Emotional Intelligence: Five Leadership Skills to Take Away from PRSSAIC, with Heathere Evans

Heathere Evans speaking from stageA room of future industry leaders chatter about their Chapter experiences and Student-run Firm campaigns when Heathere Evans, president of Pivot, Inc., takes hold of the room. Her charisma feeds off the student energy as she dives into her passion.

Emotional Leadership is a scientific practice. With repetitive thoughts and mindful thinking, Evans shares that your brain will develop into the path you lead it down. Her five steps to practicing emotional leadership spell out the word C.L.E.A.R to show that you will have clarity and understanding of others after facing these barriers:

1) Challenge vs. Opportunity

We have the choice to view a difficult situation as a something that may hold us back or something that will push us forward. When faced with a challenge, Evans encourages you to “find a gift in the garbage” and consider what new perspective will make this challenge work for me?

2.) Listening to Inner Critic vs. Coach

Gravitating towards negativity seems natural but that may be because that’s what you’ve trained your brain to do. Evans challenges you to notice negative thinking patterns and the destruction they hold in your life. The positive news is that it’s your brain and empowerment lives inside of you! “I choose to wire my own brain and cheer for myself. We are all self-determining.”

Imagine how this change of thought can change humanity. Evans shares the mantra, “life isn’t happening to me, life is happening for me.” What would happen if you simplify life?

3.) Emotional Armoring vs. EQ

It’s easy to get defensive with your emotions. They are such a vulnerable part of you to express but it’s also what humanizes you. When you are feeling emotionally attacked, the core antidote to armoring is curiosity. Here is a list of prompts to go through that will challenge you to learn instead of building up walls:

●        The story I make up… ●        Help me understand…
●        I’m curious about… ●        Walk me through that…
●        Tell me more… ●        What’s your passion around this…
●        That’s not my experience… ●        Tell me why this doesn’t work for you…


4.) Autopilot vs. Conscious Leadership

Focusing on deadlines and surviving the work week can cause a leader to drive on autopilot. When this happens, your creative intelligence, the area with the most growth potential, shuts down so you are able to focus on the immediate issue. Evans claims that, “making one tiny change can make a world of change, a big change is not always what’s needed.”

5.) Response vs. Understanding

Too often, conversation is a selfish activity as people wait for silence to respond with their own perspectives. Evans says that, “trust is a natural byproduct of curiosity”. If you take the time to grow your understanding of someone instead of waiting for the pause in conversation, your relationships can greatly benefit.

Emotional leadership is intentional. Take inventory of your thoughts and train yourself to be the best leader possible. What is one thing that can come out of pursuing mindfulness?

Faith Hoffman is a Senior at Purdue University dual majoring in Public Relations and Marketing with a Minor in English. She is a purpose-driven busy bee with a futuristic mindset. Faith is passionate about strategy and organizational communication and is interested in agency PR following graduation.

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