Leadership & Emotional Intelligence Training Programs

Leadership Training Curriculum:

A single event is not enough – no matter how great it is. The following is a full curriculum of training programs that build on each other. Only by creating a sustained learning curriculum, can real behavior change occur over time.


the science of leadership under pressure

Why do smart people fail? Why do technically brilliant individuals have trouble managing others and collaborating on a team? It is not because they lack intelligence or technical skills. Far from it. What they lack is a critical level of Emotional Intelligence (EI) and the ability to manage their own emotions and others’ when they are under pressure.

Whether you are a formal manager or want to increase your individual performance (or both), this program will teach you the foundational principles and brain science of Emotional Intelligence (EI). You will become a student of human behavior: understanding what your brain does under pressure and how that affects your decision making and the impact you have on others.

In this emotional intelligence leadership course, you will increase your personal leadership by learning how to manage your emotions in your most difficult moments, enabling you to perform and lead at your best, and connect with others in a more meaningful way.

In this program, you will:

  • Learn the brain science of emotions that drives your behavior under pressure
  • Increase your awareness of the situations that put you at risk of having your emotions lead to unskillful behavior and poor decisions
  • Have the option to utilize our state-of-the-art EI360 feedback assessment to increase self-awareness of the 11 key EI competencies that drive your success
  • Learn practical strategies to help you respond more skillfully as pressure, tension and complexity increase
  • Identify patterns, triggers and emotional habits that either drive or derail your performance
  • Learn to suspend judgment – become ‘more curious and less certain’ – to effectively engage and influence others
  • Understand how to be an effective coach and help others develop the skills to perform under pressure
  • Practice techniques through interactive exercises and develop an action plan to put those strategies into practice

This training program will help you improve your own personal leadership by learning to manage your emotions and perform at your best when you are in high pressure situations. You will also gain critical skills that will enable you to influence and coach others, regardless of your position in your organization.

This program is the foundation of IHHP’s learning curriculum for helping you lead and perform under pressure; it is followed by the Conversations Under Pressure and Reputation Under Pressure programs.


Emotional Intelligence can often sound “soft and squishy”, especially to highly analytical and technical audiences. Well, it turns out that’s one of our areas of expertise – engaging people who are more analytical in nature in order to develop their Emotional Intelligence. We do this through our EI training programs by ensuring they:

  • Clearly outline the business case for developing emotional intelligence
  • Are grounded in brain science and research on human behavior and performance
  • Are applicable to the challenging situations and relationships people face every day
  • Increase self-awareness, through self-assessment and/or an EI360 feedback tool
  • Provide techniques that people can use in their business and personal life right away
  • Are part of a sustained learning program that includes continued training and coaching
According to John Kotter of Harvard Business School:

“Because of the furious pace of change in business today, difficult to manage relationships sabotage more business than anything else – it is not a question of strategy that gets managers and leaders into trouble, it is a question of emotions.”

Companies who invest in developing their managers’ emotional intelligence will see these behaviors demonstrated:

  • They are able to listen to others without jumping to conclusions
  • They are able to admit to their mistakes and take personal accountability
  • They are able to remain calm under pressure and keep everyone around them calm
  • They are able to receive feedback and criticism without becoming defensive
  • When coaching, they connect to the emotions that drive people’s behaviors
  • They do not avoid difficult conversations and are able to hold people accountable in a motivating way

building trust and accountability

People want to make relationships work with their managers, teams, and peers. They want to give formal and informal feedback that improves accountability, clarity and performance. They want to bring their ideas and concerns to the table regardless of who is in the room.

To make relationships work, difficult conversations need to take place: giving feedback, championing an idea or holding someone accountable. Under the pressure to drive results, people often make these mistakes:

    • They forget the importance of building trust in their relationships during day-to-day interactions
    • They find reasons not to have the conversations they know they need to have
    • They never really have the Last 8% Conversation

What is the last 8% conversation? Toward the end of the conversation when the pressure increases, many individuals choose to avoid (sometimes unknowingly) the last and most important part of the conversation – the part that really needs to be said.

