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Developing Emotional Intelligence

I was fortunate to be asked to facilitate a small workshop as part of the program at DePaul University for Women’s Day last week.  The program was a full day of development and learning opportunities for the women who are involved in the University — faculty, staff, support personnel, professionals of every stripe.  The turnout was greater than expected, and I could tell from the response and conversations among the attendees that this was a valuable way to spend their time.  I felt very pleased to be part of it.

Our workshop was devoted to Emotional Intelligence, and was put on by female members of the Chicago Family Business Council at DePaul, an organization that I am proud to have been a part of for over fifteen years.  The Family Business Council exists to support the leaders of family owned and closely held businesses in the Chicagoland area through regular forum peer group meetings and investigation of emotional intelligence and best business practice based on shared experience.  Using the tools we practice in our forum meetings, we met the women in the program in small groups, practiced some very fundamental listening and communication skills, and got to know one another a little better.  It was fun, educational, and ultimately empowering because no matter what our roles are in the day to day world, for that short time we focused just on our own ability to listen and hear “behind” the words — a skill that can subtley change the way we interact at home, work and with family.

It was great to step back for a couple hours, and change gears with other people who are also struggling to “right themselves” coming out of the recession, and network a little with people outside our normal boundaries.  Everything that makes you more capable gives you a better toolbox to meet the world head on, and as spring slowly creeps into the city it feels good to marshall our energy to make headway!

Incidentally, if you or someone you know might be interested in the Chicago Family Business Council, please follow the link above for more information or feel free to contact me directly.  I can say without hesitation that without that support I wouldn’t be the business person I am today!

Cathie Cushing Duff

One of the third generation membership owners at Cushing, Cathie has been active in the organization since 1975. A graduate of the University of Toronto (St. Michael’s College) she attended the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Illinois School of Business. A Past President of the North Central Reprographic Association and International Reprographic Association, she has served on the ReproMAX Association and Chicago Family Business Council Boards. When not exploring print and digital communications, her passions are family, knitting and crocheting. Visit Cathie’s Google + profile.

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