle cracking the quiet slumber of the 5,700 sailors that were not on mid-watch.  Within a minute and thirty seconds, everyone of the nearly six thousand sailors on board would be mustered at their battle stations and completely accounted for.  Picture if you will for a minute, the sight of thousands of people sprinting in coordinated fashion across a 1,079 foot long, 274 foot wide, seventeen story ship with a four acre flight deck, to their battle stations.  That’s engagement.  That’s accountability to each other and the explicit demonstration of our commitment to protecting our fellow shipmates.

Along with this sense of accountability, we were also taught a way of thinking that supported our strategic objectives.  We were taught how to consume massive amounts of information (message traffic that flowed through the Intel Center averaged 5,400 pages a day), identify what was cogent to our mission, interpret how the intel may influence our battle readiness, distill the information into manageable bites, and communicate it on an executive level in support of the Flag Officers decision making processes.  At a very young age I found myself writing Intelligence Briefs for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the head of the NSA and even the President of the United States.  It was exciting work, imbued with an enormous sense of purposefulness.

The experiences and education I received from the Navy served me well as I matriculated up the chain of command in Corporate America.  Over the years, one of my core competencies to emerge was, no surprise, strategic planning.  More importantly, however, was the holistic perspective I brought to strategic planning.  Of how it had to be aligned and coordinated with leadership and organizational culture in order to see it properly executed to achieve our objectives.  Any break in this coordination and the full potential of the strategy would fail to materialize.  Proper alignment would accelerate execution and often position us to over-achieve our expressed objectives.

Information technology has now evolved to the point where it can begin to deliver business intelligence that looks very similar to Naval Intelligence.  An article in the McKinsey Quarterly® defined business intelligence as, “The ability to transform data into insights to help manage a company, business intelligence consists of the processes, applications, and practices that support executive decision making.”  Sound familiar?  In the military, we executed this process manually, and the process was exceptionally robust.  As firms begin to evaluate how to apply this emerging capability, especially in the area of Talent Management, there are a few experiential lessons I learned along the way that can greatly impact the efficaciousness of the application of technology and process parameters.

● Leadership Development.  Much like the military, companies must adapt to changes in the dynamics of their theater of operations.  The leaders the military developed during WWII are very different than the leaders currently deployed in Afghanistan.  Are you training leaders for yesterday’s environment or are you preparing your next generation of leaders with the competencies they will need to succeed going forward?

● Strategy.  This is an area that seems to generate a lot of noise.  Some technology opinion leaders espouse tossing out the old approaches and replacing them with business models.  In reviewing these new business models I’ve found they’re not really any different than the traditional approaches when they are well executed.  The fundamentals of knowing where you are, where you want to go, and a thorough evaluation of the optional paths before you enables flexibility and nimbleness.  It also should guide professional development, to ensure the right skills are deployed in the right areas at the right time.  A well disciplined and open process of strategic planning is the value driver, not the resulting document.

● Organizational Culture.  This is a particular area of interest for me.  The military thoroughly understands the importance of culture.  Both explicit culture (Navy Regulations) and implicit culture (how we actually got things done and interacted with each other) are continuously cultivated in the Navy.  We had a saying, “There’s the right way, the wrong way, and the Navy way!”  The military consistently focuses on their culture and how that culture supports their current mission.  It is intentionally created and reinforced at every touch point.

The access of remarkable information, emerging talent management software, and today’s connectivity unleash remarkable opportunities for capturing and leveraging cogent business intelligence.  Somewhat ironically, capturing business insights requires some initial insight as to the guiding parameters of intelligence gathering and formulation and how leadership, strategy and organizational culture are positioned to leverage and capture the promise of this emerging capability.

© 2013, Terry Murray.