This program will arm you with insights and communication strategies that will enable you to have conversations that drive results and build trust, even in pressure filled moments. It builds on the foundation of Emotional Intelligence and will enable you to:

  • Understand the importance and impact of three critical types of conversations: daily, difficult and courageous conversations
  • Leverage insight from the brain science of emotions to have more effective conversations
  • Learn techniques to have high impact Daily conversations that build trust and drive results, even in time-constrained, pressure-filled environments
  • Practice having Difficult and Courageous conversations in a way that allows you to speak your truth and get to the “last 8%”, while not emotionally triggering the other person. Examples include:
    • Engaging people when rolling out change
    • Delivering bad news or saying “no” in a way that ensures a person is still valued
    • Providing continuous feedback about behavior, performance and culture
    • Managing up!
  • Build an action plan that can be applied to the conversations that need to happen

This may be run as a stand-alone program, but is best utilized as a part of a sustained learning curriculum that is preceded by Emotional Intelligence and followed by Reputation Under Pressure.


There comes a time when every manager in a business must have a difficult conversation in the workplace. The Conversations Under Pressure program from IHHP will provide you with the knowledge and techniques required to have the critical conversations that you know you need to have. We all need to have those difficult conversations, where you will be delivering bad news, making decisions that impact others, providing candid feedback and holding people responsible for their actions. These kinds of conversations are never easy, but people need the skills to have them in order to consistently drive performance.
Through our research, we have identified three types of conversations required in order to have effective communication in the workplace. In the Conversations Under Pressure program, people will be provided with insight, techniques and practise on how to be skillful at:

The Daily Conversation

These are the more frequent conversations that a manager has with peers, staff and senior managers. We characterize daily conversations as having low emotional risk to both you and the other person. The daily conversation can take place in a team meeting, as part of coaching a staff member or peer, in the process of delegating or getting an update on the progress of a task or project, or even through an e-mail. A daily conversation is often not planned. It could happen when someone drops in your office with a question or concern or when a colleague is dealing with a problem. The conversations sound unimportant, but participants will learn how critical they are to setting the stage to less common and more effective Difficult and Courageous Conversations.

The Difficult Conversation

These are the conversations that leaders have with peers, staff and senior managers that are more difficult to have because there is greater risk and they are often not comfortable to have. It entails greater risk because the person on the receiving end might be hearing something they do not want to hear. This could be the conversation where a manager ‘holds’ a person accountable or is delivering ‘bad’ news. There is an obvious potential for the conversation to get personal. This is why managing emotions within the conversation is so important. If a person starts to take the feedback personally, they will ‘emotionally ‘hijack’ and not be able to hear the feedback. If these conversations are not handled skillfully, the person will become disengaged and demotivated.

The Courageous Conversation

Most of us know when they are “courageous conversations” because we still have not worked up the courage to have them! These are the planned conversations that affect a person’s well-being and work environment because they involve ‘personal risk’. These conversations are required when difficult conversations about the organization become personal. For a lot of participants, a conversation becomes “courageous” when it involves “managing up” – giving feedback to their direct manager or pushing back on a senior leader. It takes courage to have these conversations, but organizations where people avoid them will not thrive, respond to change or innovate.


Influencing Across an Organization

Is there a leader or team in your organization who, because of their reputation, continually encounters resistance to their ideas, suggestions or actions? Do these people have a reputation that opens doors for them or closes them? How much time, energy and money are negative reputations costing your organization? What would the difference be if people had more trust in others?

Most leaders don’t realize that their reputation is an invisible force that shapes every decision that involves them:

  • How people listen to them
  • How seriously others take their arguments, suggestions or ideas
  • How fully people will commit to their vision and trust their direction

A strong, positive reputation has an extraordinary effect on the amount of trust, credibility, respect, and ultimately on the influence you have with others, regardless of their title, role, or responsibility. This influence allows you to be more effective because you are able to do more with less and to do it with more speed, efficiency and support.

What isn’t as readily recognized is that not all moments are created equally when it comes to forging your reputation. In moments of pressure (which we call “17% moments”), your brain encodes information differently. Your brain is wired to vividly recall how people show up and impact you in those 17% moments. Therefore, what we do in moments of pressure has an outsized effect on the reputation that forms in the minds of others, and thus the influence we have with them.

