Engaging emotional IQ is essential in classrooms and the workplace during these times of change. In these settings people come together from different dimensions of personal identity, cultural roots, geographic locations and political preferences. Disappointment for some is jubilation for others and this cannot go unnoticed by business and academic leaders. Responsive leaders know these differing sentiments are being felt and expressed, often causing tensions and hurtful exchanges.

Thus, leading in times of change requires responsiveness that models empathic listening and helping others to refocus on priorities. Some of you may read this as a statement that encourages ignoring dissent and disappointment. Far from it. AAG believes that leaders grounded in emotional IQ skills know how to check their own emotional responses to the changes at-hand and guide and affirm others as they try to manage change. Both the classroom and the workplace are about performance and productivity, of meeting goals, and learning. Here are a few considerations:

• People are watching their leaders for examples of positive interpersonal interactions.

• Leaders have to listen to all of their constituents, not just those with whom they agree.

• In the classroom, listen to all students, not just those with the loudest voices.

• Disagreements are going to occur; facilitative behavior will matter.

• Leaders empower for everyone’s well-being and success.

AAG believes solution-oriented leaders encourage critical thinking and dialogue to promote inclusive classroom and workplace environments. Your thoughts?