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I had the pleasure of appearing on the BMO Wealth Management Thrivefecta podcast for Women’s History Month. I had a chance to talk about various aspects of entrepreneurship, with a focus on the role of emotional intelligence in leadership and the value of relating holistically to ourselves and others in decision-making.  

The way I see it, emotional intelligence is rooted both in how we relate to ourselves as well as those around us. Aligning our work with our passions and desires helps us access a higher level of commitment and growth. Earlier in my career, I created a business that was purely logical, and made sense on paper, but I knew shortly into it, my heart was not in it to sustain it for the long run. I had to shift gears to honor my whole self so I could have more fulfillment and not just be working for a paycheck. 

Self-awareness and self-acceptance have also impacted my professional growth. As we truly get to know ourselves and our needs, it opens the way to a path that supports us more fully and unlocks our gifts.  Embracing all aspects of ourselves, including perceived flaws, can cultivate a more loving relationship with ourselves which overflows into how we relate to our colleagues, how we lead, how we make decisions and how much ease we can experience in the ups and downs of business.   

Working with others, I found it necessary to create a strong organizational culture by balancing structure and accountability in combination with safety and connection.  This creates an environment that empowers individuals to thrive and succeed within the organization.   

This sounds easy, but I’ve found that it means getting good at having hard conversations, staying open to diverse points of view, and paying attention to the small things that reflect where the culture needs attention.  It is so important to engage with everyone with respect but not overlook when something needs addressing.  Culture is certainly a living organism, and it needs tending. As we do this there is greater trust to share information, resolve conflicts and create long-term transparency and community within the organization. 

I also delved into the relationship between beliefs toward money and how that shaped my experience. I picked up a great work ethic from my father, but also perhaps a misunderstanding that success comes at a high cost – only by overexerting myself.  Challenging limiting beliefs allowed me to foster a healthier relationship with finances resulting in greater ease and trust in navigating financial decisions. It helped me see the importance of finding my way of working most effectively, without wearing myself out.  As the show host DeDe said it – “working smarter, not harder.” 

If you are interested in hearing more, you to check it out here. I’d love to hear your thoughts and reflections. 

 

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Author Laura Smith

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