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Scientific Study Demonstrates the Efficacy of Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning

leadership-round-pen-2-lo-res.jpgThose of us employing a relationship-based approach to Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning (EFEL) in the personal and professional development business know how powerful the approach can be for our participants.  The success we’ve witnessed traveling the country these past four years conducting workshops, from Hawaii to Montana to Florida, has been remarkable.  We’ve seen rapid, developmental progress made in combat veterans, women leaving county jail, VA counselors, juveniles in detention, at-risk children, clinicians and business professionals.  The approach delivers a powerful shift in one’s perspective of self, others and how the interplay between human beings (and horses, too) has a biochemical, neurological and psychological affect that subtly defines the nature of our relationships.  Whether we’re leading a team of professionals, selling to prospects, or simply interacting with our friends and families.  We know this works because we’ve seen it working.

Now there’s a solid, scientific research study that confirms what we know anecdotally.  Researchers Patricia Pendry and Stephanie Roeter of Washington State University published the study, “Experimental Trial Demonstrates Positive Effects of Equine Facilitated Learning on Child Social Competence, in a 2012 edition of the professional journal, Human-Animal Interactions.  Conducted as an eleven week after-school program, the study demonstrated improvements in the youth’s’ self-confidence, self-esteem, school bonding, positive social behaviors, school grades and achievement test scores.  To quote Pendry and Roeter, “Results echo findings from prior correlational, anecdotal, and case study evidence, which suggest significant positive associations between participation in equine facilitated programs and various aspects of adjustment and wellbeing.  Faced with skepticism about the efficacy of equine facilitated programs by potential funders and third party payers, therapeutic professionals and clients can now point to causal evidence.  This may not only increase the public’s confidence in equine programs’ ability to positively affect child development, but also translate into increased structural support to increase accessibility to such programs.”1

At first glance, working with horses to develop mindful leaders, cohesive teams and highly efficient sales professionals may look a bit woo-woo.  It isn’t.  We’ve canvased over 200 peer-reviewed research studies in everything from affective neuroscience, biochemistry, applied behavioral economics, performance psychology, adult learning styles and even quantum physics to correlate and explain what is actually happening in our workshops.  Our approach incorporates this research to introduce and frame the lessons the participants are about to experience, in specifically designed horse/human relationship-based exercises, firsthand for themselves.  As we introduce business metaphors throughout the exercises, we see eyes widen as that ah-ha moment emerges when a lesson is embraced through self-reflection and self-discovery.  These kinesthetic lessons are not easily forgotten.

The research pipeline for EFEL is beginning to fill and in the coming years I’m confident we’ll see even more validated results to the approach.  Validation of what we’ve learned experientially by conducting workshops these past four years.  If you are interested in learning more about our approach, we invite you to visit our website!

1.) Patricia Pendry, Stephanie Roeter, “Experimental Trial Demonstrates Positive Effects of Equine Facilitated Learning on Child Social Competence”, Human-Animal Interaction, 2012, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1-19.

© 2013, Terry Murray.

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Is it Time to Upgrade Your Human Software?

Emerging advances in social knowledge media and management software promise a future of remarkable connectivity, responsiveness and strategic flexibility for businesses.  The greatest limitation to these emerging capabilities, of communicating and collaborating in unprecedented ways across traditional business boundaries, may be the businesses themselves.  In particular, the individual operating systems that comprise the business; human beings.

Early in my corporate career I was taught an invaluable lesson.  It was during the mid-nineties when many companies were making the final migration away from business software operating systems that were developed in-house to enterprise software platforms from the likes of ORACLE and SAP.  The new, integrated platforms promised remarkable upside.  Promise that often came along with substantial disruption, especially during conversion, which could drag on for months (or sometimes years).  While many of the problems were purely technical, variable and unstable business processes were also contributing to the challenges at hand.

What I learned was you cannot improve process by simply applying technology.  Automating a questionable process only exacerbates questionable results.  Even worse, it often accelerates and amplifies those results.  Back in the 1970s software engineers had an acronym for this phenomena; GIGO – garbage in, garbage out.