Building on the Emotional Intelligence and Conversations Under Pressure programs, this program will provide you with the opportunity:

  • Examine the science behind the forging and reinforcing of your reputation to strengthen your impact as a leader.
  • Build a Reputation Map to help you understand your influence and uncover where your reputation may be serving or sabotaging you
  • Learn to identify and approach as opposed to avoiding difficult and reputation critical moments (the high pressure “17% moments”)
  • Use a reputation index to assess the two key behavioral elements that drive your reputation: your levels of Heart and Edge
  • Develop a comprehensive action plan that allows you to build a strong leadership reputation and grow your influence in your organization

This may be run as a stand-alone program and will create a powerful learning experience. However, it is best utilized as part of a sustained learning curriculum that is preceded by Emotional Intelligence and Conversations Under Pressure program.


We have found that most organizations and their leaders don’t recognize that their leadership reputation is the invisible force that precedes them into every room they walk into, every meeting they are part of, and most importantly, that it shapes every decision that involves them. They have no clue that their reputation, especially under pressure, drives how people listen to them, how seriously they take their arguments, suggestions or ideas, and how fully people will commit to their vision, trust their direction, advocate for them and take the necessary actions to move things forward – all necessary elements of influence and effectiveness. Knowing this will change the way people think about reputation and its impact.
Our research clearly shows that effective leadership in organizations requires people to have a positive and strong reputation. A leader’s positive reputation acts as a force to attract others to them, gives them out-sized influence (important in a matrixed environment), makes their team want to move mountains for them, and propels them, their teams and their organization to the next level of performance. Research shows that reputations have a significant impact on effective leadership in organizations:
  • Employee Commitment: senior managers’ and leaders’ reputations can drive employee commitment up by as much as 41% (CCL, 2010)
  • Career Success: 86% agree that working for a leader with a positive reputation was critical to their performance and career success (IHHP, 2012)
  • Employee Retention: 74% of people have admitted leaving an organization due to their manager’s reputation (IHHP, 2012)

Too often, Leadership training is looked at as being soft and squishy. That’s why our Leadership and Emotional Intelligence training programs are based on research and the science of human behavior. Understanding how your brain responds under pressure and learning techniques to react more skillfully in your critical moments will allow you to increase your performance and leadership – and be your best when it matters most!

These programs combine our 15 years of experience working with people and organizations who deal with high pressure situations – Olympic athletes, U.S. army commanders, fortune 500 companies – with our research on over 120,000 high performing business people and leaders from around the world. We have continuously improved and perfected our leadership training programs to provide a rich learning experience that will drive real behavior and culture change within your team and organization.

The Audiences

Everyone deals with pressure and all of our programs are designed to develop every person regardless of their level within their organization. Since an organization’s needs and teams differ, our programs are flexible and can be tailored accordingly in order to generate the best results based on your audience, demographics and objectives. Whether through on-site training or virtual classes, our leadership training programs work!

There are many different options and approaches for delivering our training programs that will enable employees to perform and lead under pressure.

Our programs are delivered to:

  • Senior leadership teams
  • Front line to mid-level managers
  • Emerging leaders
  • Sales leaders and sales managers
  • Individual contributors
  • New leaders / New employees
All of IHHP’s leadership training courses have been designed to create a rich and insightful learning experience that increases the self-awareness of the participants in the program. Developing these powerful learning programs lies in IHHP’s ability to create a ‘container of safety and inspiration’ so that the work that needs to be done gets done. The following methods are used across all of our leadership training programs:
  • Web-based assessment at the individual and team levels (optional)
  • Facilitator-led discussion of key concepts, either in-class or virtually
  • Small breakout groups to practice skills and strategies
  • Experiential exercises to increase solidification of concepts
  • Grounded experience through customized scenarios and business cases
  • Participant coaching
  • Follow-up group and one-on-one coaching
  • Follow-up assessment and practice through an interactive sustainment program
IHHP started developing its foundational Emotional Intelligence training program 15 years ago to provide people with the ability to understand and manage their own emotions, and connect with and influence the emotions of others. Emotional Intelligence is based on brain science and the physiology of how human beings respond and behave when there is tension and pressure. Those who become more aware of and manage their own and others’ emotions are able to think more clearly under pressure and act more skillfully during adversity, in challenging situations and in difficult relationships. Research shows that emotionally intelligent leaders drive:
  • Higher employee engagement and commitment
  • Increased productivity
  • Better collaboration and teamwork
  • Greater innovation

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