Emotional intelligence is the key to successful leadership

By Kit Watts

2 mins

The role of emotional intelligence in successful leadership for event professionals

Emotional intelligence is what makes humans human. We find humanity in empathy, connection and understanding each other.

We’re experiencing a time when the global events industry – and many others – tries to get to grips with an extraordinary acceleration and proliferation in AI tools and ‘hot’ bots. This is a great time to ground us in what makes humans great, understanding where technologies can be a tool for positive change, rather than a source of fear, dread or disempowerment.

Christopher Salem is a man who’s lived a full and colorful life and who’s turned that ‘juice’ into solid and heartfelt wisdom that can be translated into commercial success for an individual, company or brand that takes it on board.

Do you see yourself and some of your own life or work experiences in Chris? And what he has to say?

Learning to respond, not react is paramount to emotional intelligence

Oh boy is this a big one! If you’re ‘in your feelings’ or your buttons are being pushed by colleagues, technology or deadlines are you able to respond like an adult, or do you react from a highly emotional place, like a child? Responding often means taking time to breathe deeply (so simply and bizarrely effective), learning a few self-help tricks or ways to reframe or coach yourself in the moment. Responding not reacting is a teachable skill, and one worthy of daily practice.

Emotional intelligence

Growth starts at our low points

25 years ago, Chris was an addict. It doesn’t matter what he was addicted to. The point is, in his own words, “I was a mess.” It took him five years to make the transition from ‘stinking thinking to growth’. Two big lessons he learned along the way were, firstly, don’t resist challenges – and secondly, control what you can. Some of his teachers were authors and speakers – Jim Rohn (also a mentor to Bob Proctor); Carol Dweck (Growth Mindset) and Daniel Goldman (Emotional Intelligence).

Self-compassion is primary to personal and professional development

Chris had a wake-up moment when he realized he was a product of his father’s dysfunction but that he was ultimately responsible for his own actions. He didn’t need to repeat the dysfunctions of his family. This realization, and having compassion for himself, was the start of his healthy development in a new direction.

Relationship building

Interdependency is the foundation of successful relationships

Work cultures need to be built on a foundation of interdependency, NOT co-dependency. How many of us bring our co-dependency or victim or anger habits to work? Healthy work cultures can be places of healing and growth.

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About the author

Before Kit became an IMEX employee in 2016, she was one of our PR consultants, so has been with us for 20 years.

Kit Watts

Communications Strategist