Now we’re on the precipice of another business software/process evolution; social media and social knowledge management.  The looming impact this next wave of technology will have on current business processes makes the old CRM conversions pale in comparison.  Open networks, strategy accelerators, social branding, on-demand customization, Design Thinking and spherical collaboration will alter many of the established, stabile business processes that have been optimized for hierarchically-organized companies.  The scope of change, and the speed at which it is taking place, is unprecedented.  I dare say social technology will effect commerce in the Ideas Age on a scale similar to how the assembly line impacted the Industrial Age.

While unstable or simply bad processes were brought to the surface as enterprise software gained traction, this new evolution will surface something more fundamental; misaligned thinking, outdated leadership and dysfunctional culture.  While the pace of change in the 1990s enabled organizations to muddle through their enterprise conversions, today’s environment will be much less forgiving.  This isn’t about fine-tuning yesterday’s processes to meet the new, adaptive challenges.  It’s about co-creating entirely new processes, and more importantly, embracing an organizational shift in perspective and orientation that will empower greater collaboration.  Companies will need to strategically navigate the journey from yesterday’s command-and-control thinking to tomorrow’s engage-and-inspire actions.

Structural Effects on Performance

Structural Effects on Associate Performance Orientation

Fortunately, we’re not navigating in the dark.  I wrote a blog last week about global advisory firm CEB’s Executive Guidance – 2013 report that identified the top ten competencies today’s high performers are demonstrating as they thrive in volatility.  A thematic thread runs through these imperative (and teachable) skills.  One of high emotional intelligence, an interpersonal orientation, psychological agility, and a sense of purpose greater than the individual self.  Notice that these skills are oriented around intrinsic goals and values (personal development, authentic relationships, purposefulness).  Goals and values that transcend the superficial differences that exists in multi-cultural, multi-generational workplaces.  The fact is, organizationally leveraging extrinsic goals and values (money, prestige, power) is no longer the go-to motivating factor it was in the past.  Deeper meaning must be imparted through mindful leadership and a highly engaging, inclusive culture in order to ignite breakthrough performance through the application of human capital.

The study went on to identify that, on average, only 5% of employees demonstrate competencies in these areas, so there’s enormous room for growth and performance improvement.  But a shift in perspective must first occur in order for these productivity gains to be realized.  Here’s a quote from the research that supports this insight:

“What skills and behaviors will differentiate the most productive employees?  Most managers and performance management models assume that strong business acumen, task and process mastery, and technical know-how explain the majority of an employee’s job performance.  Unfortunately, the prevalence of outdated assumptions about the most valuable skills and abilities leads to the misidentification (or under-identification) of the organization’s next generation of high performers.  Using existing methods, organizations will likely fail to identify 65% of their new high performers.”*

This points to a misalignment, or misunderstanding, of values…of what matters most in driving performance.  Adopting a social knowledge management software platform without first addressing the firm’s human software (the associates’ thinking, orientation and perspective) is akin to seeding a field without first tilling the sod.  These new insights into the skills necessary for high performance lead us to additional insights into the type of leaders we must be developing and the organizational culture required to foster these competencies and behaviors throughout the organization.

Social knowledge management offers remarkable promise for increases in productivity and performance.  A study conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute and published in the November, 2012 McKinsey Quarterly®, demonstrated that improved communication and collaboration through social technologies can raise the productivity of interaction workers by 20 to 25 percent.  In analyzing just four key business sectors, the research goes on to suggest social platforms can unlock somewhere between $900 billion and $1.3 trillion in value!  Just don’t forget to upgrade your human software first!

*CEB, CLC Human Resources High Performance Survey, 2012.

© 2013, Terry Murray

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The Ten Key Competencies of High Performers and Next Generation Leaders

Global advisory firm CEB released their Executive Guidance – 2013 report identifying the critical competencies high performers embody in today’s rapidly changing workplace.  The study examined the drivers and performance of more than 20,000 professionals working for 40 separate entities around the world.  Gaining insights into evolving skill sets and performance attributes provides guidance for choosing the right training and development endeavors that best serve the enterprise.

