Written on 28 Jun 2016.

By Damaris Garay, EDHEC Global MBA Class of 2015

It goes without saying that a goal of any MBA candidate is to become a good leader. MBA candidates at EDHEC Business School have an even more ambitious goal, to become great global leaders. To help them achieve this goal, the EDHEC Global MBA program provides candidates with tools to strengthen their skills and allow them to gain new knowledge.

Teaching and applying the hard skills such as accounting, finance, statistics, to name a few, can be straightforward. Progress can be tracked and measured. But what about the softer skills?  How do you teach someone how to be a great leader and how do you measure the quality of leadership? This week the MBA participants learned that this is possible and can be done effectively. EDHEC Business School Professor Robert Weisz, imparted a two-day program on Leadership and Relational Growth. The program provided methods and tools that allow candidates to think about their current behaviors, be aware of their impact on people, manage their own emotions and understand those of others, and to adapt to others and stimulate their energy. For Brandon Hoff (EDHEC Global MBA Candidate, 2016) this was an invaluable experience.

DG: What is your overall opinion of the class?

BH: “I thought the class was excellent and totally necessary. The class not only highlighted the importance of being an effective communicator, but also displayed the many different ways in which we all communicate and express ourselves. This course certainly opened my eyes to a whole new world of social cues and demonstrated how I can effectively engage, interact, and respond to others, especially those who communicate and express themselves different than me.”

Can you list the top three takeaways from the class?

BH: “1. Miscommunication can lead to crisis and often times the root cause of miscommunication is misunderstanding. 2. Understanding a person requires empathy and empathy builds on self-awareness; the more open and aware we are to our own emotions, the more skilled we will be in reading the feelings of others. 3. Positive energy is an infectious antidote. Use it often!”

How do you think you will apply what your learned in the class both in your team work and in your future job?

BH: “More than anything, this course offered self-realization. It really forced me to think about how I contribute to interpersonal relationships and also how I contribute to the overall group dynamic. I’ll ask myself: what is my tone? What are my social cues? Additionally, what are my team members’ social cues and as Prof. Weisz put it – is this survival mode for anyone?”

Would you recommend this class to future MBAs? If so, why?

BH: “I believe that too often, particularly in MBA programs, much focus is placed on hard skills. Many MBAs focus solely on becoming financial or strategic specialist, loosing sight of the essential tool of a good manager – emotional intelligence. In my opinion, those who understand the importance of emotional intelligence (soft skills) as an agent of management is what separates good leaders from great leaders. I thought Prof. Weisz perfectly illustrated real world management scenarios requiring tact, self-control, and social deftness. This class is highly recommended.”

To lead a team to the next level and to impact one’s interpersonal communication, making it highly efficient, satisfactory, and harmonious is a constant challenge for leaders. At EDHEC Business School the participants learn to tackle this from within and learn to be great global leaders.