Speaker Patti Aspenleiter helps HBA leaders increase team engagement through earning trust, alignment and discretionary effort

Hosted by PRA Health, the HBA Kansas City 27 April event, “How to engage people and accelerate performance,” gave healthcare businesswomen leaders tools for increasing their impact by improving their “emotional intelligence.” Patti Aspenleiter, founder of Leaders Now! and certified coach by the Institute of Social + Emotional Intelligence (S+EI), also shared best practices on how to transition from a manager to a social and emotional leader.
Aspenleiter asked participants to think about the best leaders for whom they have worked. In many cases, the examples shared were people who were great listeners and cheerleaders, and also cared about others. Aspenleiter said the benefits of improving your social and emotional intelligence are better profitability and better performance. When you can manage both yourself and your relationships, you live twice as long.

It’s never too late: Social and emotional intelligence can be developed or improved at any time. What can a leader do?  Aspenleiter said it’s a whole-body experience, including attention to three areas:
  • Mind: To be an effective communicator, you have to think before you speak.
  • Heart: If you are going to develop people, you have to care about them. 
  • Body: To lead, you need to be seen leading. Be accessible. Walk around.
Aspenleiter shared three best practices to develop social and emotional intelligence.

1. Appreciation: Give praise. Practice giving praise out loud, and then do it often. Aspenleiter suggested giving praise every seven working days.

She suggested three ways to get better at giving praise:
  • Be specific. You acknowledge the person’s skills and what he or she brought to the table.
  • Mention a special personal quality. It is said that most people won’t remember what was said about them, but will remember how you made them feel.
  • Share the impact. People want to know that what they do specifically impacts the team. 
2. Intentionality: Be clear about the outcomes you seek. 
3. Empathy: When dealing with people, remember that we’re dealing with creatures of emotion. 

Leadership author John C. Maxwell said: “Leadership is not awarded or appointed, and you have to earn it.” By constantly building social and emotional intelligence, you’re on the way to earning leadership. 

 “He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk.” 
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