Module 2 Briefing Sheet

Emotional Intelligence
and Interpersonal Communication

Click the appropriate title below to download:

Some of the pre-work is intended to provide foundational information. While some items of pre-work may not be discussed during the Academy session, it provides a necessary introduction to the material that will allow our faculty to maximize facilitation time when we are together for each seminar.



  1. View Jim’s introduction to the module, “Emotional Intelligence: Understanding Yourself to Understand Others” and complete the "Want to Say/Should Say" worksheet.
  2. Read “What Makes a Leader” and familiarize yourself with the Emotional Intelligence model’s components and hallmarks.
  3. View the TED videos (Headlee and Brown) and read “Read This and Be A Better Listener Immediately.” Identity 2-3 key takeaways from each. Be prepared to share your insights with your cohort group. “Takeaways” include:
    • something I want to do;
    • something I want to really think about more;
    • something I disagree with and want to understand more;
    • something that challenged me, and that I want to pursue more; and/or
    • something that has had a lasting impact since I viewed the video.
  4. Recall a recent workplace conversation through the lens of your role as a leader/influencer and less as a technical expert. Write a short verbatim summary (6-8 lines for each side of the conversation). What surprised you about this conversation? Did you notice a shift in your language, from “legal speak” to something else? If so, what was it? Did you notice a different connection with the person? If so, what was it? What impact did this conversation have on your relationship? Be prepared to discuss this situation at a high level in the next seminar as an opportunity for you to differentiate your voice as a leader vs. a legal expert.


  1. Prior to doing this module’s pre-work, what did you know about Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and how had you thought about it in relationship to your own life/work?
  2. If EQ can be learned, what components would you be most interested in developing? What would be the value or benefit of this development in your current role?
  3. How do you “show up” at meetings? Do you find yourself multitasking during meetings or conversations, or are you really “present”? What impact does this have on others and on your ability to be fully engaged? How has this changed in the past year, when many meetings have moved to fully virtual?
  4. How well do you use active listening skills with the intent to understand or the intent to respond?
  5. How well do you pay attention to nonverbal communication, such as the speaker’s facial expressions, gestures and tone, in additional to verbal statements?
  6. Think about your reactions to the Brené Brown video as she framed her discussion of vulnerability, shame, courage, etc. How might someone react who comes from a similar/different racial, ethnic, gender identity, sexual orientation, heritage, disability, socio-economic, etc., perspective?
  7. How do your biases and emotional filters play a role in your ability to listen without judgment until the person is finished making their points?
  8. How does your communication and Emotional Intelligence create and nurture an inclusive work environment for all your colleagues?

COHORT MEETING (Meet to discuss the following BEFORE Classroom session)

  • Check in and share any additional learning from Module 1. Regarding the commitment you made at the end of the session, share with your cohort:
    • One courageous action you have taken to step more fully into your authentic leadership? This may be an internal action (such as reflecting on what makes you the "self" you are or dismantling an arrogance or imposter belief) or an external one (such as speaking your unique perspective in a meeting). (or)
    • One step you have taken to create a more inclusive culture or environment in your office or with your colleagues (such as actions that invite and value differences or steps to eliminate subtle acts of exclusion)? (or)
    • One step you have taken to expand or nurture your network? This could include actions such as updating a social media page, (re)connecting with someone, or generously offering your talents in a new way.
  • Using your responses to Personal Reflection questions 1 and 2, share with your group your current understanding of Emotional Intelligence as a leadership quality and potential development areas for you to increase your EQ.
  • Share your learning from the activity in Jim’s video “Want to Say/Should Say.” What did you notice about the tone and potential impact of your words as you reflect on the contrast between the two columns? (You do not need to share exactly what you wrote in each column – instead, share your learning and judgments about what you wrote.)
  • Share your key takeaways from any of the videos and articles and responses to the Personal Reflection questions.


  • Understand the Emotional Intelligence framework and recognize your EQ strengths and growth opportunities.
  • Identify appropriate methods of communication for different situations.
  • Engage in active listening skills with the intent of understanding and responding (vs. reacting).
  • Use clear and succinct language and the right tone to deliver your message.
  • Discuss and provide strategies for translating “legal risk” into language the business can understand.

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