If you happen to be a frequent or even occasional reader of this blog you are probably familiar with our philosophy of cultivating the right talent and the right thinking necessary to successfully navigate the accelerating change and ambiguity of today’s global workplace.  Value creation today is rooted in the efficient commercialization of economically viable intellectual property (IP).  The raw material of IP is human creativity, and thus, human beings.  How we choose to connect, engage and motivate human beings will have the greatest impact on organizational success going forward.  Leaders must develop keen insights into what we call “the granularity of the human experience” in order to inspire and orchestrate the emerging demands of intra and extra-organizational collaboration.  The same type of, for lack of a better word, technical expertise about human beings that has historically been demonstrated in the fields of engineering, science and technology; key drivers of value creation during the Industrial and Information Ages.

CEB’s study surfaced several interesting trends and observations from executives that are reshaping the core competencies leaders, at every level throughout the enterprise, must embrace and consistently demonstrate in order to optimize performance.  First, the executives surveyed expressed the need to secure a 20% improvement in employee productivity in order to stay competitive in the future.  They also felt that only 29% of their associates were working at full capacity.  This is a fascinating figure as it is the similar percentage that Gallup® and the Chartered Management Institute® both report as  fully engaged employees (yes, seven out of ten associates are disengaged with their employer).  Engaged employees that show up with passion and excitement about their work.  This isn’t a coincidence as the prerequisite to knowledge work, creative thinking and open collaboration is engagement.  Engagement on both a cognitive and emotional level.  If leaders are to wring an additional 20% increase in productivity from today’s lean-staffed organizations it is going to come from expanding engagement levels throughout the business.

The executives surveyed also identified three distinct trends that are already well underway.  Frequent organizational change, the need for more interdependent work to be accomplished and a continuous increase in the performance of knowledge work will require a new set of competencies to emerge.  Those that lead with success and optimally perform in this volatile, co-dependent environment will be those that have expanded their development beyond traditional, technical business competencies to include what were once dismissed as soft skills.  Skills that overlap personal and professional development.  Skills that contribute to a heightened state of awareness; what one might refer to as a state of mindfulness.

CEB’s list of critical competencies strongly correlates to our philosophy and approach.  Here’s their list along with some additional thoughts.

1.) Ability to Prioritize ~ Having worked for more than a decade in the investor-driven startup world as a strategist, prioritizing activities, focus and constrained resources was always critical to success.  To help in the prioritization process, we created a decision-support tool called Dynamic Parallel Targeting®* that incorporated a qualitative and quantitative approach to weighing various business pros and cons of competing priorities and market opportunities.  Far from being a scientific methodology, the tool did, however, create a structured discussion document that spurred debate and creative thinking that may not have occur otherwise.  As windows of opportunity open and close with advancing speed there’s little room for slack and each individual’s ability to prioritize their energies and efforts will grow in importance.

2.) Works Well in Teams ~ As you read this list you will notice how strongly intertwined all of these competencies are.  What makes a good teammate?  Someone that can put the objectives and success of the team above their own personal desires.  Mature prioritization that parks the ego and successfully manages a variety of relationships with a diverse group of people.  This requires empathy for others to emerge and consistently be demonstrated, not something that is traditionally stressed in business schools.

3.) Organizational Awareness ~ At first blush you might think, strategy and vision, knowing where the organization is going.  While this is part of it, it’s more nuanced.  The root of this competency is cultivated through the imparting of social awareness; a key component of emotional intelligence.  Organizational awareness requires the skill of discernment to emerge; of being self-aware of one’s hidden biases and honest enough to see not only where the organization is heading but where it is today.

