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HRINZ Conference 2004 Shifting the Thinking
HRINZ Conference 2004 Shifting the Thinking
next practice in people management

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keynote speakers

Con Stough

Increasing Leadership Skills Using Emotional Intelligence

Professor Con Stough, Director, Organisational Psychology Research Unit, Swinburne University

The quality of leadership in Australia and New Zealand has been linked to organisational success, with claims that up to half of middle and senior managers in Australia and New Zealand show poor leadership competencies. Historically organisations have attempted to buy in competent senior leaders. However recent demographic analyses have indicated that there will be a worldwide shortage of leaders over the next decade and successful organisations will need to have successful techniques to identify prospective leaders within their organisation and to develop the leadership competencies of these staff.

One area of research in Professor Stough’s centre has been in the area of emotional intelligence and leadership, an area that has also been the focus of other research groups in Australia. Their research indicates that emotional intelligence is a significant predictor of successful leadership, particularly transformational leaders who are able to develop successful relationships with their followers. These relationships are characterised by highly effective communication, a competent understanding of others and the management of negative emotions (such as anxiety and hopelessness) into positive emotions (such as optimism and confidence).

In this presentation Professor Stough will outline the evidence that indicates that emotional intelligence is the most important determinant of different leadership styles (successful, unsuccessful and disastrous).

Participants will complete during the presentation some sample questions that underpin the emotional intelligence competencies that are basic to successful leadership. Participants will gain knowledge on the five dimensions of emotional intelligence and gain insight into how to implement a workplace development program to improve emotional intelligence in middle and senior managers.

Con Stough is an internationally recognised expert in organisational and neuropsychological assessment. In 2001-2003 his research centre attracted over 2 million dollars in government and industry grants. Professor Stough has published over 70 scientifically peer reviewed international journal articles.

The research work of his centre covers a broad range of areas. Significant research contributions have been the completion of landmark studies examining: the effects of mobile phone exposure to memory and attention; the effects of US government cannabis on driving and road safety; the efficacy of natural compound ‘smart’ drugs like ‘gingko’ on cognitive performance; levels of occupational stress across 17 universities Australia wide involving over 10,000 employees; and the co-development of the Swinburne University Emotional Intelligence test which is now being used extensively across corporate Australia in employee recruitment and training and development activities. In 2002 Professor Stough developed the IQ test and appeared on the Channel Nine television program “Test the Nation” which was the highest rating television programme over that year.

Professor Stough is on the editorial board of the journal Intelligence and is on the five-member advisory panel of the International Society for Intelligence Research.

In the workplace, Professor Stough has vast experience in applying psychological assessment tools and human resources techniques and regularly consults with a large number of multi-national organisations, including AMP, AXA, ANZ, Australia Post, Holden, Victorian Government, Newcastle City Council, the Australian Wallabies and the Australian Super 12 teams. Professor Stough has extensive experience in assessing and developing emotional intelligence competencies that underpin successful leadership, sales performance, team work and work performance and commitment and which have important impact on workplace stress and absenteeism. Unlike most consultants in this area, Professor Stough and his team use practices that have been backed by extensive research practices.

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