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The power of emotional leadership

|November 28, 2017
Statue of Martin Luther King

Photo credit: Diógenes el Filósofo

Written by
Ariane M. Gauthier

Ariane M. Gauthier

Written by
Senior Advisor, Strategy and Business Outreach

John Parisella

Senior Advisor

Photo credit: Diógenes el Filósofo

At last week’s Information and Public Relations Forum organized by Infopresse in collaboration with the SQPRP, Quebec TV personality Marie-France Bazzo spoke with our colleague John Parisella, Senior Advisor, Strategy and Business Outreach at NATIONAL’s Montreal office, about the power of emotional leadership.

“To change things, you can’t settle for minimum engagement, you must fully invest yourself,” said John at the outset. Inspired by Martin Luther King’s full commitment to the recognition of his community’s civil rights from an early age, our colleague stresses the importance of communicating authentically with sensitivity and humility to truly connect with people.

Emotional leaders such as the Kennedy brothers, Ronald Reagan, Bill Gates and, here in Quebec, René Lévesque, succeed in creating strong relationships and emotional connections with their public. They were all able to put aside the formality imposed by their roles and show authenticity. By accepting to reveal their human – and sometimes imperfect natures – they let people discover the depth of their commitment.

This depth of engagement is made possible by listening to others, by trying to understand their complexities, by showing empathy. To develop our emotional leadership, John suggests that we step out of the office more often and leave our screens behind from time to time to meet people in person.

Social media and emotional leadership

Asked about the impact of social media on emotional leadership, John stressed the importance of choosing our interventions. First, by making sure the information we’re sharing is true and respectful; and then by sharing ideas or content that truly matter to us and are in line with our values and principles.

One can certainly be authentic by sharing all the details of their personal lives on social media and commenting on every single news story. But this self-centered authenticity is very different from the type of authenticity we expect from an emotional leader, whose public and personal engagement are aligned.

——— Ariane M. Gauthier is a former Senior Consultant at NATIONAL Public Relations


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