Are you working in a company or law firm where followers speak-up to their boss? Do senior team members help the CEO or Managing Partner to be a more inspirational leader? Does your company or law firm have proactive leader-follower relationships?
One of the most powerful questions one can ask is “Do followers in your company speak openly and challenge leaders?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent followers encourage developing work relationships with leaders based on candid conversations.
Do followers in your organization feel empowered to speak truth to power? Are you able to create a socially intelligent organization where leaders and followers build collaborative work relationships based on trust?
Speaking Up to the Boss
Part of the problem in following responsibly and pro-actively lies in the tendency for people to relate to authority figures as they would in a parent-child relationship. Early childhood memories are deeply embedded in the subconscious and trigger emotions in a split second. These memories are often out of our awareness, and it doesn’t take much - a look, a tone of voice - to trigger anger or anxiety when confronted by the boss. Developing one’s degree of emotional intelligence can help regulate these split second reactions and allow more logical and appropriate interactions.
The danger in the leader-follower relationship is the assumption that the leader’s interpretation must dominate. If this assumption exists on the part of either the leader or the follower, both are at risk. The leader’s openness will diminish. Followers will easily lose their unique perspective and abandon healthy disagreement. Creativity and problem-solving processes become stifled.
It is obviously not an easy task to speak up and challenge the leader, but without the courage and skill to do so, corporate scandals can ensue. Giving candid feedback to the boss is a skill that is not practiced as often as necessary. Working with a neutral party such as a consultant or executive coach can help a follower or executive team member to act courageously and effectively.
Working with a seasoned executive coach trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating leadership assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-i and CPI 260 can help you become an inspiring leader and or a proactive follower. You can become a leader or follower who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become happily engaged and aligned with the vision and mission of your company or law firm.
I am currently accepting new executive coaching and career coaching clients. I work with both individuals and organizations. Call 415-546-1252 or send an inquiry e-mail to email@example.com.