I remember a wise friend once sharing that Self-Confidence comes from doing things that you are good at. Still true today, positive psychology research suggests appreciating your strengths, and that can come from others but most importantly, from yourself.
I watched my young niece Amaani growing up. I remember in her formative years how she was shy about speaking in front of a group or requesting something of others. Over the years, my sister took her to dance classes, which she found she was naturally good at. The result was monumental not only for her ability to stand in front of an audience but for her Self-Confidence throughout school. Recently, she participated in the Model United Nations from Toronto and delivered her Junior-High School graduation speech!
It didn’t have to work out this way. What if Amaani’s talents were not recognized or appreciated by her family support or school environment? Or worse, what if she said to herself that dancing was the only thing that she would ever be good at, that maybe it wouldn’t last or that it was only because of her teacher?
Instead, she began to recognize her own strengths and capabilities. As Daniel Goleman says, “we have to believe in our skills in order to use them at our best.” In his model, Self-Confidence looks only at strengths, while in the EQ-i 2.0, Self-Regard underlines accepting both your strengths and challenges. Both models agree on the importance of accurately knowing your abilities.
As for my wise friend’s advice, I consequently embarked on a life of public speaking. During my recent two years in Asia Pacific, I observed that some Toastmasters clubs in Hong Kong emphasize speaker weaknesses. And they state them as such, as opposed to opportunities. Challenging myself with advanced manuals Humorously Speaking and The Entertaining Speaker, I found that recognizing my own abilities became my most critical success factor. I would take a balanced approach to feedback while actively working on opportunities.
As my Self-Confidence grew and I learned the art of storytelling, I was eventually recognized by my club with the Advanced Communicator Bronze (ACB) Award. I will always remember that evening for the kind words and warm feedback of my Toastmaster peers! And most importantly, it felt like an amazing speaking milestone!
Photo: Salim Ladak receives Toastmasters ACB Award with President Eunice Su in Hong Kong on July 2nd, 2015
So what’s the secret to long-term relationships? It is said that some of us are givers and some are takers. But this suggests that you can’t do both.
The EQ-i 2.0 describes Interpersonal Relationships as “the ability to develop and maintain mutually satisfying relationships.” If you take much more in your relationships over time, many of them are unsustainable – think of your own experiences or former friends whom you now consider as selfish. It’s only by giving that you can balance the relationship. Even if you had power or wealth to draw others to assist you, their motivations would be superficial. In extreme cases of manipulation, relationships eventually come to a tragic halt.
What about those who generously give much more in their relationships? They demonstrate a wonderful ethic; yet, there is a delicate balance. Research suggests that they might be perceived as needy or agreeable by others. Reflect again on your own experiences or friends whose efforts you take for granted. Yes, even those that give freely can better support the relationship by learning where to draw the line, assert themselves or take. Respect is earned when you give and take, even if the taking amounts to standing up for your needs. As for selfless giving, that is the subject of another article.
Sometimes, there is a feeling of a community giving, in their hopes that one day, you might be successful and even give back. Consider universities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), from where I draw my example of Toastmasters International. Since joining them, seasoned Toastmasters shared with me both their time and knowledge through mentoring. In turn, I now attempt to give back by mentoring members as a seasoned Toastmaster myself.
I want to end by taking the opportunity to thank those Toastmasters who have made a difference in my public speaking development and club experience: Sean Lin for hours of Table Topics coaching in 2014, Bilal Arshad for hours of International Speech coaching in 2015 and Talis Wong for just the right comment at just the right time. My hat is off to all of you, and wherever I reside, I look forward to serving our communities in both formal and informal leadership roles.
Happy New Year 2015! On behalf of EQ How, we wish our clients and friends a most successful and fulfilling year! Wrapping up December 2014, we facilitated an Executive Offsite for a Fortune 500 Insurance Company at the Aberdeen Marina Club (photo below) in Hong Kong.
Entitled Leadership Success: EQ for Regional Leaders, we combined a Speaking Event with Team Coaching for senior executives of the Asia Pacific region. With an emphasis on enhanced collaboration, other Emotional Intelligence competencies discussed were empathy, influence and inspirational leadership. Excellent executive feedback was received along with a Testimonial from the Chief Operating Officer, Asia, and the participation of Human Resources.
For service inquiries, select Contact from our menu. For hiring inquiries, we continue to hire seasoned Leadership Coaches from Accredited Coach Training Programs and holding EQ Certifications. Kindly submit your CV to hr@EQHow.com
People can live through similar events, and yet, how they experience them can be completely different. While the pessimist is left feeling dejected and even hopeless, the optimist is energized by life. Speaking of life’s opportunities, my optimistic wife says: “The door is always open.”
Optimism is a vital competence for successful leadership. Based on the research of Martin Seligman, what is briefly outlined here is his famous ABCDE method for optimism through life’s setbacks.
A: You face Adversity
B: Your Beliefs about this experience are either positive or negative thoughts
C: The Consequence is that you have either positive or negative feelings and actions
D: Learn to Dispute any negative thoughts
E: Experience the Energy
As an example, you try to deliver a humorous speech, but you don’t get many laughs. You say to yourself that you’re just not funny and you have made a fool of yourself. This leads you to feel embarrassed, humiliated and dejected.
