Executive Social Intelligence Uncategorized

Toxic Leadership in the Workplace

Mediocre, inconsistent and unprepared management can be costly to even the best intentioned company. But toxic leadership in the workplace can have an outright destructive impact on employees, leading to decreased morale, increased turnover, and a range of negative outcomes. Toxic leaders can create a toxic work environment, characterized by fear, mistrust, and a lack of collaboration. In order to identify toxic leadership in the workplace, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of this type of behavior.

Signs of Toxic Leaders

One of the primary signs of toxic leadership is a lack of transparency. Toxic leaders may withhold information from their employees, or may be evasive when asked direct questions. This can create a sense of mistrust among employees, and can lead to a lack of collaboration and communication within the workplace.

Another sign of toxic leadership is a lack of accountability. Toxic leaders may blame others for their mistakes, or may refuse to take responsibility for their actions. This can create a culture of blame within the workplace, where employees are afraid to take risks or make mistakes for fear of being punished.

Toxic leaders may also engage in micromanagement, which can be a sign of a lack of trust in their employees. Micromanagement can lead to decreased morale and a lack of motivation among employees, as they may feel that their work is not valued or trusted.

Another sign of toxic leadership is a lack of empathy. Toxic leaders may be dismissive of their employees’ concerns or may be insensitive to their needs. This can create a culture of fear and mistrust, where employees feel that their voices are not heard or valued.

Finally, toxic leaders may engage in bullying or harassment. This can take many forms, including verbal abuse, intimidation, and threats.  Bullying and harassment can create a toxic work environment, where employees feel unsafe and unsupported.

Above The Rules

It’s worth mentioning that some companies have a culture of seeing upper management as unquestionable, making excuses for their behaviors that would never be tolerated from other employees. If the top leadership sustains this culture and does’t act to intercede with damaging managers, they are ultimately responsible for the losses to the company and employees are likely to be happier and ultimately more successful overall, somewhere else.

In conclusion, toxic leadership in the workplace can have a profound impact on employees, leading to decreased morale, increased turnover, and a range of negative outcomes. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of toxic leadership, including a lack of transparency, a lack of accountability, micromanagement, a lack of empathy, and bullying or harassment. By identifying these signs, employees can take steps to address toxic leadership in the workplace, and create a more positive and supportive work environment.

To become a more effective and savvy leader within your career, consider ESI Coaching for Leaders (see services).

Body & Neuro Executive Social Intelligence Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress

How Our Brain Makes Predictions

I Just Knew That Would Happen.” Ever felt that way? How are brain makes predictions is pretty interesting and the predictive processes in our brains is still be studied today. The human brain uses several predictive processes, including perception, attention, memory, and decision-making. These processes are relevant to learning and trauma because they help us make sense of our experiences and anticipate future events. Below we look at how the brain makes predictions and a quick look at what that means for learning and trauma.

In terms of learning, predictive processes allow us to form expectations about what will happen next based on our past experiences. For example, if we have learned that a certain behavior leads to a positive outcome, we are more likely to repeat that behavior in the future. Predictive processes also help us identify patterns and make connections between different pieces of information, which can aid in learning and problem-solving.

So, how does our brain make predictions?

Our brain makes predictions by using a combination of top-down and bottom-up processing.

Top-down processing involves using our prior knowledge, expectations, and context to make predictions about what we are experiencing. For example, if we see a blurry image of a cat, our brain may use our prior knowledge of what a cat looks like to fill in the missing details and predict that it is indeed a cat.

Bottom-up processing involves taking in sensory information from our environment and using it to form predictions. For example, if we hear a loud noise, our brain may predict that it is a threat and activate our fight or flight response.

Both top-down and bottom-up processing work together to help us make accurate predictions about our environment. Our brain constantly compares incoming sensory information to our existing knowledge and expectations, and updates our predictions accordingly.

It’s important to note that our predictions our brain makes are not always accurate, and our brain is constantly adjusting and updating them based on new information. This is why we sometimes experience surprises or unexpected events, even when we thought we had accurately predicted what would happen.

Brain Predictions and Trauma

In the context of trauma, our brain’s predictive processes can be disrupted or altered. Traumatic experiences can create a sense of unpredictability and uncertainty, which can lead to hypervigilance and anxiety. The brain may also form inaccurate predictions about future events based on the traumatic experience, leading to avoidance behaviors and difficulty processing new information.

Overall, understanding the role of the brain’s predictive processes in learning and trauma can help us develop more effective strategies for education and trauma treatment.

Executive Social Intelligence Uncategorized Voir Dire Consultation

Voir Dire Selection: Here’s Why It’s Important to Bring the Right Behavioral Expert

Voir dire is the process by which our legal system chooses jurors for a criminal case. The basis of this selection rests in its actual meaning. In Latin, voir dire means “to speak the truth.”

Simplified, the process works by having judges and lawyers ask questions to potential jurors. Essentially, they’re trying to determine who is capable and competent enough to sit on the jury in a particular case.

