I first met Diana at FABWOMEN, a powerful women’s networking group here in Richmond. I noticed her quiet and strong confidence right away. The more I learned about Diana, the more I liked her. I was impressed that she volunteers for Tony Robbins and has walked on fire. I’ve wondered if walking on fire was something I could muster the courage up to do. Diana is passionate about empowering women and coaches women live their best life. During our Personal Branding session, we talked about leadership and emotional intelligence. I asked Diana to write a brief article on how Leadership and Emotional Intelligence relate to each other and why it is important.  

Read Diana’s insightful article…

Leadership is synonymous with words like control, guidance, management, authority, and skill.  But did you know that the strongest driver of leadership and personal excellence is your emotional intelligence (EI)?  It is the ability to recognize emotions in yourself and others and the ability to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships. This ability gives you a variety of skills which make you better able to successfully manage relationships, navigate social networks, influence and inspire others. Each of us possesses our own level of EI, but in order to become effective leaders, we need a high level of emotional intelligence.  In today’s world, EI has become an important factor for success, efficiency, productivity, and collaboration.

EI is composed of 4 skills.  The first two are about you- Personal Competence.  These are self-awareness and self-management. Self-awareness is the ability to recognize your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behaviors and their effect on others.  Self-management is the ability to self-regulate and stay in control.  

The other two are about how you are with others -Social Competence. These are social awareness and relationship management. Social awareness is the ability to pick up on emotional cues in other people and understand them.  Relationship management is using the awareness of your own emotions and those of others to manage interactions successfully.

Emotional Intelligence improves leadership performance in various ways.  The following are 3 areas/skills in which performance is improved:

Communication:  EI makes leaders more self-aware which in turn allows them to have insight and a better understanding of other people’s strengths and weaknesses.   Effective communication precedes motivation. This allows everyone to be on the same page, understanding what is expected or needed from them.  

Empathy:  This is the ability to “put yourself in someone else’s shoes.” This is a key component of successful human relationships. Empathy helps a leader understand the circumstances others are facing, and how those circumstances impact their work and performance

Conflict resolution: Leaders with a high EI are highly skilled at handling conflict and providing resolution.  This means a better work and home environment.  Resolving conflict in a healthy, constructive way can strengthen trust between people.  When conflict isn’t perceived as threatening, it can foster creativity and trust in relationships and can, in fact, strengthen them.

When I signed up for my branding session with Kim, I knew I would not be disappointed.  I had met Kim at a networking event a couple of years prior and had always wanted to work with her.  During the photo shoot, Kim and her talented team made me feel super comfortable and relaxed.  I love how she captured my brand and message.  Outstanding work!

About Diana Parra:

Diana Parra, M.A. is a leadership and transformational strategist, high-performance coach for executives, and speaker.  She is the founder and CEO of Akros Leadership International. Her passion is teaching female entrepreneurs and small business owners how to lead themselves first so they can lead others successfully and have a greater impact on the world.  She founded Akros to create a community of leaders dedicated to empowering and inspiring others by leading with love and compassion while elevating the world at large.  Her 20 plus years of combined experience as a manager, therapist, coach, and consultant have forged in her a unique approach to leadership development. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Rutgers University and a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Clinical Psychology from Montclair State University.  She is also a graduate of Anthony Robbins Business Mastery and Anthony Robbins Mastery University. 

She was born in Colombia, is bilingual and bi-cultural, and is married to her best friend.  She has three adoptive children, is an explorer of the world, a lover of self-development, music, yoga, and nature.

To learn more about leadership development and high performance coaching for women contact Diana at:  Diana@akrosinternational.com or visit: www.akrosinternational.com.