Instead, dispute your thoughts by saying that you did get some laughs, and almost everyone enjoyed the first punchline. You also fulfilled your client’s request to put some serious content in the body of your speech. You have made great improvement in the pauses before your punchlines, and you can continue to improve on your surprise factor!
How does your ENERGY level feel now?
As my wife says, “The door is always open.” To my eternal optimist and dear wife Nadia, Happy Birthday!
As we support you to be the most effective Leader, EQ How has grown again. Whatever your Leadership goals – whether you want to be in the top 10% or overcome a specific leadership challenge, whether you lead an organization or a team, or whether you’re people oriented or technically inclined – we have a Leadership Coach for you.
What makes our team unique is that in addition to having Executive Coach training and corporate experience, all of our coaches are certified in EQ, which is statistically linked to Leadership Success. This means that we can support you on any of 27 competencies such as Influence, Collaboration and Developing Others.
Contact us for a free initial session, and let us know if you prefer your Leadership Coaching in English, Mandarin or Cantonese. Skype Video coaching is also available for overseas clients.
On June 26th 2014, Salim Ladak spoke to over 100 executives and actuaries at Asia Pacific’s annual Insurance Industry event about the importance of EQ to Leadership Development. Offering perspectives for high-IQ financial analysts on Getting Promoted to Success, Salim is quoted as saying:
The reward for high performance is getting promoted. However, the focus on individual performance is then replaced by the responsibility of leading a team. And that requires a whole different skill set!
Select the Testimonial from the Society of Actuaries (SOA) or view the above venue at the Conrad Macau, Sands Cotai Central. Opening with a story showcasing the success factors for leadership, Salim engaged the audience with the spotlight on three EQ competencies:
For further information, visit our Speaking Events page. Below, Salim Ladak receives his Competent Communicator (CC) Award at Dynamic Toastmasters in Hong Kong on July 31st 2014.
Due to increasing demand for our Leadership Development (EQ) services, EQ How is now hiring in Asia Pacific (HK, Singapore, Tokyo). Our services include Speaking Events, Leadership Coaching, Experiential Workshops, Leadership Consulting and EQ Assessments.
As a premium brand, we seek seasoned Executive Coaches with management experience, credentials from Accredited Coach Training Programs, and “Big Two” EQ Certification in either the EQ-i 2.0 or the ESCI. Other requirements include fluency in English and local residency.
For Hong Kong, Cantonese is also preferred. For Shanghai-based professionals who meet these requirements, we are interested in discussing potential partnerships. All qualified candidates are invited to submit their CVs to hr@EQHow.com
EQ How is delighted to add Chinese services to our Leadership Development portfolio. We have added Mandarin and Cantonese language skills to our Leadership Coaching team while hiring for “Big Two” certification (EQ-i 2.0 or ESCI), management experience and foundation in an Accredited Coach Training Program – a rare combination in Asia.
Complementing our Leadership Coaching services, we are pleased to provide Mandarin EQ Assessments from Multi-Health Systems (MHS), who continue to add languages to their reports. Select Contact for further information on Coaching, Workshops or Speakers for Leadership Communications.
Growing up in Toronto, I first encountered public speaking when I ran for VP Student Council in grade 6. While I lost the election with just one poster and no flyers, everyone remembered the speech! I didn’t know it then, but I had found my creative space.
Emotional Expression is one of several EQ benefits to public speaking. Multi-Health Systems (MHS) describes this as “expressing feelings both verbally and non-verbally.” For effective communications, you need congruence, as otherwise Albert Mehrabian’s famous research finds that only 7% of your words are received.
Later in 1987, I embarked on community public speaking; client and work presentations followed after university; and eventually, I found my way to teaching, training and then my own Leadership Development business. I took the unconventional route of finally joining Toastmasters after 100 speaking venues across 5 countries.
In Hong Kong, I discovered like minds at both Centraler Toastmasters and Dynamic Toastmasters. We refer to the Toastmaster journey – finding your authentic self, being open to peer feedback and learning together. With TM best practices, I have watched as those once fearful of public speaking have truly become confident communicators.
Self-Confidence is one of Daniel Goleman’s EQ competences, which he describes as “knowing your abilities and playing to your strengths.” While I bring leadership & life experience, I am learning to extend my versatility and practice humour & storytelling for my Speaking Events. Many Toastmasters take on leadership roles at the club, area or division levels.
Another EQ benefit of public speaking is Interpersonal Relationships, which MHS describes as “building and maintaining relationships”. You speak to your peer group, and in addition to sharing feedback & social events, there are opportunities for integrated meeting roles such as Toastmaster of the Evening and Table Topics Master.
Below, Centraler Toastmasters wins 3 awards at the Area K1 contest in Hong Kong (Ruth Benny, Salim Ladak & Sean Lin).
After 18 months of Research and Development, EQ How is excited to launch our EWMs – Experiential Workshop Modules! The starting premise of our design was what are the problems with even the most popular training programs and tools. Here, we list the major training issues:
The problem with mainstream corporate training is that it doesn’t engage learners. Struggling to show meaningful results in the workplace, trainers who just try to be interactive no longer meet the bar. As executives learn by doing or through activities, the E in EWMs stands for Experiential.
There are two varieties of training requests from corporations. The first type is interested in what vendors provide off the shelf or in their portfolio. The second type seeks a custom design to meet their unique needs. To address the needs of both types, the M in EWMs stands for Modules – 27 to be exact.