I had the recent opportunity to lead a conversation about emotional intelligence, (or emotional quotient — EQ), during a webcast for ATD, the global Association for Talent Development. ATD is a premiere organization that offers extensive training and learning opportunities to its membership of approximately 40,000 executives, managers and associates, and their companies.

The webcast generated great interest with a high number of members participating. Following the webcast, ATD staff and I personally received a great deal of appreciative feedback — people agreed that EQ is essential in the workplace and that EQ is absolutely key to developing high-quality, productive relationships.

There is definitely a thirst for more knowledge about EQ, including how may we get our boss and senior management to recognize that such a focus would improve management and leadership effectiveness.

This led me to write this article, and I very much hope that I do this well. The subject of emotional intelligence is vitally important and essential to our success in business, in our leadership, and also in our happiness outside of our workplace.…

(read more…)

badgeSmartBlog on Education’s monthly content award recognizes content written by educators, for educators that inspires readers to engage, innovate and discuss.

SmartBrief Education editors and writers sift through thousands of sources each day, reading a variety of content, including blogs and commentaries written by you and your peers.

In an effort to recognize some of the innovative voices in the field, we’ve asked our team to nominate their favorite content — written by educators, for educators — each month from which we’ll choose two winners for the Editor’s Choice Content Award.

This month’s winners inspired us by challenging educators to rethink “failure.”

Meet this month’s winners:

Learn more about our previous winners.

June Editor’s Choice Content Award

“The world doesn’t need more content,” says Kevin Hunt, corporate social media manager for General Mills. “It needs more interesting content.” But, as he admits, social media content strategy is a bit more complex than that.

In his presentation at SocialMedia.org’s Brands-Only Summit, Kevin gives a quick lesson on the fundamentals of managing a social media content strategy. He discusses General Mills’ methods for sourcing great content, choosing social platforms and developing a program calendar. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Use your employees. Sometimes, the best content comes from internal divisions and brands. Kevin suggests identifying employees who can serve as inspiration or contributors for posts.
  • Look to the marketplace. Kevin encourages social media managers to brainstorm with client-side departments, like consumer services or sales, for ideas. These people are interacting with customers every day and understand the kind of content they want to see.
  • Ask your audience. Don’t know what your customers want to read?
  • (read more…)

A new employee’s first day(s) at the office can 1) confirm their feeling that they’ve made the right choice coming to work for you, or 2) make them wonder if they’ve made a terrible mistake.

Needless to say, your chance of keeping the new person beyond the first few months goes up when their earliest days with the organization correspond to experience No. 1. So do the odds that the new hire will become fully engaged with your mission.

So what exactly goes into a good first day or three?

New hires need two big things from the onboarding process:

  • To feel as comfortable as possible, as soon as possible, and
  • To make progress in decoding the complex mix of values, procedures, customs, habits and jargon that makes up an organization’s culture.

The right space

Part of the “feeling comfortable” piece, of course, is a new hire’s impression that the employer has prepared an attractive, well-equipped work space for him or her.…

(read more…)

Today’s consumers expect fine-dining menus to boast locally sourced ingredients and change with the seasons, and now the locavore trend is fueling changes at less-pricey fast-casual chains such as Mad Greens, Salata, Sweetgreen, and Tortas Frontera by Rick Bayless.

Fast casual continues to grow, even as overall restaurant traffic has remained flat for more than five years, according to recent NPD Group data. A key trend driving that growth is the rising demand for fresh ingredients, and the willingness to pay a premium for them. And, if the food is locally sourced and comes with a backstory, so much the better.

Colorado-based Mad Greens has increased the amount of locally sourced items on the menu in recent years, and there’s a strategy for expanding that when the 13-unit chain expands beyond the Centennial State’s borders, said founders Marley Hodgson and Dan Long. “The plan is to have a dedicated portion of the menu that’s local specific,” Hodgson said.…

(read more…)