Unfortunately, the voir dire process isn’t flawless. People are able to lie or appear a certain way on the surface that doesn’t accurately reflect their personality or opinions.

That’s why it’s so important to bring a behavioral expert into the voir dire process.

Common Voir Dire Questions

When a judge interviews potential jurors, they’re usually more interested in logistical questions. Lawyers on both sides of a case, however, will tend to ask more personal questions that could sway a trial one way or another.

While lawyers can’t get too personal, they can ask a person about their background and biases they might have. They also might ask if they know anything about the particular case at hand.

Things like actual and implied bias are common challenges when a lawyer thinks a certain person wouldn’t be a good fit for a jury. Either that person openly admitted thier own bias for or against a certain culture, religion, etc., or they have character traits that would cause someone to think that way.

Why Is a Behavioral Expert Important?

While behavioral experts are most commonly found in clinical environments, there are some that specialize in reading body language and other subtle nuances that can be extremely beneficial to the voir dire selection process, too. Not every clinician or behavioral expert is trained or experienced in these situations; it is essentially a sub-class specialty of the greater field. Within the legal system they are commonly referred to as Jury Consultants or Voir Dire Consultants.

These behavioral experts are more aware of the mechanics of human behaviors and motivations and trained in how to detect them. They know what to look for to see what people are really thinking or feeling. They have superior communication and listening skills, which can really help when it comes to selecting the right jurors for a particular trial. Detailed focus on language, delivery, posturing, pitch, mannerisms, eye movement and minute facial responses called micro-expressions that we’ll look at a bit more later in this article.

Specialists in this arena can help increase attention to things that an attorney or judge might not typically notice. That’s because their focus is typically on the how the respondent answers the question and not only the questions themselves, among other things.

They’ll also be able to pay attention to the other potential jurors when one is being questioned in the voir dire selection process. If someone feels like they’re not being observed closely, they’re more likely to let their natural reactions come through. A behavioral specialist can pick up on these reactions easily and report them back.

To sum up, a behavioral expert can fill in many gaps. They will let an attorney know what an individual might have really been saying or thinking when answering a particular question. And they can help to shape some of the questions before the selection process as well as indicate during the voir dire process when someone is responding to a question in a way of concern or interest.

Micro-Expressions and Jury Selection

Paul Eckman made the term “micro-expressions” popular, but it stands the test of time because it works. The most subtle movements or changes in facial expressions can end up meaning a lot. If an attorney, judge, or someone else in the legal system isn’t able to pick up on them, it could greatly impact the ultimate verdict.

Voir dire selection is a great way to choose the best possible jurors for a case. But, having the right behavioral expert on board will fine tune the process and make it even better.

Please contact me for more information about the voir dire selection. Or, visit here to learn more about the ways I can help.


Executive Social Intelligence

ESI – Leadership and Public Speaking

ESI – Executive Social Intelligence

Why managers need ESI coaching sessions for effective leadership.

The corporate world is both dynamic and demanding. There is an intense focus on both performance and measurable results.  The most effective leaders today exhibit high levels of executive social intelligence. ESI Coaching hone managers and directors to be more adaptive and psychologically strategic in an ever-changing work environment. ESI enhances personal discipline, teaches employee/team management strategies and reinforces a leader’s strategic interpersonal skills.

As a tool, success and growth oriented managers use ESI to effectively add value to their workforce’s abilities, as well as their own. In the simplest situations it effectively helps leaders in dealing with minor issues long before they become major (and often times expensive) ones. More strategically, ESI can be used to prepare new or transitional leaders. In this case, by sharpening their public speaking acumen, facilitation skills and subtle behavioral strategies to strengthen the way they are received by others.

Public Speaking and Presentation Acumen

Communication affects how we relate on a day to day basis.  With our diverse cultural backgrounds, education and training, personality, micro expressions, body language and motivations – poor communication can be detrimental in the workplace. It’s not just about a mediocre delivery, it can actually be damaging to the culture you are trying to grow. ESI helps leaders to effectively build an audience’s confidence in their presented content. It also helps maintain integrity between a speaker’s words and body language while ensuring clear and consistent messaging. Whether a public figure addressing the media or a regional director presenting an annual report to the board – a professional ESI coach provides you with a strategic advantage.

Renewed motivation, vision and organizational commitment

Time has a tendency to wear on anyone. This can make it harder to maintain the highest levels motivation and objectivity. While it may be human to slack off once in a while – a progressive decline in productivity runs counter to your career success. ESI helps you  improve your behavioral strategies. Refining your strategic skills enables you to remain professionally objective, highly effective, and a valued and adaptive leader.

Improvement here is not only a step in the right direction for yourself, it also affects how others view you. This is paramount for leaders wanting to elicit the very best from their teams. ESI coaching sessions offer the professional the ability to work outside of their comfort zones. It doesn’t matter whether you are taking over a new division, just landed a promotion or navigating the  downsizing of your workforce. ESI coaching can help you.

For ESI Coaching and Consulting, Call (346)-493-6181