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The 21st Kravis-de Roulet Leadership Conference Focuses on “Soft Skills”

Posted August 9, 2012 in News

It’s official! Our next conference will be this Fall, on Saturday, November 16th, 2013 on our campus at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum. We are still in the planning stages—so stay tuned! Be sure to “like” us on Facebook to receive our latest news or please feel free to check back here this summer.

2013 Conference Description (pdf)

This past year’s leadership conference centered on the “soft skills” of leaders – the interpersonal, emotional, persuasion, and political skills that leaders use to communicate and to motivate teams and organizations to achieve goals.

Top scholars from around the world met at CMC’s Athenaeum for two days in February to share their research and strategies for developing leader skills. Their presentations are being compiled into a book that will be published in 2013.

Conference highlights:

  • Several experts emphasized the importance of emotional skills and competencies (often referred to as “emotional intelligence”) for effective leadership in the workplace. Leaders need to use emotions appropriately, and regulate emotions. Be upbeat, but not a cheerleader, and control negative emotional outbursts.
  • Although the word “politics” often is associated with “dirty” office politics, political skills are critical for leaders. It is important to be strategic and tactful in behavior at work.
  • UC Berkeley psychologist Dana Carney emphasized the importance of impression formation. Leaders should look and act like leaders, conveying a sense of competence and being in charge.
  • Our own Jay Conger, Kravis Chair, used core psychological theories to demonstrate how leaders should effectively run meetings and make presentations. His very interesting presentation can be seen on Vimeo.

Additional lessons from the conference are available in Professor Ron Riggio’s blog post at Psychology Today.