4.) Effective Problem Solving ~ Referring back to the creation of Dynamic Parallel Targeting, we had a challenge on our hands.  We had a disruptive technology that had more than a dozen market applications, so where do we launch first? We worked as a team to solve this problem by creating a new tool to structure the search for the optimal solution.  Problem solving to solve a problem and improve our thinking going forward.

5.) Self-Awareness ~ This is the first tenet of emotional intelligence and mindfulness.  When we can get off the dance floor and into the balcony in regards to our own thoughts, emotions, motivations and behaviors, and the impact these elements have on those we lead and work with, we discover a new orientation.  The self-aware professional doesn’t take things personally.  They are grounded in authenticity rather than in a state of conditioned perspectives.  From this foundation, self-regluation can emerge (another skill of emotional intelligence).  Through this self mastery, presence comes to the surface and with it one’s ability to rapidly build trust, engagement and spark inspiration in others.

6.) Proactivity ~ Businesses can no longer afford to wait for people to be told when to bring their brains online.  Associates need to be free to move forward, free to think and invited to contribute.  This requires a culture that encourages measured risk-taking and empowers decision making throughout the organization.  Again, the prerequisite for proactivity is engagement; engagement cultivated through mindful leadership.

7.) Ability to Influence ~ The ability to influence requires trust and relationship.  As we saw earlier, the competencies of self-awareness, self regulation and social awareness are the foundational blocks upon which this skill is built.  As these foundational skills engrain, a clarity emerges.

8.) Effective Decision Making ~ Discernment versus judgement.  The ability to correctly prioritize is a form of effective decision making as well.  Once again, awareness, or more fully…mindfulness, improves decision making as clarity delivers fresh insights and a checked ego invites collaboration and input from diverse perspectives, further enhancing engagement.

9.) Learning Agility ~ This really speaks to both the cognitive and emotional agility that comes through self mastery.  Grounded in authenticity, free from conditioned thinking, we can adapt and learn continuously throughout our personal and professional lives.  Learning agility is key because continuous learning is now an essential element of business success.

10.) Technical Savvy ~ Perhaps this goes without saying, but it harkens back to learning agility.  Staying current with technology’s enabling, rapid evolution demands continuous learning.

CEB’s report goes on to illustrate the prevalence of associates that demonstrate the combination of these skills is around 5% (ranging from a high of 6.4% in the technology sector to a low of 4.1% in the travel and leisure industry).  While on the surface this sounds dire, it also points to the breakthrough performance and productivity gains that are attainable through applying the right blended learning, coaching and development programs to cultivate these competencies and the organizational fitness that will be necessary to sustain them.

* Dynamic Parallel Targeting is a registered trademark of SalesForce4Hire®, LLC.

© 2013, Terry Murray.


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Speak with Author Terry Murray Live on Patricia Raskin’s Positive Business™ Radio Show

For Immediate Release

Entrepreneur, Author, and Business Strategy Architect Terry Murray will be appearing live on Patricia Raskin’s nationally syndicated, call-in radio program, Positive Business™, today, December 7th at 4:30 p.m., E.D.T.

New Cover 2:18:11Terry Murray, author of “The Transformational Entrepreneur ~ Engaging The Mind, Heart & Spirit For Breakthrough Business Success”, is scheduled for a live interview with renowned radio talk show host Patricia Raskin, this afternoon at 4:30 p.m., E.D.T.

Terry’s book provides a step-by-step approach for creating and sustaining breakthrough performance in today’s volatile world.  Looking beyond conventional wisdom, Terry re-examines his entrepreneurial experiences to examine the human elements that consistently drive creativity, innovation and success.  The book was recently cited in the March, 2012 edition of the academic Journal For Economic Literature.

