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Leadership Competencies

By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Decades of research show that IQ is one of the best predictors of success for organizational leaders. This should be no surprise since strong analytical skills are needed to deal with numerous competing challenges at higher organizational levels. However, EQ, or emotional intelligence quotient, may be equally important. One study showed that 71% of executives value EQ over IQ with their leaders (https://www.careerbuilder.ca), and another showed that 93% of employees said they’d remain loyal to an employer whose leaders show genuine concern for their well-being (https://hcamag.com). So, what is emotional intelligence? EQ reflects our ability to recognize our

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By Eric Michrowski A leader once told me their safety strategy focused on driving actively caring within their organization. In his words, “If we care for our people, safety will take care of itself.” While actively caring is integral to building a robust safety culture, I would caution that it’s insufficient on its own. Actively caring means showing personal concern and appreciation for employees individually. When relationships with team members are firmly established, and employees feel appreciated, understood, and respected, they are more likely to demonstrate discretionary effort and go above and beyond to keep themselves and their coworkers safe. Actively caring

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Several years ago, we were asked to work with a leading manufacturing company to assess their human performance (HP) and safety culture practices. Although they had high executive safety commitment and numerous progressive HP programs, they wanted to level up their performance. We partnered with them to identify strengths to reinforce and gaps to address to help optimize their safety processes and culture. The first step in these improvement efforts involved the creation of a highly customized survey to assess specific safety culture and process safety efforts. Tailored interview and focus group questions were also created to get

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By Dr. Josh Williams and Emily Wood Smart safety leadership is critical for exceptional safety performance. There are five core leadership competencies that can help you, as leaders, better reinforce safety excellence and prevent incidents and injuries. Successfully applying the competencies in your everyday work will improve your influence over team activities. This includes shifting the narrative from “safety is managed through enforcement” to “safety is managed through team participation” as employees recognize their why for safety and actively engage in safety efforts. Anchored in years of research and experience, these leadership competencies include: Actively Care, Walk the Talk, Build/Live the

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Improving supervisory safety leadership is critical for safety culture advancement. And to be sure, being in a supervisory role is one of the toughest jobs in organizational settings. And one of the most important when it comes to safety. The term “where the rubber meets the road” is often applied to this level of leadership because supervisors carry out the vision and directives from senior leaders but also manage the difficult day-to-day challenges with front-line employees doing the work. For years, we have talked about the dangers of old-school leadership. Decades ago, the norm for field leaders was

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By Eric Michrowski Active care is one of the most critical safety leadership competencies. While most leaders care about their team members’ wellbeing, they often fail to fully reflect this care in their actions. Leaders are busy and have to juggle many tasks and decisions competing for their attention at all times, but the importance of active care should not be swept aside. In fact, research shows that when employees feel genuinely cared for by their management, they demonstrate less risk-taking behavior and have less physical health complaints. Actively caring means showing personal concern and respect for employees on an individual level.

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