You can’t be a great leader without being a great communicator, and you can’t be a great communicator without a high level of emotional intelligence.

What were once considered ‘soft skills’ are now recognised as the keys to effective leadership.

You will never excel at leadership without them, no matter how intellectually intelligent, educated, or technically brilliant you are.

To be a great leader, people must want to follow you. To achieve this, you must be able to regulate your emotions and work with the emotions of others, and you must be able to communicate in a way that motivates, encourages, inspires and empowers.

Unfortunately, many workplaces still pay the price for outdated promotional practices where people were elevated into leadership roles because they were ‘next in line’ or had strong technical or managerial skills.

The problem is, a leader in name isn’t necessarily a leader in practice.

A person who knows their job or industry backwards is not necessarily a good leader of people.

Nor is the person who can manage, coordinate, plan and organise well. This person may have people work for them, but if people don’t choose to follow them, they’re not a true leader.

The best leaders are aware of their emotions and able to manage them. They can harness emotions to motivate themselves and others; are empathetic; and develop strong interpersonal relationships that help them – and their team – succeed.

These leaders communicate clearly, calmly, consistently and concisely – even when under stress. They are assertive and articulate their vision, wants and needs in a respectful way.

Their team members know what’s expected of them, where they’re headed, why they’re going there, what they need to do, and how they’re tracking. The entire team is on the same journey and wants to get where the leader is taking them.

If you’re a leader, developing your communication skills and emotional intelligence are two of the most effective ways to increase your success, regardless of the strength of your technical abilities. You’re a work in progress. You will never be ‘done’ improving your skills in these areas.

That’s why I’m thrilled to be joining forces with Maree McPherson to bring you Immersive Leadership, a three-day leadership retreat focussed on emotional intelligence and communication at Silverwater Resort, San Remo from 10-12 November 2017.

Capped at just 10 people, we’ll help you develop skills to take your leadership from floundering to flourishing.

To find out more, go to or contact me at

But be quick – ticket sales end in two weeks.

Maree McPherson is a leadership expert, coach, mentor, facilitator and trainer with extensive experience in executive leadership roles in Gippsland and Melbourne. Maree now runs her own business, Maree McPherson Consulting. Find out more at

Leah Mether is a communications specialist, trainer and director of Methmac Communications. She is a former corporate communications manager and journalist, with experience across a wide range of industries. Leah specialises in empowering people to improve their communication skills and step up for success. Find out more at