Instructor Spotlight: Dawn Karner

Dawn Karner

The Shifting Landscape of Leadership: Emotional Intelligence and Coaching

What it means to be a ‘leader’ is changing. That’s according to Dawn Karner, a coach, trainer and leadership consultant who teaches our three-day course, Leading Through Emotional Intelligence and Coaching. Karner feels that the ‘soft skills’ she teaches have become essential qualities in today’s leaders.

Karner defines emotional intelligence (often referred to as EI or EQ) as the ability to understand and manage one’s own emotions, as well as recognize and understand others’ emotions. In addition, some of the best leaders have an ability to listen, be inquisitive and really understand the people they lead. This ‘coach approach’ sends the message that employees are heard and valued, Karner said. “The combination of emotional intelligence and coaching makes for leaders who are more compassionate, more effective and more impactful to a company’s bottom line.”

Why this shift in leadership style? In a word, Millennials.

Millennials now comprise 35 percent of the American workforce, making them the largest generation currently employed.[1] And, according to Karner, they have much more freedom than previous generations because the job market is in their favor. “They have room to demand that leaders be compassionate in how they lead, or they will get up and leave,” she said. “We have to adjust and adapt because if we don’t, Millennials don’t have to stay. Bright, passionate people aren’t having trouble finding jobs.”

Karner said adopting the concepts of EI and coaching are a win-win for anyone in a leadership position. “Many people today have less compassion and less awareness of their connection with other people, which can show up in a lot of negative ways,” she said. And, she added, “Anyone who can raise their EI is going to increase their skills in all their relationships, personal and professional.”

Karner acknowledges that her course is a time investment – three full days of training – but she’s confident that every student finds valuable insights that impact their careers and their personal relationships. “The three days are packed with information,” she said. “The true value of the content in this course is the engagement and the ability to try out different concepts and see what works for them. It’s very experiential.”

“And,” she added, “A slight openness, just a slight change in how someone leads will create a substantially greater, positive outcome. It’s worth the investment.”

[1] Pew Research Center, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/04/11/millennials-largest-generation-us-labor-force/, Accessed March 19, 2019.

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