Boulder Startup Week: Effective leaders master emotional quotient

BOULDER — Successful business leaders learn to harness their emotional quotient by being authentic and empathetic.

Such was the advice of Ali Hill, managing partner of Denver-based Sound Advice Consulting Services. Hill led a discussion at this year’s Boulder Startup Week titled Effective Leadership is an Emotional Experience: The Power of EQ for Women Entrepreneurs and Founders. 

Hill is a business leader and a PhD sociologist known for her advocacy for girls and women.

“Effective leadership is an emotional experience. There was always emotion,” she said, with the only question who was allowed to express it.

She encouraged female entrepreneurs to build their emotional leadership starting with what she called “the authenticity zone.” 

“People want to be around people who are authentic. The one thing that nobody else can provide is a relationship with us. We have to make sure that people want a relationship with us, with our business,” she said.

Authenticity comes with self awareness and honesty. She said people can start to identify what makes them authentic by asking questions such as what words describe them, what values are most important and what situations make them feel most real.

Defining the “authentic you” can’t be the end, she said, but has to extend to others.

“Empathy is a real life super power,” she said. Being empathetic means stepping into the other person’s shoes. Unlike the Golden Rule, which predicates action on what you want done to you, she advocated the Platinum Rule: “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.”

The Golden Rule “assumes our interests are the same as someone else’s interests,” which may not be true, she said.

Enacting the Platinum Rule requires asking questions and listening, then being responsive to the answers.

Use of human skills leads to success. In a world where artificial intelligence is rapidly gaining ground, “being human is the only advantage we have left,” she concluded.

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BOULDER — Successful business leaders learn to harness their emotional quotient by being authentic and empathetic.

Such was the advice of Ali Hill, managing partner of Denver-based Sound Advice Consulting Services. Hill led a discussion at this year’s Boulder Startup Week titled Effective Leadership is an Emotional Experience: The Power of EQ for Women Entrepreneurs and Founders. 

Hill is a business leader and a PhD sociologist known for her advocacy for girls and women.

“Effective leadership is an emotional experience. There was always emotion,” she said, with the only question who was allowed to express it.

She encouraged female entrepreneurs to build their emotional leadership starting with what she called “the authenticity zone.” 

“People want to be around people who are authentic. The one thing that nobody else can provide is a relationship with us. We have to make sure that people want a relationship with us, with our business,” she said.

Authenticity comes with self awareness and honesty. She said people can start to identify what makes them authentic by asking questions such as what words describe them, what values are most important and what situations make them feel most real.

Defining the “authentic you” can’t be the end, she said, but has to extend to others.

“Empathy is a real life super power,” she said. Being empathetic means stepping into the other person’s shoes. Unlike the Golden Rule, which predicates action on what you want done to you, she advocated the Platinum Rule: “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.”

The Golden Rule…