“We’re well past the Industrial Age, and in fact we’ve moved beyond the Information Age.  We now live in the Idea Age,” adds Terry.  “In today’s global economy, intellectual property is the driver of value creation.  The source of commercially viable ideas are people.  Highly engaged, talented, passionate people.  Human beings, and our remarkably creative and adaptive abilities, are the raw material for business in the 21st century.  The traditional, Industrial Age approach to leadership, strategy and organizational culture must also evolve in parallel with this evolutionary shift.”

Listeners are welcome to call into the show at (888) 345-0790.  The program is syndicated throughout the United States and will stream live at http://www.790business.com.

Ms. Raskin has interviewed more nearly 2,000 guests on her show.  Her past guests include such luminaries as Dr. Mehmet Oz, Maya Angelou, Gay Hendricks, Debbie Ford Dr. Ravi Rao and Dr. Andrew Weil.  In addition, she has written over 700 newspaper articles and produced and hosted 500 television programs and documentaries.

A podcast of the program will be posted on Terry’s blog site shortly after airing.

© 2012, Performance Transformation, LLC™.

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Are You Leading for Emotional Competitive Advantage?

In his new book, Emotional Business – Inspiring Human Connectedness to Grow Earnings and the Economy, Dr. Ravi Rao provides a concise, reflective and highly pragmatic approach to understanding the role human emotions play in commerce and how, as business leaders in the 21st century, embracing and engaging in emotional competitive advantage is a strategic imperative.

f_3dI recently enjoyed the opportunity to appear on Patricia Raskin’s Positive Business radio program with a distinguished gentleman by the name of Dr. Ravi Rao.  I came away from the interview sincerely impressed with Dr. Rao’s insights.  Having just read his book, my impression has escalated to distinct admiration.  Dr. Rao knows of what he speaks.  His educational background includes an M.ED. in early childhood development, a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University, an M.D. from the University of Virginia Medical School and he received his neurosurgeon training at Harvard Med.  In 2000, he left medicine to join a leading business consulting firm and now runs his own company helping companies and organizations understand the critical nature of human emotions and the role these emotions play in driving or derailing success.

His book is neither a scholarly treatise filled with regression analysis nor is it an anecdotal collection of success stories.  It is very much a pragmatic, exceptionally useful and grounded guide to the human emotional landscape, offering clear guidelines as to how the lessons from social neuroscience can deliver emotional competitive advantage for businesses operating in today’s Ideas Economy.

Emotional Business is a highly accessible read, breaking down the applications of Dr. Rao’s insights from real world experiences into distinct, operational applications.  He describes the seven emotional needs of customers and how organizations must strategize and choose which customers they wish to resonate with and how the tradeoffs of these decision may effect performance.  He goes on to apply social neuroscience to team dynamics and explains how managing the emotional vigor of the team must be primary and ongoing for cohesion and achievement.  Moving into organizational strategy, Dr. Rao discusses how successful organizations apply a mix of nine emotional constructs into every phase of the enterprise’s endeavors.  The book goes on to explore scientifically grounded approaches for conflict management, addressing a disfunctional culture, nimble and empathetic listening, dealing with stress and the critical importance of gatherings to cultivate shared values, vision and passionate engagement.

Dr. Rao’s last chapter resonates with a philosophical message we both share.  Get the emotions right and you’ll get the business right.  Get the business right and we can change the world!   I often say I don’t know how to change culture, but I do know how to change business culture.  This is the key to driving positive change in our society and world, fore the experiences we all encounter in our daily work resonates into our personal lives.  Business has the power to drive positive, social change.

Our firm has delved into the neuroscience literature for more than four years.  In our programs and workshops we leverage the lessons we’ve garnered surrounding  coherence, psychological flow, entrainment, Core Mammalian Emotional Systems as well as lessons learned through research and actual experiences employing Applied Behavioral Economics.  Dr. Rao break’s down much of what we’ve learned and continue to apply into an easy-to-read, concise collection of step-by-step methodologies to enhance emotional engagement, creativity and performance in today’s rapidly shifting economic landscape.

I highly recommend this book!

© 2012, Terry Murray.

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