Iliyana's Blog

The 7 Essential Questions for Better Business Communication

[fa icon="calendar'] 06-Jun-2017 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Personal Development, Brands and Business, Leadership

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I recently finished listening to The Coaching Habit: Say Yes, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier. (It's funny to say "listening" instead of "reading" but hey, in our busy lives we optimise everything and so when I walk to work, I often listen to books. Thanks, Audible!) 

The book was written for managers to help them be better leaders, communicate more effectively with team members, provide better support and coaching and so have more impact. Achieving this comes down to seven key questions that the author identifies as the essence of leading. 

I believe, though, that these seven questions can be an effective technique in any business relationship that requires communication. 

When speaking to customers (especially over the phone or Zoom or skype), these seven questions can help you get to the bottom of what the problem really is and how you can help. The same applies to consulting. I've always said that the best form of consulting is question-asking.

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Leadership is Failing: The Persistent Lack of Trust and Action

[fa icon="calendar'] 04-Jul-2016 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Leadership

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We live in some pretty turbulent times. Think Brexit, fleeing refugees, bombing all over the world... It's pretty scary out there. 

No wonder then that there's a crisis of leadership that's been going on for years. You want evidence? I've got it for you: the latest annual Leadership Communication Monitor by Ketchum is out and reveals for the fifth year in a row that "a low-trust, high-expectation gap is the new normal for leaders and leadership concerns have a direct, sizable impact on both bottom-line and political outcomes."

It's the fourth time I'm covering the KLCM research.

In 2013, leaders were too stubborn to start embracing change, new media and the digital reality.  

In 2014, the need for a new style of leadership arose – a feminine one.

In 2015, the era of title-less, shared leadership at the speed of now began, where not just CEOs, but anyone in the organisation can be a leader. 

In 2016, a worrying picture of lack of political leadership and some serious blocking barriers to equal corporate leadership arises. 

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The Six Leadership Styles And How To Master Them [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar'] 16-May-2016 08:30:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Career, Leadership

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I'm really big on leadership. It's a topic that I've been actively reading and learning more about over the past year.

That learning journey led me to an essay by Daniel Goleman from the HBR's 10 Must Reads on Managing People called "Leadership That Gets Results" 

In his piece, Daniel Goleman explains that emotional intelligence (EI) really is the key ingredient for leadership and that successful leaders have the following EI competencies: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skill.

But what makes the best leaders is their ability to adopt the correct leadership styles and use them at the right time with the right people. 

Daniel Goleman defines six leadership styles that I want to show you below in more detail and that I have summarised in the infographic at the end of the post. 

The Six Leadership Styles: 

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The 4 Key Emotional Intelligence Capabilities [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar'] 04-Apr-2016 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Leadership

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Ask anyone about leadership and they'll tell you that emotional intelligence is key.

Read any management or leadership book and you'll get that same answer too.

In his article for the HBR "Leadership That Gets Results", Daniel Goleman explains that emotional intelligence is the ability to manage ourselves and our relationships effectively.

Unlike IQ which is largely genetic and barely changes from childhood, the skills of emotional intelligence can be learned at any age but it takes practice and commitment.

It also takes time because the emotional centres of the brain, not just the neocortex, are involved.

The neocortex is the thinking brain that acquires purely technical knowledge and cognitive abilities very quickly. The emotional brain, on the other hand, needs repetition and practice to master a new behaviour and change a habit because it has to first unlearn the old one and then turn the new one into the brain’s default option.  

Daniel Goleman also explains that emotional intelligence consists of four fundamental capabilities: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and social skill.

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20 Remarkable Leadership Quotes from On Becoming a Leader

[fa icon="calendar'] 02-Nov-2015 10:30:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Leadership

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Next to inbound PR, my latest area of interest and learning has been leadership. You may recall my recent infographic on the differences between leadership and management.

I’ve been reading a lot on the topic and recently finished one of the classics: Warren Bennis’ On Becoming a Leader.

It’s certainly a book that I can recommend to anyone, not just people interested in learning more about leadership, and so I thought I’d share with you my favourite quotes.

You can check out the leadership quotes in the SlideShare below, but there were a few other things that impressed me, so here’s some more food for thought for you:

"Change—relentless change—is our weather now. It is that constant and that unpredictable."

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